Thunder at Rockets Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 2/20/2013
The Oklahoma City Thunder return to action this Wednesday night to face off against the Houston Rockets with both teams coming off the extended all-star break. Tip off from the Toyota Center is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
The Thunder went into the all-star break on a losing note with back-to-back losses to Utah and Miami both straight up and against the spread. This followed a four-game winning streak in which they covered each time. The total has gone “over” in four of their last five games.
Houston went 2-3 SU in its last five games before the break but is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games. All three losses came on the road as the Rockets are 4-0 SU and ATS in their last five home games. The total has gone over in five of their last six games overall.
Thunder at Rockets Betting Storylines
Oklahoma City now trails San Antonio by 2.5 games for the top spot in the Western Conference with an overall record of 39-14 SU (31-20-2). It is 16-10 SU on the road this season and 13-11-2 ATS. It heads into the stretch run of the regular season as one of the more healthy teams in the league and in prime position to make a serious run at a No.1 seed for the playoffs.
The key to winning Wednesday’s matchup remains in the hands of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They continue to be the highest-scoring duo in the league with Durant putting up an average of 29.2 points a game and Westbrook chipping in another 22.6 points. Another plus has been Kevin Martin’s 15 points off the bench to go along with Serge Ibaka’s 13.4 points and team-high 7.9 rebounds a game. Overall, the Thunder are the second-highest scoring team in the league with 106 points a game.
Houston continues to revolve primarily around the play of James Harden. He actually tweaked his ankle in a Feb.12 win over Golden State but is listed as probable for this game. Harden is averaging 26.1 points a game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from three-point range. Chandler Parsons is scoring 14.5 points a game, and Jeremy Lin leads the team in assists (6.2) while adding another 12.6 points.
With a total of six different players scoring in double figures, the Rockets lead the NBA in points per game with 106.1 while shooting 46.2 percent from the field. The problem all season long has been a defense that is ranked near the bottom of the NBA in points allowed in giving up an average of 103.3 points a game.
Thunder at Rockets NBA Betting Odds and Trends
The Thunder are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss and 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 games against the Southwest Division. The total has gone over in four of their last five games against a team with a winning record.
The Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a SU loss but just 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games against the Northwest Division. The total has gone over in nine of their last 13 games at home.
The home team in this series is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings, and the total has stayed under in seven of the last 10 games played in Houston. Oklahoma City is 2-5 ATS in its last seven trips there but came away with a 124-94 rout as a 4.5-point road favorite earlier this season.
Thunder at Rockets Picks and Betting Predictions
Past trends in this matchup may not be in their favor, however these are the kind of road games that the Thunder know they need to win in order to keep pace with the Spurs. Both teams are well-rested and relatively injury-free, so look for another high-scoring affair that will test the limits of an unusually high total line. In the end, Oklahoma City raises its record this season to a perfect 3-0 both SU and ATS over the Rockets with the win.
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