The Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns have both cashed with a 5-2 spread record in their last seven contests, uniting to put up 102.8 PPG in that span. Can these trend aid bettors when it comes time to place their NBA picks?
Friday night’s NBA slate has the foes squaring off in “Clutch City,” sitting two games apart in theWestern Conference Standings.
The NBA lines have opened Houston as a four-point home favorite, remaining unchanged at mostNBA betting shops after mixed early action. NBA odds makers first set the ‘total’ at 199, with early ‘Over’ wagers lifting the digits to 200.
Can bettors expect any more line movement closer to game time, or are we better set to place our NBA picks now?
Rockets’ win streak ends
Houston saw its string of four straight victories come to a close in Wednesday’s 103-91 setback as six-point home ‘chalk’ against the Utah Jazz. The Rockets allowed Utah to connect at 51.3 percent from the floor, including 6-of-14 from three-point land.
Rockets guard Goran Dragic notched team-highs of 19 points and seven assists, hitting 13-of-14 free throws. Houston’s Marcus Camby grabbed 13 rebounds, while finishing with nine points and two of his squad’s five blocks.
The duel’s combined 194 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 198, bringing the ‘under’ to 3-0 in the Rockets’ last trio of games. Houston was held to 35.6 percent field shooting, while being outscored in paint points, 54-36.
Suns fall short in Memphis
Phoenix was held to its lowest scoring in six games with Wednesday’s 104-93 defeat as a 5 ½-point road dog against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Suns were outrebounded, 43-31, while allowing Memphis to hit 50 percent of its field buckets.
Suns guard Steve Nash logged his fourth double-double in six games, finishing with 11 points and 10 assists. Nash’s mates Marcin Gortat and Shannon Brown united for 37 points, with Brown draining 4-of-10 beyond the arc.
The battle’s combined 197 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 194, lifting the ‘over’ to 3-2 in the Suns’ last five duels. Suns rookie Markieff Morris came off the bench for 17 points, reaching double figures for a third straight contest, while logging a team-high six boards.
Back the Suns as road dogs
Friday’s tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET). Phoenix is playing the front end of a back-to-back spot, visiting San Antonio as part of Saturday’s league slate, while Houston will have one day off before a road duel with the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
I am adding the Suns to my sports picks for Friday’s card, looking for Nash and Co. to battle Houston to the final buzzer in a matchup that should have playoff-like intensity. Both squads have had this contest circled with its impact on the standings, with Phoenix undervalued in recent spots with a 7-4 ATS mark among its last 11 games away from home.
Suns veteran Grant Hill is listed as “probable” to return to his club’s lineup after missing nine games with a knee injury. The seven-time All-Star reached double figures in his squad’s last two meetings with Houston, while averaging 10.7 PPG for the year.
Phoenix has not lost two straight games with at least one day of rest between them in nearly two months, while finding the rims in opposing arenas at a respectable 44.9 percent from the field. The Suns have cashed with a 7-2 spread mark in their last nine contests that followed a defeat, while going 12-2 ATS in their last 14 matchups that trailed a spot of giving up more than 100 points.
Houston’s Kevin Martin (17.1 PPG) has been out nursing a shoulder injury, with this being the type of battle where the octane brought from the 29-year-old will be missed. The Rockets were defeated, 99-86, as 5 ½-point road dogs against Phoenix last month, trailing by as many as 21 points with Martin out of the lineup.
Phoenix has held its own at Toyota Center in recent seasons, going 13-3 ATS in its last 16 visits. Look for the Suns to get the money here again, building further momentum to get back in the West’s playoff hunt.
My Pick: Take the Suns