Cavaliers vs. Rockets Pick NBA – Jan 15th

It’s been a pretty lousy week. And last night’s NBA loss might be the worst of them yet this season. San Antonio had the game comfortably in hand, but couldn’t quite bury the margin in the last two minutes, leaving the backdoor cover looming large. But I finally breathed a sigh of relief when Kyrie Irving threw up an airball and the Spurs took possession with a six point lead and six seconds remaining. Game over. Close cover. Phew…

But WAIT! A video review showed the ball was tipped so Cleveland got the ball back under their basket. J.R. Smith heaved up an airball. Game over. We cover. But there’s more! A Tristan Thompson tip went awry, but LeBron James swooped in with a putback and no one guarding him with 0.4 seconds remaining to make the final margin 4.

We lose.

Gut punch. And the rough week slogs on.

As Kevin mentions from time to time, it happens over a long NBA season picking a game or two every single day, and we will get a few of those bounces (happily) along the way as well. But some weeks it just seems like all the breaks and rolls go against ya, and it ain’t ever fun….

Back up off the mat with a full complement of games to sift through this evening. Let’s reverse the curse and get back to our winning ways.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets -1.5

Sometimes a team just has a favorable matchup against an opponent, even when it defies some explanation. That seems to be the case with the Rockets against the Cavs, despite the fact that no one would contend the Rockets are the better team. They have covered ten straight times against Cleveland and have won six consecutive SU games against the wine and gold as well. Tonight they get to host the Cavs on the back end of a road back to back the night after they slogged it out for 48 minutes with the San Antonio Spurs. Advantage: Rockets.

I know. I know. I swore off the Rockets in a putting fit because of their erratic, “good today, bad tomorrow” history and their occasional indifference on defense. But they have brought it against the top teams most of the season and have been playing good basketball of late.

And if you are scared of fading LeBron after a loss, which seems like a logical concern, know that this season he is 0-5 ATS in the five games he has played following a Cavaliers loss this season. And keep in mind this is the sixth game of a long road trip and the Cavalier’s third game in four days. That is generally a recipe for disaster for even the best of NBA squads (which the Cavaliers certainly qualify).

Houston has won five straight since a road loss at San Antonio and is expected to have everyone in the lineup tonight. Cleveland has no major listed absences either, so expect a full complement of stars tonight on ESPN. I’ll take Houston at home with their recent hot play, their track record against this specific Cavaliers team, and the Cavs playing a third road game in four days immediately after the tough San Antonio loss.

Free Pick: Houston Rockets -1.5