Warriors at Rockets Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 2/5/2013
It’s probably time to call Jeremy Lin what he is: a solid enough NBA player but not worthy of all the attention he receives. And it’s probably fair to say Houston might have a little buyer’s remorse – well, maybe not from a marketing perspective -- over signing Lin to a $25 million contract this offseason.
Lin has started all 49 games and averages 12.2 points, 6.7 assists and 2.04 steals a game, but his player efficiency rating of 14.3 is only 10th on the Rockets and not even as good as backup Patrick Beverley’s in his very limited action. Lin shoots only 43 percent from the field is lousy from long range (28.9 percent) and turns the ball over too much (his assists-to-turnovers ratio is 50th in the NBA, which is too low for a starting point guard). Beverley may see more much time on the court against Lin’s former Golden State Warriors team after Lin tweaked his ankle in Monday’s practice.
Tuesday’s game is the first of four regular-season meetings between the Warriors and Rockets. Houston needs every win it can get as it’s battling for the final playoff spot in the West.
Warriors at Rockets Betting Story Lines
If recent history is any indication, Lin will play although he’s being called a game-time decision. According to the Houston Chronicle, this is the third time that Lin has sprained his ankle at the end of a practice this season, and Lin played the next day the previous two times. If he can’t go, Toney Douglas would likely start with Beverley definitely playing after not getting a minute the past two games.
Meanwhile, Rockets swingman Carlos Delfino didn’t practice Monday after leaving Saturday’s game at halftime with a strained right elbow. The Argentine has been dealing with the elbow for a while but had played through it. He only played seven minutes on Saturday in a 109-95 win against Charlotte. Delfino averages 10.5 points per game and is the team’s top 3-point threat.
Houston enters this one having won four of five after preceding that by losing eight of nine. On Saturday, James Harden had the first triple-double of his career with 21 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Center Omer Asik, whom the Rockets stole from the Bulls thanks to a poison-pill clause in Asik’s offer sheet, had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Houston. Asik has been great, averaging 10.2 points and 11.4 boards this season. Thanks in large part to Asik, Houston has had six games this season with at least 50 rebounds, going 4-2 in those.
Golden State has won four straight as it tries to chase down the struggling Los Angeles Clippers for the Pacific Division lead. All-star snub Stephen Curry returned from missing two games due to an ankle injury Saturday with 29 points in a 113-93 blowout win over Phoenix. Curry was 6-for-10 from long range, the sixth game this season in which Curry hit six or more three-pointers while making at least 60 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. That easily leads the NBA.
The Warriors had 34 assists against the Suns and had four players (including Curry) with at least seven for the first time in franchise history. It’s the first time any NBA team has done that since November 2006. Curry wasn’t chosen an all-star despite being one of just three players who is averaging at least 20 points, six assists and four rebounds per game (LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are the others). Golden State’s lone all-star is David Lee, and you can’t argue with that as he leads the NBA with 31 double-doubles and is the only NBA player I averaging at least 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
The Warriors have reached 30 wins at the earliest point in the year since the 1975-76 team started 30-9. Not coincidentally, the team hasn’t lost since center Andrew Bogut returned from an ankle injury that cost the Aussie 38 games. The former Bucks No. 1 overall pick is averaging 10.3 points 6.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in his three games back. The team may not use him in the second of back-to-backs all season to keep Bogut healthy (this isn’t a back-to-back).
Warriors at Rockets NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Houston is a 2.5-point favorite at BetOnline with the total at 217. The Warriors are 27-19-1 ATS (14-10-1 on road) and 29-17-1 “over/under” (16-9 on road). Houston is 25-23-1 ATS (15-9 at home) and 26-23 O/U (14-10 at home).
Golden State is 2-5 ATS in its past seven games playing on two days of rest. The Warriors are 5-1 ATS in their past six Tuesday games. Houston is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 on two days of rest. The Rockets have covered nine of their past 11 after a win of more than 10 points. The over is 5-0 in Golden State’s past five road games. The over is 8-0 in Houston’s past eight home games against teams with a winning road record. The home team has covered seven of the past nine meetings. The under is 5-1 in the past six meetings in Houston.
Warriors at Rockets Picks and Betting Predictions
Golden State has lost eight straight games in Houston (1-7 ATS) and 14 of the past 16 meetings overall with the Rockets. But clearly this is a vastly different Warriors team. I was definitely leaning toward the over here before I saw that very high 217 number as Houston ranks No. 2 in the NBA in scoring and Golden State No. 7. Both rank in the bottom third of the league defensively.
The Warriors are the better team, but I have a feeling they might be looking past the Rockets a bit and toward Wednesday’s showdown in Oklahoma City. Golden State also hasn’t been all that great on the road of late. In the New Year, the Warriors’ lone road wins are at New Orleans, Toronto and Cleveland, three non-playoff teams. Give the points and take the under.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Get all of Today's NBA Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert NBA Picks