Explosive Offense Makes Thunder -8.5 The NBA Pick vs. Rockets

Jake Walker

Friday, January 29, 2016 6:45 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 6:45 PM UTC

The Houston Rockets (25-23) travel to Chesapeake Energy Arena to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-13). The Thunder are an 8.5-point favorite on the NBA odds board and the total has been set at 222.5.

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NBA Pick: Thunder -8.5 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 


Houston Rockets
The Rockets saw their three-game winning streak come to an end with last Wednesday's 130-99 beating against the Spurs. San Antonio took out some frustation after their blowout loss against Golden State and Houston had no answer for LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. James Harden had 20 points and Dwight Howard added 13 in the losing effort.

Houston is averaging 104.7 points per game (fourth in the NBA) on 44.5 percent shooting, including 35.2 percent from beyond the arc and they grab 42.8 rebounds per game. Defensively, they allow 106.1 points per game (27th in the NBA) and their opponents shoot 46.6 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three-point range while pulling down 44.3 rebounds per game. 

James Harden leads the Rockets with 27.5 points and 6.9 assists, Dwight Howard averages 14.4 points and 12.0 rebounds and Trevor Ariza adds 12.2 points per game. 


Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have won two straight games, including a 126-123 thriller against the Timberwolves last Wednesday. Kevin Durant finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and he made two key shots in the final two minutes. Russell Westbrook added 24 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds and Enes Kanter scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. 

Oklahoma City scores 109.3 points per game (second in the NBA) and shoot 47.5 percent from the floor (third in the league) and 35.9 percent from three-point range, while grabbing 47.5 rebounds per game (third in the NBA). The Thunder defense allows 101.3 points per game, their oppponents shoot 43.5 percent shooting and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. Opposing teams grab 40.6 rebounds per game against them.

Kevin Durant averages team-bests with 27.0 points and 7.9 rebounds, Russell Westbrook scores 24.1 points and dishes out 9.8 assists and Serge Ibaka adds 13.0 points and 6.9 rebounds. 


Betting Trends 
The Rockets are 20-28 ATS, 7-10 ATS as an underdog, 9-13 ATS in road games and 9-13 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

The Thunder are 17-26 ATS as a favorite, 13-13 ATS in home games and 7-9 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record. 


Final Analysis
The Thunder are favored by 8.5 points on the NBA odds board and the total is at 222.5. The betting trends for both teams tell us that the Rockets are having a hard time covering the spread while the Thunder are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. The Oklahoma City offense has been explosive, scoring over 100 points in their last six games, winning five of those contests and the Houston defense has struggled on the road. I'm taking the Thunder -8.5 with one of my NBA picks.

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