Efficient Scoring Make Spurs -8 the NBA Pick vs. Rockets

Charles Stark

Thursday, December 24, 2015 12:26 PM GMT

Houston seems to be playing a little bit better recently and they should be fired up to face San Antonio, nevertheless I expect the Spurs to come in to Houston and win against the NBA odds.

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NBA Pick: Spurs -8
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Betting Odds
NBA odds have made San Antonio -8 favorite. Although this seems like a lot of points San Antonio is just that much better. It might be tempting to back the home underdog, but for one of my selection I'm going to take San Antonio to come in and play as well as they have all season.

 

Houston Rockets
Houston is averaging 104.2 points per game while shooting 43.4% from the field, and allowing 105.6 points per game on 46.2% shooting from the field. These are the statistics just prior to their last game against Orlando, and except for really good fourth quarter, their poor defense remained the same allowing the Magic to shoot over 52% from the field and over 43% from distance. Although we had the Magic in that game I was impressed with how Houston came back in the final quarter only to come up short. On the offensive side they are continuing the push tempo and they have been able to put up points ranking fourth in the league in scoring. The Rockets also average more three-point attempts than any other team in the league at 31.4 per contest, and they stayed consistent with that putting up 29 against Orlando. The issue still remains defensively for them as they are a far cry from last year's team and I think getting rid of Kevin McHale was not the answer. Statistically speaking they rank as one of the worst teams in the league in opponent shooting percentage, and the worst team in the league in opponent two point shooting percentage at 51.5% per contest . They could be in some serious trouble tonight getting stops against the San Antonio team that is very efficient, and being consistent with their three-point shooting as the Spurs rank the best in the league in defending be on the arc.

 

San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio is averaging 102.2 points per game while shooting 48.4% from the field, and allowing 89 points per game on 42% shooting from the field. Offensively they are about as efficient as it comes in the NBA ranking second in shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. They move the ball extremely well averaging 25.3 assists per game which ranks second in the NBA, and they lead the league in assist to turnover ratio. They changed their dynamic just a bit from getting up a better than average amount of threes to just being as efficient as possible, and so far this season it has worked extremely well. Defensively there is not a lot to say as this is arguably the best defense in the NBA. They rank first in scoring defense, opponent field goals made per game, and opponent three-pointers made per game. They also lead the NBA in opponent total rebounds per game at just 46.4 per contest. When they get into lockdown mode they are extremely difficult to score against, and they might be the best defense this league has had the last several years.

Although it is tempting to grab the Rockets plus the points considering they're playing a little bit better recently I think the smarter money is on the Spurs. For one of your NBA picks today I recommend taking San Antonio minus the points to head into Houston and put on a defensive clinic winning by double digits.