James Harden is on a roll right now and just dominated the Trail Blazers despite his team losing. Will he be able to do similar things to the Suns tonight? Check out our NBA odds preview.
Odds makers are expecting a closely-contested game tonight, as they've listed the Suns as just 1.5-point favorites on the NBA betting odds.
We should see a lot of offense in this one, and that's backed up by a very high total of 214.5 points. Look for James Harden and Eric Bledsoe to have a lot of fun in tonight's game, going back and forth trying to one up each other.
The Suns have hit a wall as of late and have struggled to put together any kind of consistency. They've lost four of their last five games to drop to 29-24 overall on the year. We've still got a long ways to go before the playoffs arrive, but any kind of losing run could have a big effect on the overall landscape in the Western Conference, as both the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder are right on Phoenix's tail.
During this recent losing run, the Suns have lost to the Warriors, Grizzlies, Trail Blazers and Kings, so for the most part the defeats have come against some of the better teams out there. They've also sprinkled in a home win over Utah in there, which moved them to 16-10 on their own court for the season, a far better record than what they've recorded on the road (13-14).
Eric Bledsoe missed the team's latest loss to the Kings because of the birth of his child, but he's expected to be back with the team for tonight's contest against James Harden and the Rockets. The Suns most certainly will need all the firepower they can get to keep up with a talented Houston bunch.
Despite a loss to Portland their last time out, the Rockets are still a solid 6-2 over their last eight contests, a run which has seen them improve to 35-16 overall. That's good for the third seed in the highly competitive West, which is an impressive feat considering how much time star center Dwight Howard has missed this season.
Let's talk about Houston's recent defeat to the Trail Blazers at home, as we saw quite the heroic effort out of James Harden. He had 45 points on 11-of-15 shooting (4-of-10 from three, 19-of-23 from the line) and added nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals in what one of the best all-around games we've seen out of anyone thus far this NBA season. Harden accounted for nearly half of his team's points (45 of 98) and ultimately he needed more help from his supporting cast.
Houston now heads on the road for a couple road games here tonight and then tomorrow (against the Clippers) before the All-Star break. Harden and company would love to add two more wins to their tally before the lengthy layoff.
A play on the spread worries us a little, as we don't feel confident in either side.
At first glance, you kind of want to take the Suns at home because of that short number, but they've been playing poorly lately, and the Rockets aren't any slouches. With that in mind, we're going to switch gears and recommend the OVER, yes even in spite of the fact we see an incredibly high number on the board.
Both teams rank in the top seven in points scored per game, with the Suns in fifth and the Rockets in seventh. Even with Howard on the sidelines, Houston has more than enough depth to not skip a beat offensively, especially with the way Harden's been performing.
Tonight we look for an up-tempo game from start to finish, and therefore we'll add the OVER to our NBA picks for the day.
NBA Pick: OVER 214.5 at BetOnline