I scored another sweet win last night, as the Oklahoma City Thunder went into Charlotte and took down the Hornets. OKC scored their third win in a row and converted a solid +103 price tag in the process. The win bumped me up to 9-3 for the year when it comes to my NBA picks record.
It’s been a solid run so far and the short-term plan is to get 10 wins before five losses and 20 wins before 10 losses – right down the line.
Friday offers a solid NBA betting slate to hopefully allow the success to continue. In my opinion, one of the best ways to keep the good times going is to attack a showdown at the Barclays Center between the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets do offer value as +4.5-point home underdogs (+165 moneyline at GTbets), but this is still the Houston Rockets we’re talking about.
The recent trends absolutely favor the Nets at home in this spot, but a big part of betting on the NBA is knowing when to overlook the data and just project how things will unfold. Let’s see why the Rockets might be one of the better plays on Friday night’s basketball betting slate:
Houston Rockets (-4.5, -109) @ Brooklyn Nets (+4.5, -109) Total: 219 (-109)
James Harden is doubtful to suit up for this game and with the Rockets playing in Chicago again on Saturday, I’m guessing he won’t play. I still like Houston win win and cover the spread here.
Yes, the Rockets are off to a terrible start and are somehow 0-4 at home, but they still have a very explosive offense. They’ve had two straight days to figure this out in practice and with stellar isolation scorers like Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, Carmelo Anthony and even Gerald Green on their roster, I honestly can’t see them playing this poorly for much longer.
Harden or no Harden, the Rockets rank 29th in field goal percentage and 24th from long range. They are still second in made three-pointers, but they simply aren’t knocking them down – or scoring in general – at a consistent enough rate.
The pace slows down against the Nets (26th in pace), but this is not a defensive stalwart (21st in defensive efficiency). They’ve been at their best in front of their home crowd, but let’s not forget a losing bet I backed just two nights ago where they gave up 119 points to the Detroit Pistons.
Houston has way more offensive upside and their system won’t be denied. Brooklyn is a middle of the pack defense (16th) in terms of points allowed per game an this just feels like an ugly spot for them.
I’ll be the first to admit a lot of the data does lean Brooklyn’s way. They’ve allowed the fourth fewest three’s per game, are 2-1 at home this year and have a very balanced offensive attack. All of that makes the Nets playable, but sometimes narrative, desperation and talent win out.
Houston has all three working in their favor going into Friday night. On top of that, they are starting off a massive road trip and cannot afford to keep dropping winnable games. The Nets are a little bit better than advertised, but this is a huge game the Rockets need. I think they pop off a bit and roll in this one.