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Sixers vs. Rockets Pick NBA – Nov 14th

The story is getting old in the Windy City; another injury scare for Derek Rose.   The former MVP left the game midway through the fourth quarter after appearing to tweak a hamstring. The Raptors made a furious comeback after that, falling just short of pulling off a miracle win. They also came up two points short of the OVER as the team combined for five missed free throws and a missed layup in the final thirty seconds. When things are going badly, that seems to be the kind of late game breaks that go against you. It’s been a week to forget for my NBA picks and I’m looking forward to a nice bounce back weekend to get us back to even up on the season.

It will also be interesting to see if the Kings can bounce back after an absolutely gut-wrenching loss in Memphis last night. The Kings blew a 24-point lead on the road for the second time this week, eventually losing on a brilliant midcourt inbounds alley-oop to Courtney Lee with just 0.3 seconds on the ball before the pass. The loss dropped them to 5-4 when they could VERY easily be 7-2 with road wins against Dallas and Memphis to add to the pair against the Clippers and Suns. They’ve played arguably the best schedule in the NBA, and despite a few “we still need to learn how to win” losses, I’m more inclined to take them seriously than to write them off…

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Today’s Free Pick:

Philadelphia 76’ers at Houston Rockets -17 (Total: 205)

I can’t recall a more lopsided line in recent NBA play off the top of my head, but the massive spread seems well deserved tonight. The Sixers are less than 24 hours removed from one of the most embarrassing defeats in the Association’s history. They trailed by 44 points at halftime, the second largest deficit in the shot clock era. They ended up losing by a “mere” 54 as Dallas did everything they could to TRY and not embarrass the young Sixers. Watch the highlights, the Mavericks looked almost sheepish after some of the baskets late in the third quarter (especially the JJ Barrea highlight where he makes in incredible play and reacts by looking down at the floor…)

Seventeen is a ton to lay, but is there a number big enough tonight to back them on a back-to-back against the Rockets? I’m not sure there is.   I imagine pride alone will prevent them from losing by fifty tonight, but I think talent alone will allow the Rockets to win by at least 20-plus. The Rockets have gone 6-2 ATS on the season and won five of their sex games by 11 or more points. They are 3-0 against the Eastern Conference with all three wins coming by double digits. I expect them to notch an enjoyable fourth tonight. And I’d also wager they won’t go about it as humbly as the veteran Mavs…

Free Pick: Houston Rockets -17