A Western Conference showdown between the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets takes place at the Toyota Center on Thursday night.
The Blazers are 9-7 to start the year while the Rockets have a mirror 7-9 mark. The Blazers have lost two of their last three games which they have played without starting shooting guard C.J. McCollum. Portland is also without starters Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington. The Rockets are 3-1 since trading James Harden and could see leading scorer Christian Wood return after a three-game absence.
The Portland Trail Blazers are 9-7 SU on the season and they are in third place in the Northwest Division, four games behind leader Utah. The Blazers occupy the 5th spot in the Western Conference and they head to his game coming off a 125-122 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Damian Lillard leads the Blazers in scoring and passing. Dame is putting up 28.7 points and 7.0 assists per game. Carmelo Anthony, Gary Trent Jr., and Enes Kanter are scoring in double digits but none of them are averaging at least 13 points per game. Kanter is having a double double season with also 10.1 rebounds per game while Robert Covington is averaging 1.4 steals per game.
Portland is the 5th highest-scoring team in the NBA at 115.4 points per game. They are 19th in rebounding at just 43.9 boards grabbed per contest and are next to last in passing at 21.3 dimes per outing. The Blazers also have the 5th worst scoring defense in the league at 116.3 points per game allowed.
The Houston Rockets are 7-9 SU on the season and they are in third place in the Southwest Division. Houston is currently out of the playoff picture at no. 12 in the West. After a rough start, the Rockets head to this home game with three straight victories. In their last game, the Rockets blasted the Washington Wizards 107-88.
Christian Wood leads Houston in scoring and rebounding at 23.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Wood has missed the last three games due to an ankle injury but says that he will return on Thursday. Eric Gordon is putting up 18.0 PPG while John Wall is scoring 17.9 PPG this year. Victor Oladipo has scored at least 20 in three of four games played and the Rockets are 3-1 in their four games since trading James Harden.
Houston is 18th in the league in scoring at 110.5 points per game. They are tied for 19th in rebounding at 43.9 board grabbed per outing and are only 24th in passing at 22.7 dimes per contest. The Rockets have the NBA’s 12th best scoring defense at only 109.9 points per game conceded this season.
The Blazers are 6-3 SU in their last nine games played. Portland is 4-2 in six road games played this season, and 5-1 SU in their last six games against the Southwest Division. The Rockets are 7-13 SU in their last 20 games played. Houston is 2-3 SU in their last five games played, 4-1 SU in their last five Thursday games, and 4-2 SU in their last six games as the betting favorite. Head to head, the Blazers are 5-1 SU in their last six games played against the Rockets.
Injuries have plagued the Blazers at this stage of the season. They are without Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic, Robert Covington, and C.J. McCollum. McCollum was Portland’s leading scorer when he got hurt and while they still have Lillard, defenses will be able to focus on stopping Dame.
The Rockets are starting to play together. Houston has picked up three straight wins and their last two victories have been by blowout. Eric Gordon has scored at least 20 points in their last five games while Victor Oladipo has put up at least 20 in three of his four games as a Rocket.
Portland is just 1-2 since C.J. McCollum got hurt. They just got beaten by an OKC team that lost three in a row before playing Portland. Houston is on a roll right now and with Eric Gordon and Victor Oladipo delivering big scoring games. Christian Wood is expected to return here. The Blazers are starting to feel the damage of losing three starters to injury. Give me the home team here to come up victorious
Portland is 1-4 ATS in their last five games played. The Blazers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games played on the road, 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after two days rest, and 22-10 ATS in their last 32 games on Thursday. Houston is 7-13 ATS in their last 20 games played. The Rockets are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win, 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games against an opponent with a winning record, and 1-5 ATS in their last six home games against an opponent with a road winning percentage of greater than .600. Head to head, the Blazers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings against the Rockets.
The Blazers are without three starters here in Nurkic, McCollum, and Covington. Portland has dropped three out of their last five games as the injury bug is slowly taking its toll on the team. The Rockets meanwhile have won three in a row and are starting to play better as a team. Christian Wood is expected to return after a three-game absence. I think that that the Rockets have more firepower here and the home team is going to win the game plus cover the spread here. Houston hasn’t covered spreads well as of late but for this one, it’s just three points which they can easily cover if Christian Wood returns.
Prediction: Rockets -4
The total has gone over in four out of the last six games played by the Blazers. Portland has seen the total go over in 17 out of their last 24 road games, and 11-5 in their last 16 games as the betting underdog. The total has gone under in each of the Rockets’ last four games against an opponent with a winning SU record. The under is also 10-2-1 in their last 13 games overall, 9-1-1 in their last 11 games as home favorites, and 5-1 in their last six games after an SU win. Head to head, the total has gone under in seven out of the last nine meetings between these two teams. The under is also 4-1 in the last five meetings in Houston.
Whenever you have Portland, you have a high-scoring game. The Blazers are the 5th highest-scoring team in the league and have the 5th worst scoring defense in the league. The Rockets meanwhile, have a Top 12 defense and are in the bottom half in scoring. Portland is without three starters here and while they are coming off a 122 point scoring effort against the Thunder, OKC has the 8th worth defense in the league. Against a better defensive team in Houston, the Blazers aren’t going to score too many points to his the over.
Prediction: Under 227.5
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