The Houston Rockets pulled away in Wednesday’s 96-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, ‘pushing’ for backers as a 13-point home favorite.
Rockets, Howard rise at home
Rockets forward Dwight Howard notched 26 boards in his new squad’s win, leading Houston to outrebound the Bobcats, 54-37. The seven-time All-Star put up 17 points, hitting 8-of-14 field buckets.
Houston’s James Harden came away with a 6-for-6 night at the foul line, finishing with team-highs of 21 points and five assists. Rockets mates Francisco Garcia and Jeremy Lin came off the bench for a combined 35 points, uniting to hit 7-of-11 shots from three-point land.
The contest’s combined 179 points plunged UNDER the ‘total’ of 200 ½, with the Rockets holding Charlotte to 36.7 percent shooting. Houston edged the Bobcats in paint points, 46-42, while logging a sizable 18 turnovers.
Mavs, Ellis cash as ‘chalk’
Dallas saw action on the same evening, surging to a 118-109 triumph as a six-point home favorite against the Atlanta Hawks. The Mavericks connected from their floor at a 57.1 percent clip, leading by as many as 16 points.
Mavericks guard Monta Ellis notched 32 points, hitting 11-of-17 from the field and 8-of-8 at the charity stripe. Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki sank 4-of-6 beyond the arc in 33 minutes of action, finishing with 24 points.
The fourth quarter of action saw Dallas edge the Hawks, 32-30, lifting the duel OVER the ‘total’ of 195 ½. Mavs forward Shawn Marion united with Ellis for two steals each, while mate Jose Calderon logged 11 assists.
Back the Mavs as road dogs
Houston opened as a seven-point home favorite at BetOnline, while the betting odds ‘total’ was first set at 203 ½. Harden is listed as day-to-day by the Rockets, missing Thursday’s practice with a back injury.
I am backing Dallas as a road dog, looking for Nowitzki and Co. to collect in a close contest.
The Mavericks are 8-1 ATS in their last nine meetings with Houston, including a pair of cashed tickets as underdogs. Last season’s first visit to Toyota Center saw a back-and-forth affair, with Dallas coming away with a 116-109 upset.
Houston could find it challenging to follow up its opening night victory, logging a 0-3-1 spread mark in its final four spots last year that came after wins of 10 points or more. The Rockets went just 15-for-24 at the free-throw line against Charlotte, while Harden went a cold 1-for-6 outside the arc.
Dallas had its share of success away from home last year at NBA betting windows, going 6-5 ATS in its first 11 matchups as a road dog. The additions of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon have already paid dividends for Rick Carlisle’s crew, while Ellis returns to “Clutch City” after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to last February’s 110-107 win as 8 ½-point road dogs over the Rockets.
Look for Ellis to put up big numbers again here, giving Dallas another cashed ticket in its 25-9 ATS run against Western Conference foes.
Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks +7 at Bet365