It hardly gets any better in the NBA than what we will see on Monday night, as the Houston Rockets pay a visit to face the San Antonio Spurs in what is an entertaining clash of styles, in addition to a possible preview of a future West playoff series. The book is not closed on San Antonio coming out of the regular season with the league’s best record, and Houston has just been sizzling under first-year coach Mike D’Antoni. They will get things underway at 8:05 PM ET at the AT&T Arena in San Antonio, and BetAnySports customers, who get reduced juice on their wagers before the game starts, can stay involved in the action as they use the facilities provided by Live Betting Ultra.
Houston’s 44-19 record is good for third-place in the Western Conference, and that may or may not make a difference in terms of their ability to beat the first-round opponent. But they will have home-court advantage. They are five games behind second-place San Antonio (48-13), which is chasing Golden State for first place in the West and the best overall record in the league. Something similar was happening last season, although G-State was red-hot on its way to 73 victories.
The Rockets got a lot deeper when they added Lou Williams to the rotation. He is a genuine scorer and sparkplug who could also be a playmaker. Williams was a leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers when he was acquired in a trade, and when you put him together with the likes of Eric Gordon and Nene Hilario, you got a second unit for Houston that can really do some damage.
San Antonio recently welcomed Pau Gasol back to the lineup, and he has been coming off the bench while Dewayne Dedmon, a fourth-year center out of USC, provides a lot of defense in the pivot spot.
In the NBA betting lines posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Spurs are the favorites on their home floor, but Houston gets a lot of respect:
San Antonio Spurs -3.5
Houston Rockets +3.5
Over 221.5 points -110
Under 221.5 points -110
The Rockets have been very good on the road this season, with a record of 21-11, both straight-up and against the basketball pointspread. They have also covered eight out of nine as a road underdog, so obviously any points available could be appetizing. The objective of San Antonio will be to slow this Houston offense down, and so the question on the minds of people making their NBA betting picks is whether they are capable of doing it. Well, let’s take a look at the three meetings these teams have this season; San Antonio has won two of them, with Houston taking the other, and the road team has emerged victorious in all three. But the Spurs have held Houston just below 41% overall from the field, and 27% from beyond the three-point arc. That is important to note, because Houston takes, by far, more three-pointers than anyone the league.
For BetAnySports patrons who like some more statistical data, Houston is second in the league in Offensive Rating, while San Antonio is fifth. And while the Spurs are #1 in Defensive Rating, Houston is 14th, indicating that they are somewhat middle-of-the-back. San Antonio has won its last seven games, in the last two have been in overtime, including Saturday’s 97-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are playing a lot of teams tough these days. The Spurs have played 11 games under the total out of their last 14. Both of these teams have been very strong against the pointspread on an overall basis; Houston is 36-27 ATS, while San Antonio is 34-26-1.
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