With Rockets’ Offense Fizzling, Go ‘Under’ at Spurs Saturday

Matthew Jordan

Friday, November 9, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

Just one nationally televised NBA game on Saturday opposite all the college football, and it’s the first meeting of the season between the Rockets and Spurs.

Houston (4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS) at San Antonio (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS)Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)Free NBA Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The San Antonio Spurs were supposed to take a step backward this season after trading superstar Kawhi Leonard to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, etc., in the summer. Apparently, the Spurs weren’t listening to all the detractors because they got off to a 6-2 start.

However, the fade might be coming. On Sunday, the Spurs were 117-110 home losers to the Magic – that’s really not an acceptable defeat, although it was in the second of a back-to-back. Then on Wednesday, San Antonio scored a season-low 88 points in a seven-point defeat in Miami. It’s the first time this year that the Spurs have dropped two in a row, and they look to avoid No. 3 on Saturday night vs. Houston before heading out on a road trip.

San Antonio has won 10 of the past 15 meetings vs. Houston, but three of its losses came last season. The Rockets averaged 104.5 points in taking three of four and the Spurs 98.3 ppg. Houston made more free throws in the four games (76) than San Antonio even attempted (74). James Harden averaged 27.3 points and 7.8 assists and Clint Capela 14.0 points and 10.8 rebounds. Lamarcus Aldridge led the Spurs in putting up 18.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg.

Houston has won two of its past four in San Antonio after losing the previous four in the Alamo City.

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Derrick droppin' dimes in his first game back 🎯 pic.twitter.com/j6D4GcB6ct

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 8, 2018
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Both Off Ugly Losses

DeRozan has been better than the Spurs could have hoped as he’s putting up 26.4 points, 6.8 assists and 6.4 rebounds. The latter two could be career highs, and DeRozan’s player efficiency rating of 24.91 is 17th in the NBA. He has an “estimated wins added” total of 2.6, which is seventh in the NBA.

The Spurs are really thin at point guard after losing Tony Parker in free agency and Dejounte Murray to a torn ACL, but help arrived in Wednesday’s loss to the Heat. Derrick White made his season debut off a plantar fascia problem. Gregg Popovich started him immediately, and White was scoreless in 16 minutes with three assists. Both Pau Gasol (foot) and Rudy Gay (heel) missed it due to injury and it’s not yet clear if they will play Saturday. Gay is third on the team in scoring (13.3) and second in rebounding (7.9). Gasol hasn’t been a huge factor off the bench.

Houston had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 98-80 loss in Oklahoma City on Thursday – easily the fewest points scored by the Rockets this year and their third in a row at 94 or under. And OKC didn’t even have Russell Westbrook. Harden led with 19 points, and the bench was essentially worthless. Carmelo Anthony, who officially sucks these days, was 1-for-11 for 2 points and a minus-22 rating.

It didn’t help Houston’s bench that Eric Gordon (right adductor strain) didn’t play for a third straight game. Coach Mike D’Antoni did say Gordon was “getting close.” He’s the only player worth a damn on the second unit. The Rockets are just 26th in the league in offensive rating (103.9 points per 100). Shocking.

  • Under is 8-3 in Rockets last 11 road games.
  • Under is 5-1 in Spurs last 6 vs. a team with a losing record.

San Antonio is still a pretty good defensive team, while the Rockets just aren’t themselves offensively. Perhaps no Gordon or Gay again. Thus, we like ‘under’ for a Saturday NBA pick. It’s 4-1 in the past five meetings.

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