Oklahoma City Thunder (21-10) vs Houston Rockets (17-15)Date : 12/25/2018
Time : 3:00 pm EST
Location : Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets
The Oklahoma City will visit the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, to battle the Houston Rockets on Christmas afternoon at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time as the Rockets will certainly want to atone for a loss on November 8th to the Thunder by 18 points. Nonetheless, Houston comes into this matchup atoning for a loss versus the Miami Heat on the road which ended a five-game winning streak, by beating up on the San Antonio Spurs as James Harden had yet another monster game is going 39 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists along with two steals as he scored nine of Houston’s last 12 points after Houston relinquished a 17-point lead late in the game in which to go down one. Despite this, the Rockets were able to come up with a much-needed victory without the services of Chris Paul in the lineup. Thunder is 4 – 1 against the spread in the last 5 meetings versus the Rockets while the under has been the play in five of the last six meetings, overall, amongst these two teams.
Oklahoma City Thunder's Latest Performance :
The Oklahoma City entered their matchup with the Utah Jazz on the road averaging 127 points in their last two outings. Nonetheless, at the end of their contests with Utah, Oklahoma City was only able to put up 107 points on the night as he shot 47% from the field while only making 9 for 25 3-point attempts on the night as Paul George, as stated, led the team with 43 points along with 14 rebounds while Jerami Grant along with Steven Adams chipped in 15 points apiece while combining for 18 rebounds for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook struggled, once again, as he went 3.17 from the floor while ending with eight points yet having 12 rebounds in addition to nine assists on the night.
And while the Thunder outrebounded the Jazz by margin of 51-44 for the night, the Jazz were able to dish out 35 assists as a team in the victory are also capitalizing off 14 costly turnovers for Oklahoma City throughout the matchup, with Russell Westbrook having six of these turnovers on the night. Nonetheless, the Thunder picked up a slim victory over a Utah Jazz team that entered the game struggling at this point in the season. They will certainly look to carry this momentum into a road matchup with the Rockets as the Thunder have only won two of their last five road games, overall.
Houston Rockets's Latest Performance :
As stated, Houston has certainly been on a tear lately as they won their sixth game in seven outings as they picked up the victory over the San Antonio Spurs at home in their last outing as James Harden put in yet another dominant performance with 39 points along with 10 rebounds and he went only 7-19 from three-point range on the night while Clint Capella also chipped in 21 points along with pulling down a whopping 23 rebounds for the Rockets in the win. As stated, Chris Paul was not in the lineup with a grade 2 hamstring injury to where he will be out from two to four weeks. Nonetheless, the Rockets were able to trudge along in atoning for a road lost to the Miami Heat in their prior outing in which to get back on the winning track.
Defensively, the Houston Rockets decreased their progression on the defensive end a bit versus the Spurs as the visitors shot 47% on the night while also making good on 10 of 24 3-point attempts as DeMar DeRozan along with LaMarcus Aldridge led the team with 28 and 23 points, respectively, as DeRozan and pull down seven rebounds in addition to dishing out eight assists for San Antonio in the loss. Furthermore, the Rockets outrebounded the Spurs by a 58 – 44 margin for the game while also having 19 offensive rebounds en route to the much-needed victory.
In all, Houston will certainly be looking to carry this momentum into a heated matchup versus the Oklahoma City Thunder team that is also playing well at the moment as they have won four straight, overall. In fact, aside from Russell Westbrook, Paul George is certainly begun to light things up for Oklahoma City as he scored 43 points along with pulling out 14 rebounds and the Thunders last win over the Utah Jazz on the road.
How Oklahoma City Thunder & Houston Rockets Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Oklahoma City is 18 – 13 ATS while the OU is 14 – 17
Houston is 14 – 17 – 1 ATS while the OU is 17 – 15
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Look for this to be another heated Christmas Day matchup amongst two teams that have really played each other well in the past. On one hand, the Houston Rockets will like to get even with the Thunder after a blowout loss earlier in the season. On the other hand, the Oklahoma City will certainly like to continue their outstanding play while picking up a huge win over one of the frontrunners in the Western Conference and the Rockets. Expect the pace of this game to be fast from start to finish as I am sure that Westbrook will be looking to have a much better outing than in his past few games while Harden will certainly look to continue to prove himself on the offensive end in putting up big numbers.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Houston Rockets
My reason for the pick :
While I have total confidence that the Oklahoma City will bring their A-game along with the focus and intensity for this matchup versus the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day. On the other hand, I also believe that the Rockets have played well enough as a team lately in which to pick up a slim victory in what will be a very exciting game over a tough and physical Oklahoma City Thunder team that can certainly put points on the board. Look for Houston to pick up some easy baskets in transition throughout the night, enough so that they will obtain a small lead late in the game as Harden will certainly prove his worth to the team, once more, as the Rockets will win their second straight.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under
My reason for the prediction :
The under has been the play in three of the last four games for the Houston Rockets while also being the result in four of the last six games, overall, for the Oklahoma City Thunder. With that being the case, along with the way that both teams have played defense lately, look for the defenses to take center stage in this matchup as well as each will be looking to exert themselves early and often versus too dangerous offenses that can really put points on the board, if given the opportunity.
Betting trends for Oklahoma City Thunder:
- Under is 5-1 in Thunder last 6 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 4-1 in Thunder last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Over is 5-2 in Thunder last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
Betting trends for Houston Rockets:
- Under is 4-0 in Rockets last 4 Tuesday games.
Rockets are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Rockets are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.