Streaking Rockets, Lakers to Cover vs. Struggling Opponents

rockets bucks

Troy Haliburton

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 4:56 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018 4:56 PM GMT

Houston shoots for its 17th consecutive win tonight at Milwaukee, while Orlando visits L.A. in a matchup of teams heading in opposite directions. Are the favorites the best plays?

NBA: Wednesday's Betting RundownRockets (33-29-1 ATS) vs. Bucks (25-34-5 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Rockets -6Best Line Offered: Bovada

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Houston extended its winning streak to 16 games by beating Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Not only are the Rockets scoring at an exceptional rate, they also have a top-10 defense according to efficiency ratings. Houston’s successful play on the defensive end comes from their versatile stable of athletic wing defenders such as Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute. They are the quintessential 3-and-D wings that teams need to slow offenses in the modern NBA.

Milwaukee was riding high after the firing of Jason Kidd, winning 12 of its first 13 games before going on its most recent slide and losing five of six. The Bucks have gone from contending for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference to fending off teams for the eighth seed and staying in the playoff picture. The road to recovery will not get easier for the Bucks, host the best and hottest team in basketball.

The Bucks already struggle trying to find offense outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s dribble-drive game, and with Houston’s stifling defenders I would not expect for the Greek Freak to get going in this contest. Another contributing factor in your NBA picks is that Milwaukee has one of the worst records ATS this season. That record won't improve tonight based on the NBA odds board.

The schedule gods did not do the Bucks any favors, and they will have to wait until their next game to get back on the winning track.

Magic (30-33-0 ATS) vs. Lakers (36-27-0 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Lakers -6Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The futures of these teams seem to be going in opposite directions, like two trains passing each other in the middle of the night. Orlando is stuck in limbo, as their latest effort to re-tool their roster around C-level free agents and late lottery picks has failed. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has a plethora of young, promising players to develop for the future.

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Lonzo Ball filled it up, posting 18 PTS, (career-high 6 3PM) 11 AST, 7 REB to guide the @Lakers to their 5th straight win!#LakeShow

— NBA (@NBA) March 4, 2018

The Lakers, with their recent surge, are quietly turning into one of the better bets for fans to get behind; they have the NBA's fifth-best record ATS. Part of the Lakers' resurgence has been the play of rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, who is looking more comfortable despite not having a consistent jumper. Ball is able to use his dynamic passing ability and unselfish play to get his teammates involved.

The Lakers lost to the Magic in embarrassing fashion 127-105 a little more than a month ago, but that was without Ball in the lineup. Now Ball is back, and Orlando does not really have a competent point guard to match up with him after they traded Elfrid Payton.

L.A., which has a 17-13 record ATS at home, is a 6-point favorite on tonight's NBA odds board. Smart bettors should use their NBA picks to continue to ride the wave while Ball is at the helm.

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