Clippers & Rockets kick off game 3 in L.A., with the hosts looking to take back the momentum at home. Can Clippers come through as the considerable home faves on the NBA odds board?
Clippers Look To Bounce Back
After stealing a road win in the opening game of this series in Houston, the Clippers slipped to a 115-109 defeat on Wednesday night. Now, with the teams all square in the series, the Clippers will try to bank on home advantage and take the 2-1 lead over the Rockets as game 3 gets underway on Friday night.
As it stands on the NBA odds board, the Clippers are the hefty -185 faves to win straight up and the 4.5-point home chalk. A market stance that is underscored by their 7-1 SU record and 5-3 ATS record at home in their last eight home games with the Rockets.
Game 2's loss wasn't down to a bad account by the Clippers per se. On the contrary, they played rather well and Blake Griffin had a monster 34 points in the game. However, they did run out of steam in the second half and Houston capitalised. Simply put they were determined to make a fist of it and they proved to be successful.
Rockets Roll Into LA
The Rockets wrestled game 2 off of the Clippers to get back into the series before going on the two-game road stretch to Los Angeles. James Harden was clutch for the Rockets as he posted 32 points in the Rockets' 115-109 win on Wednesday. Dwight Howard also stepped up with 24 points and 16 rebounds while Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Rockets trailed by three points only for them to rally and take the lead, after which they never looked back. It was a pivotal win at home by the Rockets that could prove series-defining. Certainly, they are in a much better position than they were after the opening game. The overriding question NBA bettors are contemplating is whether they can take that intensity and form on the road and steal one from the LA Clippers on their turf. If the NBA odds were any indication, their chances are rather slim at +165 to win straight up. They are also trading as the 4.5-point road pups.
NBA Betting Verdict
The NBA betting line on this game is rather lopsided, which belies just how tight this series is after two games. In fact, it's a bit of a tossup, despite the NBA odds.
Right now the Rockets have the momentum and that makes them a tempting NBA pick as the hefty +165 underdogs. That said momentum often can be fleeting commodity in the playoffs. The first two games are case-and-point. So, it could easily oscillate back towards the Clippers with home advantage in game 3.
If there's one thing that tips the scale towards the Clippers on our NBA picks it's the report that Chris Paul might be back in the line up tonight. That's great news for the Clippers and their fans, and it certainly does improve their chances to take back the lead as the -185 home faves.
So, while we're shading the home faves on our NBA picks to win straight up we think the Rockets are going to be up for it and give as good as they get. So look for the Rockets to cover as the 4.5-point road pups.
NBA Picks: Clippers at -185 at The Greek to win a close game and Rockets to cover +4.5 as they lose by a basket or two.