Rockets Look Ripe Versus Short-Handed Sixers

Thursday, March 7, 2019 11:59 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019 11:59 PM UTC

The Houston Rockets have their top players healthy. The Philadelphia 76ers are missing a few good men. Houston should be the right NBA pick this Friday.

<p style="text-align:right;"><em><strong>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 6: </strong><br />18-15-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 23-9 Totals</em></p><h2 style="text-align:center;">Philadelphia (41-24 SU, 31-34 ATS) at Houston (39-25 SU, 29-33-2 ATS)</h2><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN<br />Free NBA Pick: Rockets ATS<br />Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook!">5Dimes</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3570049, "sportsbooksIds":[238,93,19,1096,999996], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Did you get to see Joel Embiid when he started out with the Kansas Jayhawks? That might end up being the peak of his career. Embiid (plus-3.4 BPM) has played very well for the Philadelphia 76ers since turning pro, earning two All-Star nods in his first three seasons, but injuries have kept the big man from being all that he can be. The latest malady: a sore left knee that’s kept Embiid out of the last seven games.<br /><br />Better make it eight. Embiid has already been ruled out of <a href="" target="_blank" title="Philadelphia - Houston Betting Odds">Friday’s road game against the Houston Rockets</a>, and that makes Houston the right choice for our <a href="" target="_blank" title="More NBA Picks">NBA picks</a> – even if we’re still waiting for those pesky odds to come down the wire as we go to press. Come on, odds, keep up with us here.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Born On The Bayou</strong></h2><p>To be honest, our first thought here are the ranch was to take the ‘under.’ <a href="" target="_blank" title="Gimme A Break: Take ‘Under’ For Tired Sixers, Bulls">That was the right pick</a> the last time we looked at the Sixers – <a href="" target="_blank" title="Put The ‘Under’ In Your NBA Picks for Warriors-Sixers">and the time before that</a>. But there were extenuating circumstances for those picks. Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls saw both teams playing on zero days of rest, and Tuesday’s game was against the Golden State Warriors, who are both short-handed and not terribly invested in these regular-season games.</p><p>The Rockets are a different animal. They’ve got the ‘over’ at 19-11-1 this year playing at home, with the league’s second-best offense (112.0 points per 100 possessions) and No. 23-ranked defense (109.6 points allowed/100). So forget that. We have some confidence in Houston’s ability to beat the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Live NBA Odds Board">NBA odds</a>; they’re 16-14-1 ATS at home this year, and overall, they’re on a nice run at 6-0 SU and 3-2-1 ATS, while the Sixers are 13-18 ATS on the road and 3-4 ATS since Embiid got hurt again.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;James Harden's 38-game run to carry the Rockets from an 11-14 14th seed to a 39-25 3rd seed:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;40.4 points&lt;br /&gt;7.1 assists&lt;br /&gt;7.1 rebounds&lt;br /&gt;2.2 steals&lt;br /&gt;1.0 blocks&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;No matter who wins MVP, Harden's season is the one people are going to remember and still be talking about 10+ years from now.&lt;/p&gt;— Rob Kimbell (@RobKSports) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;6 de março de 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><strong>Raging Harden</strong></h2><p>It’s not just Embiid, either. Boban Marjanovic (plus-1.9 BPM) is still out for the Sixers, leaving them thin at center against a Houston team that has Clint Capela (plus-2.1 BPM) lying in wait. Granted, the Rockets could be without PF Kenneth Faried (plus-0.3 BPM) and SG Iman Shumpert (minus-0.7 BPM), both of whom are listed as day-to-day, but we can live with that.</p><p>Did we mention the Rockets have the league’s reigning MVP in James Harden (plus-11.0 BPM)? They’ve also got Chris Paul (plus-2.2 BPM), who appears to have two working hamstrings at the moment. Combined with Capela, they make a legitimate Big Three that just might win the title this year. Until Embiid comes back for the Sixers and rejoins Ben Simmons (plus-4.2 BPM) and Jimmy Butler (plus-3.2 BPM), they can’t make the same claim. Let’s profit from it while we can.</p>
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