The NBA odds are definitely close, as the Rockets are favored by only 2.5 points (a spread of two can also be found at a few sportsbooks) right now. The O/U looks to be settling in the range of 217.5 to 218.
Will Houston (27-15 SU, 20-20-2 ATS) get the best of Portland (31-9 SU, 24-16 ATS) tonight, or do we believe that the value lies in backing the Trail Blazers with our NBA picks?
Portland Trail Blazers
If you didn't already believe it, are you starting to think the Trail Blazers are for real? They're showing no signs of slowing down – just ask San Antonio and Dallas.
In the win over Dallas two nights ago, the Trail Blazers were unstoppable. They out-scored the Mavericks 31-12 on the fast break and 60-38 in points in the paint. At one point Portland was winning by as many as 31 points before Dallas made the score more respectable in the closing minutes.
LaMarcus Aldridge was his usual dominant self, scoring 30 points (11-of-18 FG) with 12 rebounds, three steals and a block. Robin Lopez came through with 16 points, 12 boards and three blocks and Damian Lillard put up a 14/10/5 line.
With the win, the Trail Blazers moved to a very impressive 15-5 SU and 13-7 ATS on the road. Another huge test awaits tonight.
The Rockets are still playing good basketball and will enter tonight having won four of their last five and six of their past eight.
That being said, the schedule has been mighty kind to James Harden and company. Their three wins came over struggling teams in the Knicks, Lakers and Bucks and they were fortunate to play the likes of the Celtics, Pelicans, Wizards and Hawks on the road.
We're going to get a much better idea of just how good this Houston team is tonight.
On Saturday, the Rockets took care of Milwaukee in a 114-104 victory, falling just short of a cover as massive 13.5-point underdogs. Terrence Jones was a man possessed, posting his best game of his young career. He had 36 points and 11 rebounds in a team-high 38 minutes, with Harden (22/4/4) and Dwight Howard (20 points and 14 boards) also showing up big.
Houston improved to 16-6 SU for the season, but they dropped to 10-10-2 ATS. They're likely to get a key guy back tonight though, as Patrick Beverley (hand) appears set to return after missing 15 games.
Be sure to check out our NBA Picks of the Day article for more free plays.
This is sure to be a very entertaining game, as we've got a lot of talent on the floor in Harden, Howard, Aldridge and Lillard. Which group will win out?
Well, we're not about to go against these red-hot Trail Blazers. They're on a complete roll right now and are coming out extremely focused each and every game. We don't expect them to be intimidated whatsoever.
At 13-7 ATS on the road this season, Portland has treasured performing at the highest level in difficult environments. Expect the Trail Blazers to add another impressive win to their resume against a Rockets squad that's prone for letdowns here and there.
Pick: Portland Trail Blazers +2.5