NBA Picks: Trail Blazers vs. Rockets

PJ Laferla

Friday, February 8, 2013 2:00 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 2:00 PM GMT

Two teams vying for a playoff spot will clash on the court this evening, as the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets go at one another for a much needed win, but will the straight up winner also cash in for us bettors?

Find out below which way our NBA Picks selection is heading for this contest.

Trail Blazers Battle Rockets

The Portland Trail Blazers (25-24 SU, 10-14 ATS away) will be on the road this evening, as they challenge the Houston Rockets (27-24 SU, 16-8 ATS home) in battle between a couple of Western Conference teams gunning for the 8th and final playoff seed.

This game is set to tip off at 8:05 PM EST from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and can be seen live on television, with local broadcast coverage provided by Comcast SportsNet.

As it stands right now, the current NBA odds for this contest has the home team favored by -7 points, which makes sense given their recent ATS success at the Toyota Center (see below).

Plenty of offense is always expected when the Rockets are involved in a game, which explains why the over/under total is way up there at 211 ½ points.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers have been treading water all season and as a result are on the outside looking in at the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

However, tonight, on the road, Portland could gain some ground and make a statement by beating the Houston Rockets, who is currently the eighth seed and owns a one game lead over the Trail Blazers for that much coveted spot.

Unfortunately, Portland has not been able to get the job done on the road this season, as they are just 8-16 SU and 10-14 ATS when playing away from the Rose Garden.

The Trail Blazers are an impressive 11-5-1 ATS in their last 16 games played on a Friday, though they are only 1-4-1 ATS in their last six matchups versus the Rockets.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets are a team that is one-sided and built solely on it offense, with very little defense to be played, as is reflective by their statistical numbers.

Houston owns the second rated offense in the NBA, averaging 105.8 points scored per game, but defensively, they are giving up nearly 103 per contest, which ranks way down the bottom on the chart at 27th in the league.

That said, the Rockets have been getting the job done for us bettors lately. In fact, they are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 on their home floor.  Even more impressive than those numbers is their 13-3 ATS mark following a game where they covered the point spread.

The Total

We can expect a lot of offense in this contest, as both teams have been going over the posted total as of late. Portland is over in five of their last seven games played on the road and the Rockets have eclipsed the total in 8 of their last 11 home games.

[gameodds]5/217464/43/us[/gameodds]

The Pick

At first look, the +7 with Portland seems attractive, but they have looked awful at times on the road this season and having to go up against the Rockets and their high-octane offense at the Toyota Center could spell trouble for the Trail Blazers.

Lay the chalk with the Rockets for your sports picks in this one, as I expect them to run the Trail Blazers off the court.

NBA Free Picks: Rockets -7

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