Lakers vs. Rockets NBA Picks: Take Home Faves & 'Over' Tonight

Darin Zank

Saturday, December 12, 2015 4:56 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 4:56 PM UTC

The Lakers and Rockets are both lousy bets so far this NBA season, combining to go 16-30 against the NBA odds. But this handicapper found a lean for LA's visit to Houston Saturday night.

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NBA Picks: Houston -11.5 & OVER 209.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

The Odds
Saturday's NBA odds market opened this game with Houston favored by 11.5 points, with a rather specific total across the board of 209.5. As of this writing neither number had budged.


The Match-Up
Los Angeles (3-20 SU, 8-15 ATS) comes into Saturday towing a five-game losing streak. Most recently, the Lakers fell at San Antonio Friday night 109-87, whiffing ATS as 15-point dogs. The Lakers trailed by 17 early in the fourth quarter, rallied to within single digits early in the fourth, but faded from there.

LA only shot 41 percent from the floor Friday, while allowing the Spurs to shoot 54 percent.

Wednesday night the Lakers lost at Minnesota 123-122 in overtime, but covered at +7; and Monday they lost at Toronto 102-93 but hung on for the cover at +11.

Houston (11-12 SU, 8-15 ATS), off with a wins OVER/UNDER of 56 for this season, would have to go 46-13 from here on out to play OVER that figure. And that ain't gonna happen. However, the Rockets are 6-2 SU over their last eight games, after beating Washington Wednesday night 109-103. That game was tied at 99 with about two minutes to go, but Houston finished with a 10-4 run for the victory.

On the night the Rockets shot 48 percent from the field, while holding the Wizards to 44 percent shooting.

Tuesday night Houston lost at Brooklyn 110-105, but before that they won three in a row both SU and ATS. So perhaps this Rockets team is coming around.


Recent History
Houston has taken five of the last six meetings with Los Angeles, including two of three last season. Actually, the road team took all three meetings last season, as the Rockets won twice in LA.

Houston shot just 41 percent from the field in last season's three meetings combined, but the Lakers only shot 40 percent. Perhaps that's why all three of those games played UNDER.


Totals Trends
LA is 13-10 on the UNDERS this season, as Lakers games have averaged 203 points.

Houston is 12-11 on the UNDERS, even though Rockets games have averaged 211 points.


Injury Update
Lakers G Jordan Clarkson (15 PPG) missed Friday's game with a sore ankle and is very iffy for this one. Over on the other bench Houston's Trevor Ariza (12 PPG) is questionable with a sore back.


Final Analysis
Houston seems on the improve, while LA, not so much. The Rockets have scored at least 100 points eight games in a row, while the Lakers have allowed each of their last 13 opponents to hit the century mark. So while the spread on this game seems slightly inflated, we like the Rockets for our NBA picks. Also, even though these teams played three UNDERS last season, we foresee plenty of garbage time tonight.

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