Suns' Injured Backcourt Makes Rockets -11.5 The Sharp NBA Pick

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 11:29 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2016 11:29 PM GMT

The Houston Rockets welcome the skidding Phoenix Suns to the Toyota Center in Houston Thursday night in a huge game for the hosts. Can the Rockets beat the NBA odds?

The Rockets are still fighting for that last Playoff spot in the Western Conference and lucky to get a team as beat-up and on a Losing Streak (7 games) heading into this contest. Let’s take a look at the L10 games in this series, any Streaks and Trends, examine the psychology for both teams here—with one having everything to play for and the other absolutely nothing—and provide two logical NBA picks for the scheduling spot.

 

Odds Overview
The Phoenix Suns (20-58 SU, 7-32 Road) head to the Toyota Center in Houston on Thursday night to face the Rockets (38-39 SU, 21-17 Home) in the third and final meeting of the season between these two Western Conference teams. Oddsmakers have opened the host Rockets as solid 13-point favorites (BetOnline) here with the game’s Total (Points) opening at 217 (Sportsbook.ag). The Rockets will be playing on 0 Days Rest (6-12-0 ATS) having had to play in Dallas on Wednesday night (ESPN, FS-Southwest, ROOT-Southwest, Directv 206, Directv 674, Directv 676; 9:35 p.m. EDT/6:30 p.m. PDT; DAL -2 NBA odds, 208½, Pinnacle).

Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns (22-45-0 ATS, 13-26-0 ATS Road) and Head Coach Earl Watson have L7 and are 2-8 in their L10 and have already been through one Head Coach (Jeff Hornacek) and have two key players Injured (PG Eric Bledsoe, SG Brandon Knight), so this is a team which has been waiting for next season for quite some team this Regular Season. Like, months. In their last game on Tuesday, the Suns lost at Atlanta to the Hawks, 103-90 after pulling out to a 38-28 lead after the 1st Quarter. But Phoenix would score just 18, 17 and 17 in the next three Quarters and lose for the 7th straight time and 58th this season. Not, so Sunny, eh?

Time to try to rise from the Ashes...again. Or at least try. Devin Booker (34 points), Ronnie Price (14 points) and Tyson Chandler (13 rebounds) did what they could for the Suns, but a 47-17 Hawks spurt which began in the 3rd Quarter absolutely buried Phoenix, which committed 8 TOs in a predictable sour 2nd Quarter in which the visitors also missed 6 FTs. On the Injury front for Phoenix, aforementioned PG Eric Bledsoe (Knee), SG Brandon Knight (Sports Hernia) and SF TJ Warren (Foot) are all Out for the Season while PF Jon Leuer (Ankle) has been ruled Out for this game.

 

Houston Rockets
Interim Head Coach JB Bickerstaff and Houston Rockets (34-43-0 ATS, 15-23-0 ATS Home) will need a Win here no matter what happens on Wednesday night against their rival Mavericks and this team has had just one nice run this Regular Season and has for the most part played pretty bad and sporadically and really don’t deserve a Postseason berth. Heading into action on Wednesday, Houston found itself in 9th place in the Western Conference, just ½ game behind the 8th-place Utah Jazz (39-39) for the final Playoff spot. The Rockets (106.0 AF-106.7 AA) have steadily seen their average Points Against per game climbing all season and a testament to the lack of Defense this team plays as well as the overall Tone and Culture of wanting to play better Defense.

In its last game (before Wednesday), Houston topped the Oklahoma City Thunder, 118-110 on Sunday here in Houston as James Harden (41 points) led the way for the hosts. After playing the Mavericks on Wednesday, the Suns in this game on Thursday, Houston (3-7 ATS L10 Home) will (luckily?) end the Regular Season with games against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings. SF Sam Dekker (Back) was listed as Questionable for the Rockets game against Dallas while PF Terrence Jones (Illness) has been ruled Out Indefinitely.

 

Recent Series Trends, Logical Reasoning and Picks
Dwight Howard, Jason Terry and the Rockets won both Regular Season meetings so far—both in Phoenix—116-100 on Feb. 19 (HOU -7½, 214, Over) and 111-105 on Feb. 4 (HOU -7½, 217½, Under)—so one would normally think finally playing your first Home game against an opponent on your Home-court would be a big edge, but it just doesn’t have that feel in Houston anymore as the SIU and ATS Records reveal. Trend-wise, the Under is 6-2 in the L8 Suns games vs the Western Conference, 26-9 in the L35 Phoenix Thursday games and 6-2 in the L8 Rockets games overall.

However, the over is 21-7 in Houston’s L28 vs the West. The Suns are a miserable 7-20 ATS in their L27 Road games, so in this particular situation, maybe backing the Rockets equally for small amounts in the 1st Half and Full Game is justified, despite the large amount of lumber to be laid. But remember 4 things: 1—It is the NBA; 2—The Rockets don’t need to win by 14, just Win;, 3—The Suns have nothing to lose in this spot and Houston has been awful ATS at Home; and, 4—13 is a lot of points.

Phoenix is just 2-6 ATS the L8 vs Houston and with their Backcourt decimated by Injuries, fading Phoenix and the Over are the only looks here. And as we wrote about here earlier this week, the Suns (13-26 ATS on Road) have been one of the worst ATS teams on the Road this season, winning its’ backers money at just a 33.3% clip. That stinks and would be worth trumpeting (and backing) more maybe of the Rockets haven’t been so bad themselves against the number (15-23 ATS) here at Home in Houston at the Toyota Center.

Predicted Final Score: Rockets 114 Suns 96

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NBA Picks: Rockets -11.5 & 1st Half
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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