Rockets Horrific Defense Make Spurs Our Sharp NBA Pick Tonight

Ted Sevransky

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 6:43 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 6:43 PM UTC

Let's take a look at this late Western Conference matchup between the Houston Rockets & the San Antonio Spurs, we break it down so we can get our sharp NBA pick for tonight.

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NBA Pick: Spurs -9.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs played their worst game of the season on Monday Night at Golden State. The biggest issue was handling the basketball, as San Antonio committed (by far) a season high with 26 turnovers, leading to 32 Warriors points. The Spurs allowed 120 points, the most they had given up in any game since the opening night of the season back in October, in a loss at Oklahoma City. And the 52% shooting they allowed was nearly 10% worse than their season average. That being said, much of Golden State’s offensive success came off those San Antonio turnovers, leading to easy buckets on the other end when the Spurs couldn’t get back quickly enough in transition.

San Antonio played without Tim Duncan in that contest, and they’re expected to be without Duncan again tonight. That being said, Tim Duncan is fully replaceable in Greg Popovich’s deep rotation. Prior to the loss against the Warriors without him, the Spurs had gone 7-0 SU, 6-1 against the NBA Odds in the seven previous games that Duncan had missed. On a normal night, San Antonio goes at least ten deep and Greg Popovich certainly isn’t shy about using the back end of his bench. Duncan’s presence would have helped them on Monday and it certainly won’t hurt them in any significant way tonight.

San Antonio did get LaMarcus Aldridge back on the floor in that loss to Golden State, but Aldridge wasn’t his usual self, producing his lowest point total in a game where he played 20 minutes or more since 2010! His postgame quote: “I was bad.”  But as soon as the game was over, the Spurs focus had already shifted. Manu Ginobili: “It's the (45th) game of the season. It's not like we're eliminated. We got our butts kicked, that's for sure. We need to be thinking more about Houston."

My knee-jerk reaction following a bad loss by the Spurs is to immediately look to bet on San Antonio in their next game. But that knee-jerk reaction is based on hard numbers, not some kind of ‘gut feeling’. San Antonio hasn’t just been good coming off a loss this year – they’re 100% perfect: 6-0 SU, 6-0 ATS. And they haven’t just beaten their opponents in that next game following a defeat– they’ve throttled them, winning by 27, 15, 10, 25, 15 and 22 points.

Houston is expected to get Dwight Howard back on the floor this evening following a four game absence. The Rockets were just fine without him, winning each of their last three. Howard scored 22 points and pulled down a dozen rebounds the last time the Rockets matched up with the Spurs earlier this month; part of a 50% shooting effort for Houston. It didn’t matter, as San Antonio got good looks against Houston’s horrific defense throughout, shooting 52% from the floor while hanging 121 points on JB Bickerstaff’s squad.  A similar result tonight would be no surprise to this bettor! Lay the points with the Spurs as the NBA pick.

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