I got another win on Friday with the Oklahoma City Thunder taking down the Hornets in Charlotte. The win was my 10th of the season and got me to 10-3 through my first 13 NBA picks. Needless to say, it’s been a terrific start to the NBA betting season and if you’ve been rolling with me you’re very much in the green.
Monday night offers up a fun nine-game betting slate, so there is going to be a lot to choose from. I only see one game I love, though, with the Rockets giving you a sweet +100 moneyline as they prepare to face the Pacers in Indiana.
I’ll give you that Indiana is at home and are a pretty good team, but Houston is slowly recovering from a dreadful start and finally have James Harden back. Houston has won two in a row and will try to make it three straight tonight. That won’t be easy, but they obviously need wins to climb out of this hole and won at an elite rate a year ago.
Ultimately, the value is just too good to pass up. Let’s dig deeper into why the Rockets are the best play on the board tonight:
Houston Rockets (+1.5, -110) @ Indiana Pacers (-1.5, -110) Total: 213.5 (-110)
This is just too good of a price for me and if you like the Rockets to keep it close at +1.5 there’s little reason to not just hop on them. They have no been themselves to start the year, but let’s consider they did have Chris Paul suspended for a couple of games and Harden was out with an injury for a handful of others.
The Rockets still wield one of the most explosive offenses in basketball and have the pieces – P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela – to actually defend at a solid level.
The Pacers are not an easy opponent. Victor Oladipo leads a pretty balanced attack that is 7-3 on the year and 3-1 at home. The Pacers are on a nice three-game winning streak of their own and were very reliable (20-8!) last year against the spread when favored at home.
You can go both ways, though. Houston had the NBA’s best record last season and nobody was better (35-13) away from home. Their numbers on the road ATS aren’t great and they’re even worse (2-6) when Vegas goes against them, but I think pretty much everything working against the Rockets tends to be a bit misleading here.
Houston is the more talented team, they’re offering better value and they’re pretty desperate. You can’t keep falling into a bigger hole after such a bad start and a determined Harden is going to put this offense on his back to make sure they can trend upwards.
Indy does slow the pace way down and they provide a top-10 defense in terms of efficiency, but one area where they lack production is defense on the perimeter. The Pacers rank just 22nd at stopping the long ball and as we know, that’s where Houston thrives.
From a matchup perspective, the Pacers don’t have anyone that can stifle CP3 or James Harden and containing both of them is out of the question. I’d give Capela the clear matchup down low at both ends of the court as well. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Rockets took the season series (2-0) last year.
I just love the value here and the Rockets give you the better team in a spot where they need to win. Take the value and run.