Blazers-Rockets Betting Guide: Is the Betting Market Overrating Houston?

Blazers-Rockets Betting Guide: Is the Betting Market Overrating Houston? article feature image

Photo credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Harden

Betting odds: Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets

  • Spread: Rockets -6.5
  • Over/Under: 220
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBA TV

>> All odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The disappointing 11-14 Rockets will host the 15-11 Trail Blazers on Tuesday night as 6.5-point favorites. Do the Rockets deserve to have a spread that high? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trends to Know

For the third time this season, the Rockets have lost three straight games straight-up and against-the-spread. Over the past decade, Mike D’Antoni-coached teams are just 18-25-2 (41.9%) ATS on at least a three-game SU and ATS losing streak, making him the third-least profitable NBA coach in this spot over that span.

Dating back to 2010, D’Antoni is 12-24-2 (33.3%) ATS when on a three-game SU and ATS losing streak, losing bettors 12.6 units. When he’s been listed as a favorite over that span, his teams are 6-17 (26.1%) ATS, failing to cover by 4.4 points per game. Evan Abrams

Locky: Which Team I Like Tonight

It’s amazing the credit that Houston still gets in the betting market sometimes, despite the fact that it’s already December and the team just hasn’t been very good.

The Rockets have lost seven of their past nine games, failed to cover in eight of 10 and just completed an abominable three-game, win-less road trip. So naturally, with the Blazers coming to town, the Rockets opened -6 and got bet to -6.5.

Some things with the Rockets point to positive regression.

They haven’t had their full team assembled for many games — they were all together for those last three losses, though — so maybe better form can still come. They’ve also played 60% of their games (15) on the road vs. at home (10), so they haven’t been in ideal situations very often, either.

Still, one of those home games was against this Portland team, and Houston got embarrassed in a 19-point loss without James Harden. Houston was a 4.5-point favorite, even without its best player. Again, this is a team that (because of last season) gets credit, all the time.

Houston also seems to be catching Portland at a bad time in terms of current form.

The Blazers had a rough November; during a 10-game stretch toward the end of the month they recorded two of their three worst offensive performances of the season in a single game and their three worst defensive outings.

It was a rough stretch.

But Portland’s past two games have been very encouraging, specifically Saturday’s win over Minnesota. There are also no rest/travel concerns with the Blazers, as they played at home two days ago and had normal rest prior to that game, too.

Considering Portland’s better recent play and the credit Houston is getting despite showing anything, I am forced to conclude this number is a couple points too big when subtracting Houston’s home-court advantage.

It’s unlikely this version of Houston is really better than Portland. I would lean Portland at +6.5.Ken Barkley

Mears: Blazers D Should See Better Luck

Before Saturday’s Portland-Minnesota game, I wrote about how the Blazers have been getting very unlucky defensively of late: The Blazers had allowed the eighth-fewest shots at the rim and fifth-fewest 3-pointers over their prior 10 games.

The problem wasn’t the shot quality; opponents were just drilling shots at an unsustainable rate. Those numbers were bound to regress, and they started to on Saturday as Portland held Minnesota to just 105 points and seven 3-pointers.

Over their past 10 games, the Blazers have allowed just 13.1% of opponent 3-pointers to be “wide open” — classified as having a defender six-plus feet away. That’s the second-lowest mark in the league.

Shot quality is more predictive than opponent field goal percentage, which can be wildly volatile in a small sample. Portland is doing the right things on defense, which is mostly funneling opponents into taking a high percentage of shots from the long mid-range area. The Blazers rank second in that regard, but opponents have just been unsustainably making those shots lately.

The Rockets have the shooting talent to cover any number against any team, but I do think the Blazers are a little undervalued by the public because of their poor defensive luck.Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

How would you rate this article?