Houston Rockets (15-14) vs Miami Heat (13-15)Date : 12/20/2018
Time : 8:00 pm EST
Location : American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Houston Rockets vs Miami Heat
The Houston Rockets will travel to American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, to battle the Miami Heat on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Heat come into this matchup winners of their last two games as they picked up a victory over the New Orleans Hornets on the road in their last outing as Josh Richardson struggled from the field yet led the team with 22 points on 9 – 20 shooting on the night while Hassan Whiteside ended with 17 points along with 12 rebounds in the much-needed victory for the Heat.
On the other hand, the Houston Rockets have won four straight games with their defense continuing to be the tip of the spear in their success as they allowed the Utah Jazz to shoot only 39% from the floor in their last outing at Toyota Center while the visitors only shot 28% from three-point range on the night. On the other hand, James Harden went 14-31 from the field while ending with 47 points to lead the Houston Rockets in scoring along with six rebounds and five assists in the win where the Rockets shot a dismal 37% from the floor.
Houston Rockets's Latest Performance :
James Harden has put up 30 or more points in four of his last five outings, overall. Furthermore, he has had a double-double in two of his last three outings as he will be looking to lead the Houston Rockets to yet another win on the road versus the Miami Heat in their matchup on Thursday night. Harden was certainly the headliner in the Rockets last outing as he put up 47 points while having 14 rebounds as the Rockets shot 37% from the field while connecting on 12 3-pointers as PJ Tucker went four of seven from long-range while ending with 16 points while Chris Paul ended with 11 points along with nine assists on 3 – 10 shooting from the field.
The excellent part for Houston is that they only allowed the Utah Jazz to shoot 39% on the night along with 28% from three-point range, overall, as Donovan Mitchell led the team with 23 points while Rudy Gobert had 18 in the loss for Utah. On the other hand, the Houston Rockets allowed less than 100 points for their second straight game as they will seek to continue this momentum on the defensive end while Harden seeks to continue his scoring streak versus the Miami Heat in their upcoming matchup.
Miami Heat 's Latest Performance :
After a six-game road trip to where the Miami Heat won four of those outings, they now return home, to where four of their next five games will be held, in which to face off versus a hot Houston Rockets team that have won four games in a row. And while the offense for Miami remains to be a big stagnant at this point, their defense has certainly been the tip of the spear in allowing them to win ball games recently as they are only allowing teams to put up an average of 99 points per game in their last six games, total. In fact, the Miami defense has allowed teams to score less than 100 points in four of their last six games, overall.
This was certainly the case in their last matchup versus the New Orleans Pelicans as New Orleans ended the game with 96 points while shooting 40% from the field as Anthony Davis led the team with 27 points, 12 rebounds, along with seven assists while Jrue Holiday went 4-8 from long-range while chipping in 22 points on 8-19 shooting from the field. Miami did not shoot well from the field at 41%, however, hit 10 three-pointers on the night as Dwyane Wade went 3-6 from long range while ending with 19 points along with six rebounds while Josh Richardson went 9-20 from the floor on the night while leading the team with 22 points along with four turnovers.
Goran Dragic will be doubtful for this game with a knee injury for Miami while Justise Winslow will also be questionable with a knee injury. Nonetheless, Miami will go into this game versus the Houston Rockets looking to pick up a much-needed victory as they will certainly be looking to continue their winning ways. On the other hand, the Houston Rockets will like to maintain their current defensive efficiency by neutralizing an already shorthanded offense for Miami while also picking up there fourth straight win.
How Houston Rockets & Miami Heat Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Houston is 12 – 16 – 1 ATS while the OU is 16 – 13
Miami is 15 – 14 ATS while the OU is 15 – 14
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
This will certainly be an interesting game in that you will have two teams that have played well recently seeking to continue their outstanding play. The Houston Rockets were indeed winless on the road in their last three outings before picking up a road win versus the Memphis Grizzlies on November 15th. Look for them to continue this momentum in this matchup as they will be on the second game of a back-to-back when they meet up with the Heat. On the other hand, Miami will have had four days rest in preparation for this contest
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Houston Rockets - 3
My reason for the pick :
While I would normally pick the home team with the Houston Rockets playing the second of a back-to-back, however, I will back the Houston Rockets in this matchup in that it is unknown as to whether Dragic or Winslow will suit up for Miami in this matchup. With that being the case, look for the Rockets to grind out an all important victory in this matchup as they will return home soon after for a 3 game home stand in which to pick up even more confidence, moving forward.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under 208.5
My reason for the prediction :
With the way both teams have been playing defense lately, expect the under to be the strong play in this matchup as I certainly see the Miami Heat hunkering down even more on the this end, particularly with them being short-handed on the offensive side of the floor. Of course, Houston will certainly bring its defensive intensity into this matchup as this has been their bread and butter lately as well. With that being the case, look for the total to be well under its set limit for this matchup in what will be a very competitive game throughout.
Betting trends for Houston Rockets:
- Rockets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
Rockets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
Rockets are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Betting trends for Miami Heat :
- Heat are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.