Free NBA Picks: Take Rockets & 'Over' Against Bucks Squad

Kevin Stott

Monday, February 29, 2016 12:24 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 12:24 PM GMT

Jabari Parker and the Milwaukee Bucks welcome James Harden and the Houston Rockets to the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Monday night. Who will be our NBA pick?

Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
James Harden and the Houston Rockets (29-30 SU, 26-33-0 ATS) head to the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Monday night to face Jabari Parker and the Bucks (24-35, 29-29-1 ATS) in an inter-conference showdown and second of two meetings between these teams this NBA Regular Season. NBA odds makers have opened up the visiting Rockets as slight 1-point Road favorites (The Greek) with the game’s Total (Points) set at 212½ (The Greek). The Money Line (Winner) odds here see Houston priced as slight -115 favorites with the Bucks lined at -105 on the takeback (Paddy Power). The Houston Rockets Team Total Points has been set at 107 (BetVictor) with the Milwaukee Bucks Team Total Points at 105½ (BetVictor) while the 1st Half odds see the Rockets as tiny ½-point chalks (888sport).

 

Houston Rockets
Like the Bucks, Interim Head Coach JB Bickerstaff and Houston Rockets (13-16 Road, 14-15 ATS Road SU) are struggling, and heading in here, Houston finds itself in 8th place in the Western Conference, just ½ game ahead of the 9th-place Utah Jazz (28-30) for the final Playoff spot. The Rockets (105.4 AF-106.8 AA) are steadily seeing their average Points Against per game climbing, a byproduct of Apathy and poor Defense. In their last game, C Dwight Howard (11.8 ppg) and Houston (125/1 to win Western Conference, BetVictor) lost at Home at the Toyota Center in Houston to the San Antonio Spurs, 104-94, as superstar G James Harden had 27 points, Jason Terry and Corey Brewer 15 points apiece and C Dwight Howard 11 points and 14 rebounds in the loss and non-cover (SAS -5½, 213, Under) as the Rockets shot just 41.7% (35-84) from the Field and were a dismal 8-for-25 on their 3-Point attempts (32.0%). Houston heads in here 4-6 SU in its L10 and now, in the 8th spot in the conference, sit in a precarious position where it would theoretically face the Stephen Curry and Golden State Warriors (53-5) in the First Round of the Western Conference Playoffs, so no matter the position in the standings, the record, the attitude or the direction this team is heading, it’s all looking bad for the perennially rebuilding and disappointing team that just doesn’t focus enough on playing good Defense. F Clint Capela (Ankle) is listed as Questionable for this game for the Rockets.

 

Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks (16-10 Home, 13-12-1 ATS at Home) still sit in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, now 6½ games off the 8th and final Playoff spot in the conference and whereas Houston has had no problem scoring points but has a bigger problem allowing them, Milwaukee (98.6 PF-103.0 PA) has had trouble scoring Points, and the Bucks 98.6 ppg ranks 25th overall in the NBA. In their last game, Milwaukee (1,000/1 to win NBA Championship, Ladbrokes) lost 102-91 to the Pistons in Milwaukee (MIL -1, 202, Under) on Saturday as Khris Middleton (26 points), Jabari Parker (13 points), Miles Plumlee (10 points) and Greg Monroe (10 points) were all in double-digits for the Bucks (4-6 SU L10) and F Giannis Antetokounmpo (8 points, 12 rebounds) also had a productive game as Detroit outscored the hosts 34-24 in the 1st Quarter and didn’t look back. Milwaukee could use players like starting G OJ Mayo, G Michael Carter-Williams and UNLV Rookie Rashad Vaughn to both start taking a few more shots per game as well as to pick up their scoring averages a couple of points for this wobbly team to start maturing. Head Coach Jason Kidd and the Bucks have some Injury issues heading in here with PG Jerryd Bayless (Knee) listed as Probable, SF Steve Novak (Knee) Out for the season, PF John Henson (Back) Out Indefinitely and PG Greivis Vasquez (Knee) Out until mid-April.

 

Recent Relevant Series Trends, Logical Reasoning and Trend-Based Picks
In the L10 meetings in this series, the Rockets have W5 straight SU, 7 of the L10 SU while the ATS Record is split at 5-5 and the Total is also split at 5-5. The Rockets have W3 ATS in the series although Houston only won those games by 4, 6 and 14 points. When these two met earlier this Regular Season at the Toyota Center in Houston, the Rockets won and covered, 102-98 (HOU -2½, 211½, Under) about a month ago (Jan. 22), so a good relevant result although it was played in the Lone Star State. Both teams have skewed to the Over so far in the Totals marketplace with Houston at 35-24-0 ATS Over heading in here and Milwaukee 31-28-0 ATS Over. Trend-wise, the Over 12-5 in the Rockets L17 games against the Central Division, the Over is 13-3 in Houston’s L16 Road games—11-4 ATS in the L15—and the Over is 22-6 ATS in the Rockets L28 overall (78.6%). Side-wise, the Underdog is 6-2 ATS in the L8 meetings although with a 1- to 1½-point spread, this dog has little bite—like both of these teams of late. Take Rockets & Over as your NBA picks.

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Final Score Prediction: Rockets 116 Bucks 106
NBA Picks: Rockets -1.5 & Over 212 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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