NBA Picks for Rockets vs. Spurs

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 1:41 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs will try to gain revenge from an earlier home loss against the Houston Rockets, as the two rivals meet on Christmas Day.

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this Western Conference matchup at the AT&T Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Alternating pattern

Houston has alternated wins and losses over its last eight games, as it comes off a 111-104 setback to the Dallas Mavericks as four-point home favorites Monday, while going OVER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.

The Rockets have played their last two games without leading scorer James Harden, who is listed as questionable with an ankle injury to return to the floor for this high-profile affair.

NBA handicappers will find that the franchise has covered its last four games following a SU loss.

Steady as ever

San Antonio continues to pile up wins during the Tim Duncan era, as it improved to 22-6 on the season with a 112-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors Monday, while going OVER the betting total for a fifth consecutive affair.

Duncan is averaging 13.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game—shooting 45.4 percent from the field.

The Spurs are 10-3 SU at home this season, including a 5-2 mark versus conference foes.

Life on the road 

NBA handicappers will take a long look at the Rockets in this spot, considering they’ve won the last two meetings in this series, including a 112-106 victory as 6.5-point road underdogs on Nov. 30.

Houston has split its first 14 games away from the Toyota Center during the 2013-14 campaign, including a 5-5 mark versus conference rivals.

Plenty in reserve

The Spurs are worthy home favorites in this matchup due to their bench—a group that entered its last game ranking second in the NBA in averaging 45.7 points per game.

San Antonio’s reserves have tallied nine games with 50-or-more points, including a season-high 65-point performance on Nov. 25.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers take a look at the revenge-minded Spurs in this affair for their NBA picks, but only if Harden is unable to suit up for the Rockets.

Houston is worth a look if its leading scorer lands in the starting lineup, as he’s averaged 31 points in his last three games in this series.