Houston (34-12) at New Orleans (26-21)
When: Friday, January 26th 2018
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Houston -4.5/231.5
A couple of red-hot teams will battle on ESPN Friday night as the New Orleans Pelicans host the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans have won six of their last seven games, but none of those victories came against a team like what they’ll see on Friday, as New Orleans is coming of consecutive victories over Memphis, Chicago, and Charlotte. All-Star forward Anthony Davis was limited to 19 points in the 101-96 win in Charlotte on Wednesday, but scored 34 on 14-of-23 shooting in the previous game against Chicago. Houston’s James Harden recorded 25 points and 13 assists in a 104-97 victory at Dallas as the Rockets won for the fourth time in a row and seventh time in their last eight. After posting 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting in his first game back from a hamstring injury, Harden is averaging 25 points while making 16-of-32 3-pointers over the last three games. The now six-time All-Star recorded 26 points, a career high-tying 17 assists and a season-high six steals to lead Houston to a 130-123 win over New Orleans in the first meeting last month, however, the Pelicans were without Davis in that contest. Houston has won nine of the last 11 matchups with New Orleans.
While it was no surprise that Harden was voted onto another All-Star team, he and others in the organization were a little upset by the omission of fellow guard Chris Paul, who was left off the Western Conference squad despite averaging 18.8 points, 8.8 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals. Paul had a nice game in the first meeting with the Pelicans, recording 20 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals. Shooting guard Eric Gordon made 4-of-7 3-pointers against Dallas after missing all 16 of his long-range attempts over the previous two games.
New Orleans has two All-Stars in Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, but its been Jrue Holiday that has led or tied for the team lead in scoring in three of the past four games. Holiday is averaging 20.2 points and shooting 50.6% this month and had a season-high 37 points in the visit to Houston last month. Cousins has at least a double-double in 13 of the last 14 games and went off for 44 points in the previous game against Chicago to go along with a season-high-tying 23 rebounds. The Pelicans are fourth in the league in scoring (111.0) and second in field goal percentage (48.5%), but are 29th in points allowed at 110.6.
Houston is the better team, but New Orleans is playing really well and they want to show the rest of the Western Conference that they’ll be a tough out in the playoffs. I fully expect the Pelicans to keep this one close and possibly pull off the upset.
Pick: Pelicans +3.5
- Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Western Conference.
- Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Southwest.
- Rockets are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Rockets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Pelicans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Pelicans are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Pelicans are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Western Conference.
- Pelicans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Under is 4-0 in Rockets last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 6-0 in Rockets last 6 overall.
- Under is 5-0 in Rockets last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 5-0 in Rockets last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Under is 5-0 in Rockets last 5 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 4-0 in Rockets last 4 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 5-0 in Rockets last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Under is 7-1-1 in Rockets last 9 road games.
- Under is 7-2 in Rockets last 9 vs. NBA Southwest.
- Under is 16-5 in Rockets last 21 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Over is 3-1-1 in Rockets last 5 Friday games.
- Under is 33-16-2 in Rockets last 51 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Over is 5-1 in Pelicans last 6 Friday games.
- Over is 13-3 in Pelicans last 16 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Over is 4-1 in Pelicans last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Over is 11-3 in Pelicans last 14 vs. Western Conference.
- Over is 8-3 in Pelicans last 11 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 5-2 in Pelicans last 7 overall.
- Over is 5-2 in Pelicans last 7 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Under is 20-8-1 in Pelicans last 29 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Over is 59-29 in Pelicans last 88 home games.
- Under is 18-7-1 in the last 26 meetings in New Orleans.
- Under is 34-16-1 in the last 51 meetings.
- Underdog is 19-9-1 ATS in the last 29 meetings.