Western Rivalry: Back Talented Rockets -3 Our NBA Pick Over Clippers

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:30 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 4:30 PM UTC

The Clippers have now dropped three of their last four while the Rockets are lifting off at the right time, winning four of their last five. Let’s review the NBA odds.

Los Angeles Clippers (42-24 SU, 31-32-3 ATS)
If you have decided to hang your hat on the Clippers and back them in your NBA picks recently then you have my sympathies. LA has lost three of their last four and has failed to cover the NBA odds in all four of those contests. They are currently the fourth seed in the Western Conference standings but instead of nipping at the heels of the Oklahoma City Thunder to vie for the third spot they are now looking in their rearview mirror at the Memphis Grizzlies who are now only 3 ½ games back. While a losing streak is never welcome no matter what time of the season it is particularly daunting as the season winds into the homestretch.

On March 9th the Clips dribbled into Oklahoma City as six-point road dogs but were then blasted by the Thunder 120-108. The team then flew home to pick up a win over the woeful New York Knicks only to get buried 114-90 two nights later by King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last night the Clippers made their first stop of a five-game road trip in San Antonio and were devoured whole by the Spurs 108-87. Los Angeles continues to miss Blake Griffin as he works his way back from a fractured hand and now Paul Pierce who has been sidelined with a toe injury.


Houston Rockets (34-33 SU, 30-37 ATS)
The Rockets’ fortunes are running counter to those of the Clippers as we enter this Wednesday night tip off between two teams jockeying for a better seat at the postseason table. Houston has now won and covered the number in four of their last five culminating in a 130-81 destruction of the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night as 12-point home chalk. It was their most lopsided win of the season and one in which they never trailed.  James Harden, who had been worked like a rented mule logging 40 minutes or more in seven of his last 13 games, took advantage of the blowout by playing in just over 25 minutes before calling it a day.

Power forward Terrence Jones remains on the sidelines battling an upper respiratory infection while Michael Beasley sustained a cut on his eyelid that required five stiches just before the half of Monday night’s demolition of the Grizzlies. The Rockets now rank 4th in scoring, averaging 106.1 points per game but their defense continues to plague them, ranked 26th and allowing 106.6 points per contest. Yet in their four victories over their last five games Houston has limited their opponents to 97.5 points per game.


Betting Analysis
This is the fourth and final regular season matchup between these two Western Conference rivals. Houston won the first two games, both as underdogs, while the Clips prevailed in a shootout in LA back on January 18th by the score of 140-132. But the Rockets are finally finding their mojo and lately focusing more on defense. The home team has covered six of the last eight meetings between these two clubs and when last they met in Houston it was the Rockets who drew away with a 107-97 decision. Let’s also note that the Clippers are playing their second game in a row on the road after getting blown out last night to the Spurs.


Los Angeles is:
1-4 against the spread in their last five Wednesday games
1-4 against the spread over the course of their last five games overall.


Houston is:
5-1 against the spread in their last six games vs. a team with a .600 or greater winning percentage.
4-1 against the spread over the course of their last five games overall.
7-2 against the spread in their last nine games vs. a team with a winning record.

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NBA Pick: Rockets -3 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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