Raptors vs. Rockets NBA Picks: Take Desperate Houston +1 At Home

Swinging Johnson

Friday, March 25, 2016 1:38 PM GMT

The Raptors saw their four-game winning streak snapped in Boston while the Rockets are in the midst of a three-game slide. Let’s review the NBA odds and determine which side is poised to cash tonight.

Toronto Raptors (48-22 SU, 37-32-1 ATS)
The Raptors are virtually entrenched as the second seed in the Eastern Conference with only 12 games remaining but they are within shouting distance of the top spot and a guaranteed home court advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Right now that distinction belongs to the Cleveland Cavaliers but after their stunning loss to the lowly Brooklyn Nets last night that lead has been shaved to just two games over Toronto, with the Raptors having two games in hand. Toronto has won seven of their last nine as they make their final push for Eastern Conference supremacy.

In their last outing on Wednesday night in Boston their Atlantic Division rivals suffocated the Toronto offense with a 91-79 victory. The defeat snapped a four game winning streak for the Raptors and delivered their second consecutive failed cover after a 105-100 win over the Magic as nine-point home favorites. Toronto played the Celtics even heading into the half but then the script flipped and Boston locked down on defense, limiting the Raptors to just 33 points the rest of the way. Toronto played without point guard Kyle Lowry who was resting a sore elbow while forward Patrick Patterson also sat, nursing a sore ankle for the second straight game.

 

Houston Rockets (35-37 SU, 31-41 ATS)
Things are getting mighty dicey in Houston as the Rockets stand on the precipice of playoff participant or playoff extinction. It has been a disappointing and frustrating year for the team and its fans but as the conclusion of the season is in sight, the very real possibility exists that the Rockets will be on vacation after the regular season ends. Houston is now tied with the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference but the good news is that if they can get on the right side of the ledger they are within striking distance of the sixth and seventh seeds currently held by Portland and Dallas respectively.

It is bad enough for their fans that Houston has dropped four of their last five but even worse for those who have backed the Rockets in their NBA picks that the team has also failed to cover the NBA odds in four of their last five as well. The worst loss of all had to be the gut wrenching defeat to their closest rivals on Wednesday night when they bowed 89-87 as two-point home chalk to the Utah Jazz. It was a bitter loss at a crucial moment in the season which left the team now tied with Utah for the final playoff slot.

 

Betting Analysis
The Raptors are 3-2 ATS over their last five contests against the Houston but the Rockets are 2-0 straight up and 1-1 ATS when those games are played in Houston. Dwight Howard has had a lackluster season and bucketed only five points against Utah where the team was outrebounded 48-32. But Howard can still be a force when the spirit moves him. He may also want redemption for his part in the Utah loss, against a foe in Toronto that will most likely be without Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson. Houston desperately needs this game while the Raptors are virtually assured of the second seed.

Here are a few stats to consider:

Toronto is 2-5 ATS over their last seven vs. a team with a losing record.

Houston is 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight at home against Toronto

Houston is 4-1 ATS in their last five Friday games.

Houston is 4-1 ATS in their last five versus the Atlantic Division.

The home team is 13-3-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings between the two clubs.

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NBA Pick: Rockets +1
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle