NBA Odds List Rockets as Hefty Favorites Over Lakers

David Lawrence

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 12:50 PM GMT

The Rockets are a 12.5-point favorite on the NBA odds against the Los Angeles Lakers who defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, notching just their second win of the season. 

The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win Because…
Their offense just received a boost on Tuesday from a player who just came back from the lineup. Nick Young had been injured, but he was healthy enough to suit up and play for the Lakers in Atlanta against the Hawks. Promptly upon coming back, Young tossed in 17 points as the Lakers beat Atlanta, 114-109, scoring 67 points in the first half. Young gave the Lakers the bench scoring they had been lacking in previous weeks. The Lakers, as a result of this 114-point outburst, now average over 101 points per game, in the upper half of the league. If they can score 101 points in this game against Houston, they might not just cover. They could win.

Houston has been terrible on offense in its last two games, averaging 81 per contest. Houston split games in Oklahoma City and Memphis. It managed to win when scoring 69 points and it lost when scoring 93, but the low offensive output remains the same. Houston has hit a rut on offense, and if the Lakers can maintain some of the good habits they established in Atlanta – where they hit 54 percent of their shots and committed only 11 turnovers in a display of very sound ball distribution – they could certainly win this game outright. Houston barely defeated one of the NBA’s other really bad teams, the Philadelphia 76ers, on their home court earlier this month. The Lakers have much more of a chance in this game than a lot of the experts think, and NBA odds makers might have overextended themselves by setting the line so high.

 

The Houston Rockets Can Win Because…
They're going to have a chance to regroup in this game, and they have one of the better defenses in the NBA. The Rockets looked worn down near the end of their road trip. Having had a chance to rest on Tuesday night and then play this game at home, they should be fresher than the Lakers, who had to play in Atlanta on Tuesday and will be playing the back end of a back-to-back set of games. These accumulated factors will work in Houston’s favor.

What should also help the Rockets in this game is that they have the second best defense in the Association in terms of points per game allowed. Houston gives up only 91.6 points per game, so if it can hold the Lakers 10 points below their 101-point average, they should be in very good shape. The Lakers are worse than 20th in the NBA in both rebounds per game and assists per game. Houston should be able to hold back the Lakers because it is a better team, not just because it has some intangible advantages.

 

Outlook
The Rockets offense is slumping but the perfect antidote is coming to town: the Lakers 30th ranked defense. Dwight Howard always loves sticking it to his former team and with him beasting on the inside and the Lakers lacks perimeter defense allowing the Rockets to do whatever they want on the outside, Houston should get back on track.

Los Angeles will be worn out being in a back-to-back set up on the road and Houston should thrive in this spot facing a shoddy defense after facing the league’s best in their latest outing. Take the Rockets with your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Houston -12.5 at Bodog

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