Game of the Night: Hornets at Rockets – 9:35 PM EST
The offensive numbers for Houston (21-4 SU, 14-11 ATS) are astounding through 25 games as the team is averaging 115 points per game. Granted, they rank second in the league in PPG behind Golden State (for the second straight season), but the Rockets are coming off 124 and 130 point efforts in the last two contests. Houston rallied past New Orleans on Monday, 130-127, as the Rockets led the Pelicans at halftime, 78-76. The Rockets are riding a 10-game winning streak, while Mike D’Antoni’s squad has won 16 of their past 17 contests (11-6 ATS).
The Hornets (10-16 SU, 11-14-1 ATS) picked up only their second road victory in 12 tries this season as Charlotte took care of a struggling Oklahoma City club on Monday, 116-103. Charlotte snapped a three-game losing streak, as Dwight Howard paced the Hornets with 23 points, while the Hornets outscored the Thunder in the third quarter, 40-22 after the score was tied at halftime. The Hornets improved to 3-8-1 ATS away from Spectrum Center, while winning their first road game since October 30 at Memphis.
The Rockets have captured nine of the past 10 meetings with the Hornets since February 2013. Houston cruised past Charlotte in the first meeting in North Carolina in late October, 109-93 as three-point favorites. James Harden recorded a triple-double for the Rockets with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, while Houston knocked down 22 three-pointers in the win.
When Paul George was dealt from Indiana to Oklahoma City in the offseason, the Thunder were expected to compete for the Western Conference title while the Pacers seemed like a lottery club. However, the Pacers (16-11 SU, 17-10 ATS) have exceeded expectations early as they look to extend their winning streak to five. Indiana has won each of the first four games of their six-game homestand, including rallying from a double-digit deficit to stun the Nuggets in overtime for a front-door cover on Sunday, 126-116 as five-point favorites.
The Thunder (12-14 SU, 8-18 ATS) have been dreadful on the road this season by losing nine of 12 away contests, while posting a horrendous 0-9 ATS mark in the past nine contests overall. In all nine of those ATS losses, OKC was listed as a favorite, as the Thunder is flipped to a short underdog tonight in George’s return to Indiana. Billy Donovan’s team has closed as an underdog only once in 26 games, beating the Warriors at home last month, 108-91, while last being a road ‘dog in Game 5 of the Western Conference opening round at Houston in April.
Both the Blazers and Heat enter Wednesday’s action sitting at the .500 mark as the two squads meet up at American Airlines Arena. Miami (13-13 SU, 10-14-2 ATS) finished off a three-game road swing on a high note by blasting Memphis on Monday, 107-82 as 1 ½-point underdogs. Seven members of the Heat registered double-figures, led by Goran Dragic’s 19 points as Miami shot a scorching 56% from the floor. Miami is currently on an 8-1 UNDER run, while winning seven of 10 games this season in the favorite role.
Portland (13-13 SU, 10-13-3 ATS) continues a five-game road swing after dropping a 111-104 decision at Golden State on Monday. The Blazers managed a cover as 8 ½-point underdogs, but lost their fifth consecutive game following a three-game winning streak in late November. Portland swept the season series from Miami last season, while snapping a four-game skid at American Airlines Arena in an 11-point victory back in March.
Plenty of young stars will be on display in New Orleans as the Pelicans welcome in the Bucks. Milwaukee (15-10 SU, 10-11-4 ATS) is heating up of late by winning six of its past seven games, while sweeping a three-game homestand capped off by Saturday’s triumph over Utah. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for Milwaukee, who looks to improve on a 2-7 mark in its last nine matchups with New Orleans.
The Pelicans (14-14 SU, 15-12-1 ATS) lost a shootout at Houston on Monday, 130-123, in spite of Jrue Holiday and E’Twuan Moore combining for 73 points on 31-of-41 shooting from the floor. Anthony Davis sat out with a groin injury, as the Pelicans’ star is questionable against the Bucks. New Orleans has drilled the OVER in eight consecutive games, while alternating wins and losses in each of its past seven contests.
The Celtics (23-6 SU, 20-8-1 ATS) began the season at 22-4, but have lost two of their past three games, including Monday’s 108-85 blowout loss at Chicago. Kyrie Irving sat out on the second end of that back-to-back set following Sunday’s win at Detroit, as the Celtics’ guard is expected to return to the lineup tonight. Al Horford will sit for Boston tonight, as the Celtics have stumbled to a 3-5 ATS mark following a 7-1 ATS run in their previous eight games.
The Nuggets (15-12 SU, 11-16 ATS) play with no rest following Tuesday’s 103-84 blowout of the Pistons as 6 ½-point underdogs. Denver wraps up a six-game road swing looking for a 3-3 mark with a win, as the Nuggets own a 1-2 SU/ATS record on the second end of a back-to-back while hitting the OVER all three times. The Nuggets swept the Celtics last season, as both victories came by double-digits.
— The Clippers embark on a four-game road swing that begins in Orlando. Los Angeles is coming off a pair of home underdog victories over Toronto and Washington, while posting a 3-1 ATS record the last four games. The Magic look to snap a two-game skid, while dropping seven consecutive meetings with the Clippers since 2014.
— Memphis has lost 15 of its past 16 games, as the Grizzlies try to turn around its luck at Washington. The Wizards return home after falling at Brooklyn on Tuesday, 103-98. The home team has won each of the past four meetings between these squads, as Memphis last won at Washington in 2014.
— Utah has stumbled of late by losing three straight games as the Jazz go for the season sweep of the Bulls. Chicago lost at Utah last month, 110-80, but the Bulls are riding a three-game winning streak while covering in each of its past four contests.
— The Raptors finish up a four-game road swing in Phoenix after falling apart late in Monday’s five-point defeat to the Clippers. Toronto and Phoenix are meeting for the second time in eight days after the Raptors held off the Suns, 126-113 as 14 ½-point favorites on December 5. Phoenix tries to snap a four-game skid, while playing with no rest following Tuesday’s seven-point defeat at Sacramento.