Rockets vs. Blazers Pick – March 30th

Most people today are calling it a “statement game.”  I prefer, “reminder.”  The Golden State Warriors have now won nine straight games without Kevin Durant, are on pace to turn in one of the ten best regular seasons in NBA history and comfortably beat the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs on the road in the span of 28 hours.

Are you not entertained!?! (Yelled in my best Maximus voice).  So why the perception that this team is so vulnerable?  They matchup very well against the Spurs and does anyone think the Rockets can really beat this team in a seven-game series?  That only leaves the East, where LeBron and the Cavs are looking unable to edge out the Boston Celtics for the top seed.

We notched a winner last night, but more importantly, last night was a reminder that the Warriors are still the CLEAR favorite to win the NBA title.  Hate on them if you are a hater, it’s what you’re gonna do – but bet against them with some caution…

We have tallied winners in four of our last five NBA picks and we are looking to pluck one more of a pretty barren Thursday slate of action.

Today’s NBA Pick:

Houston Rockets -2 at Portland Trailblazers

The Blazers have been on fire lately and have surged back into the playoff mix in the West, albeit in the all-but-worthless eighth position (I’d rather have the ping pong ball, personally).  They have reeled off 12 of their last 15 games and with six of their last eight games at home and Denver playing the opposite schedule with six roadies – they are squarely in the playoff driver’s seat.

Of course, not all home games are equal.  Houston is one of the better road teams in the NBA with a 23-13 SU road record and have covered six of their last seven away from Houston.  They are one of the best road favorites in the NBA at 15-11 ATS.

Here’s my concern:  Houston is settled nicely into the third spot.  They aren’t going anywhere.  Portland is desperately fighting to make the postseason and is playing legitimately GOOD basketball lately.  They are 8-2 SU and 8-2 ATS in their last ten games.  Houston has lost for of their last six straight up in Portland, AND James Harden is nursing a sore wrist.  He SAYS he wants to play, and wants to play all 82.  He has gone on record saying it RECENTLY, so it seems like he has awkwardly backed management into a corner to avoid resting him, even if they WANT to.  But it doesn’t mean the pedal is all the way to the floor.  Don’t be surprised if he gets a few extra breathers tonight.  Ryan Anderson is already out as well.

Even at full strength, there is something good brewing in Portland lately, so getting two points is a nice line.  I’ll take the 12-3 recent mojo of the Rockets at home.


Chris Scheeren / Author