Obviously, the only team in the NBA that is hotter than the San Antonio Spurs this season is the Golden State Warriors. And it has been an amazing accomplishment that the Spurs have kept themselves so close to the defending world champions, who are on a pace to set a record for most regular-season victories. On Saturday night, San Antonio wraps up its “rodeo road trip” with a game against the Houston Rockets, which is scheduled to begin at 8 PM Eastern time at the Toyota Center in Houston. BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to place wagers in real time while the game is in progress, as they use the tremendous facilities made available through Live Betting Extra.
Houston (29-29 straight-up, 26-32 against the basketball pointspread) is in a tenuous position in eighth place in the West, but the Utah Jazz are hot on their trail. San Antonio still has a chance to win the conference regular-season title and secure the top seed in the playoffs, if that is even a priority for head coach Gregg Popovich. They are 49-9 straight-up and 36-22 against the number.
Last time these two teams played, San Antonio was quite angry as they were coming off a blowout loss to the Warriors, and they nailed the Rockets to the wall, holding them to just 38% shooting and hitting 55.6% themselves in a 130-99 victory. Obviously this is one of the league’s premier defensive teams (in fact yielding a league-low 92.4 points a game), and they have limited Houston to just 32% from the three-point arc in the last two meetings. Remember that the Rockets take more triples than any team in the NBA.
In the NBA odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, San Antonio is the road favorite:
San Antonio Spurs -6
Houston Rockets +6
Over 212.5 points -110
Under 212.5 points -110
Houston actually won the first meeting this season between these teams, and it came on Christmas day. Then San Antonio beat them the next two at the AT&T Center. James Harden, who has sometimes been known to throw up shots without a lot of conscience, has hit just 38% the last four times he has faced the Spurs. But he was red-hot the other night, scoring 34 points in the second half as Houston overcame a deficit to beat Portland 119-105. Still, there is quite a bit of disappointment around the Rockets’ camp, and there is also a lot of talk about how Harden possibly sabotaged ex-coach Kevin McHale, then lobbied the front office to trade Dwight Howard. That creates an atmosphere that can best be termed as “toxic.”
Meanwhile, BetAnySports patrons have observed San Antonio, which never has that kind of unrest, exhibit remarkable consistency. Even though they are just 5-9 against the spread over their last 14 games, they are 10-1 straight-up in their last 11, and they broke a six-game Utah home winning streak the other night with a 96-78 victory. When you have Kawhi Leonard, you can get a lot of things done on the defensive end, and the Spurs have been stingier since he got back from his calf injury. He also, however, has shot 52% in his last five games against the Rockets.
Houston obviously looks to accelerate the tempo, and part of that involves defensive pressure. They have forced 20 or more turnovers on the part of the opposition in five out of their last seven games, and they have also gone over the total in 20 of their last 26 contests. Will the Spurs run with them?
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