This NBA handicapper expects that D-12 will be suiting up for the undefeated Houston Rockets (3-0) as they face the winless Philadelphia 76'ers in the city brotherly love. Here's how he will bet.
The Sixers have gotten more talented through the NBA Draft, but can they contend with James Harden and Dwight Howard is the question here? Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET tonight at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Please check out the availability of Dwight Howard later in the day through Twitter or a fantasy league site that provides injury reports as no official report was given on Howard's current status.
Multiple sportsbooks have declared the Rockets a 9.5 point betting favorite on the road and that tells me that Howard will play in tonight's matchup. Patrick Beverly's status is also uncertain, but since losing Chandler Parsons to the Dallas Mavericks, the Rockets are lacking in the size department and that's where Dwight Howard comes into play.
Take a look at our NBA Picks of the Day article for more Monday night plays.
So Many Picks But No Wins
I know that we're only 3 games into the season, but it looks like another losing campaign for a Sixers team that has been given a ton of draft picks. Last season, Nerlens Noel was the number 6 pick in the draft and was injured for the entire season. This season, Noel is able to play and Michael Carter- Williams is currently injured. The 76ers can't seem to get a break.
Noel, who is Charles Barkley's pick for NBA Rookie of the Year has shown glimpses of talent, but has been somewhat inconsistent. On the season, he's averaging 7.3 point and 8.3 rebounds while shooting less than 40 % from the field.
It's still early, so before placing your NBA pick tonight, remember that Noel is just 20 years old. He can't even bet in a casino. A matchup with Dwight Howard will prove to be tough one but a good barometer for where Noel is currently at. If indeed Howard plays, expect a big game from him. He banged knees with a teammate and his status is uncertain, but this is the type of matchup that Dwight Howard would love to take advantage of with his edge in experience.
Currently, Tony Wroten is the go to guy for the 76'ers and is attempting to keep this team afloat. Wroten has great size at the shooting guard position at 6 foot 6 and is a multi-faceted talented basketball player. He can score, rebound, dish the rock, and pick pockets.
On the season, Wroten is averaging 19 points, 7.7 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game. Wroten is coming off of a 21 point, 10 assist effort against the Miam Heat and when this team is at full strength, they wont be the joke of the league anymore. As for now, the Sixers are near the bottom of the league in scoring and have one of the worst defensive teams. This opens up the door for James Harden to pour in 30 points or more against an inexperienced, vulnerable basketball squad in front of their home fans.
"I'm the Best Player In the NBA"
James Harden must have forgotten about Lebron James and Kevin Durant, but those are the words that came out of his mouth. There's no doubt that Harden is a top 5 player in this league and that's good enough for the Houston Rockets to be a 50 plus win squad and be a threat in the playoffs.
Houston is without Chandler Parsons and turnover-plagued Jeremy Lin who has moved on to L.A. and they haven't seemed to miss a beat. Part of the reason why is the play of the play of power forward Terrence Jones. Jones' game mirrors Serge Ibaka's game, but while Ibaka might be better defensively, Jones has a much better touch offensively.
On the season, Jones is averaging a healthy 16.7 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. Aside from having great chemistry with James Harden, Jones is shooting nearly 60 % from the field and is coming off of a monster 25 point, 10 rebound effort in a win over Boston. This kid has future superstar written all over him. Look for Jones to play the supporting cast role well against the lowly Sixers.
Injuries with Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverly are a concern, but Houston is on a different level than the 76'ers, who have barely gotten their feet wet. Look for a big game from "Big Game James Harden" as the Rockets win by double figures on NBA odds and send the fans to an early exit.
Free NBA Pick: Houston at 5 Dimes