Rockets' Resiliency, Record on Road & Bounce-Back Rate Earns NBA Pick vs. Suns

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 3:57 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 3:57 PM UTC

When the Houston Rockets visit the Phoenix Suns tonight, NBA odds makers have set the pointspread to 2 points with the total at 215.5. Find out where the best betting value is to be had.

Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns (-2) 8:05 ET TNT TV
At 8:05 ET, the Houston Rockets visit the Phoenix Suns for a Western Conference showdown on TNT TV.  Entering tonight’s action, Phoenix clings to the 8th and final playoff spot in the West with a record of 29-24 SU.  Houston currently occupies 3rdplace in the Western playoff queue with a mark of 35-16 SU but are the underdogs in tonight's NBA odds.  The Rockets narrowly lead Portland by ½ game for that position. Each team knows that, in what will surely be a hotly contested playoff race, every game is important.  

Look for Phoenix to leave nothing in the bag tonight, as this is their final game before the All-Star break.  The Suns have recently played well on this floor with a 3-1 SU, 4-0 ATS mark.  But when facing superior teams on this court of late, Phoenix has lost to Memphis, LA Clippers and the Houston Rockets.  In all, Phoenix is just 1-4 SU of late, shooting just 41% in that timeframe.  Phoenix is a perimeter oriented team with their strength at shooting guard behind the prowess of Dragic, Bledsoe, and Thomas.  With Dwight Howard expected to miss his 8th consecutive game for the Rockets, it would appear that Phoenix could play Houston on even terms on the interior, then dominate the proceedings from the guard position.  

But, the Rockets have barely skipped a beat in the absence of Howard.  They have gone 5-2 SU of late without Howard in the lineup.  Key replacement has been Motiejunas, who has averaged 17 PPG and 7 boards in the previous 5 games.  It has also helped that newly acquired Josh Smith has averaged 12 points and 9 boards without Howard in the lineup.  These teams have played twice already this season with Houston capturing both battles.  This has extended the Houston series dominance to 4-0 SU ATS, dating back to last season.  It must not be ignored that Houston is one of the premier road teams in the NBA.  The Rockets stand 17-8 SU on the road, a number eclipsed by only conference leaders, Atlanta and Golden St., who have 18-7 SU marks.  Also carrying weight in this NBA pick is the fact that Houston comes off an embarrassing 109-98 home loss to Portland on Sunday.  Note that the Rockets are an NBA best 12-3 ATS (80%) when playing off a loss.  

Even without Howard in the lineup, look for the Rockets’ road ability and resiliency to result in an outright victory on the home court of Phoenix tonight!

NBA Picks: Take Houston Rockets at 5Dimes 

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