Houston (33-25) at Golden State (42-16)
When: Saturday, February 23rd, 2019
Where: Oracle Arena,
Time: 8:35 ET | TV: ABC
Opening Odds: Golden State -8/237.5
Both the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors showed some rust coming out of the All-Star Break, but will need their ‘A’ game Saturday when they square off in front of a national audience on ABC. The Rockets looked terrific at Staples Center Thursday and were cruising past the L.A. Lakers until they blew a 19-point lead in the 111-106 loss. The setback dropped Houston to 13-16 away from home and sit in fifth-place in the Western Conference standings – two games behind fourth-place Portland and just a game clear of eight-place. James Harden continued his spectacular run with his 32nd straight game of scoring 30 or more points – second all by himself to Wilt Chamberlain’s 65. After the line opened at Golden State -8.5, news broke that Harden could miss the game due to a cervical strain in his neck. Harden received treatment on his right shoulder and neck while resting during Thursday’s loss to the Lakers, but it did not limit his playing time. Harden dealt with a left shoulder strain before the All-Star Break but didn’t miss any time because of it. Golden State looked sluggish in their first game back and squeaked-out a 125-123 win over the Sacramento Kings behind All-Stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. The Warriors lead the West by two games over the Denver Nuggets and will seek to avenge a loss to the Rockets on January 3rd (135-134 overtime).
Harden fouled out of the game the other night against the Lakers and was not too happy about being called for four offensive fouls. Harden will surely get fined for his comments directed at referee Scott Foster, calling him rude and arrogant. The good news from the loss to L.A. was that Clint Capela (thumb) made his return from a 15-game absence and delivered 12 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. He also had a monster game versus the Warriors last month, recording 29 points and 21 boards, while Harden contributed 44 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds.
Durant led the way for Golden State on Thursday with 28 points, nine rebounds and four assists while matching a career high with seven blocked shots. Durant is coming off an MVP performance in the All-Star Game and keeps deflecting rumors of him leaving Golden State after this season. Curry was a sizzling 10-of-16 from three-point land – his fifth game this season with 10 or more made 3-pointers. DeMarcus Cousins recorded a double-double Thursday with 17 points and 10 rebounds and the Warriors are now 11-1 when he plays.
Houston has done very well against Golden State in regular season games, and I’m going to take the points in this one. If Harden is out, I’ll still take them, because the Rockets will be getting even more than the nine the line is currently set.
Pick: Rockets +9
Rockets are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. Western Conference.
Rockets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Rockets are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 when their opponent scores 100 points or more i
Rockets are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest.
Rockets are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Rockets are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games.
Warriors are 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 vs. Western Conference.
Warriors are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Saturday games.
Warriors are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. NBA Southwest.
Warriors are 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 home games.
Warriors are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Warriors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Warriors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
Warriors are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Warriors are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Warriors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
Warriors are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 6-1 in Rockets last 7 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Over is 3-1-1 in Rockets last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
Under is 3-1-1 in Rockets last 5 overall.
Under is 3-1-1 in Rockets last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 3-1-1 in Rockets last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over is 8-3 in Rockets last 11 vs. NBA Pacific.
Over is 5-2-1 in Rockets last 8 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over is 5-0 in Warriors last 5 vs. NBA Southwest.
Under is 6-1 in Warriors last 7 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Over is 10-4 in Warriors last 14 vs. Western Conference.
Over is 16-7 in Warriors last 23 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.
Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.