Rockets Set to Start New Streak vs. Division Rival Mavericks

Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:00 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 11, 2018 3:00 PM UTC

Houston's 17-game winning streak was snapped Friday in Toronto, but tonight they get to play against tanking Dallas in a much better spot for a road win.

Sunday NBA: Rockets vs. MavericksFree NBA Pick: Under 214Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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It could be difficult for Houston tonight if James Harden sits out because of a sore left knee. What Harden's likely absence does is turn an "under" play into an even better wager with your NBA picks. Obviously the Rockets’ offense takes a dip with Harden off the court; this season their offensive rating goes from 119.1 to 111.4 when the MVP candidate is out.

The Rockets are one of the best road defensive teams in the NBA. In tonight's divisional game, look for the score to be lower than the total on the NBA odds board. Houston ranks third-best with a 103.3 road defensive rating, and on the road in divisional games it drops to 102.0, according to NBA Stats.

Take a look at the last time these teams played in Dallas:

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All three of their meetings this season have gone "under" the total, and the Rockets have held the Mavericks to less than 98 points in their past two matchups.

Another reason to lean "under" is the probable pace of tonight's game. Even though they tend to be one of the faster offenses, the Rockets slow things down a lot against divisional opponents. Through five road divisional games this season, Houston has a pace of 96.28. Of those five games, the Rockets are 4-0-1 cashing the "under," and they are 8-2-1 cashing the "under" overall this season in divisional games.

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