By Greg Dempson
San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets Pick
The San Antonio Spurs have won 7 in a row winning by an average of 21+ PPG during their current streak. Tonight they attempt to defeat the Rockets for a fourth consecutive time laying 7 points at the Toyota Center with tip time at 8:00 ET on ESPN. The Spurs enter tonight’s game off a 108 – 83 win at Minnesota Wednesday while limiting Andrew Wiggins to 10 points on 2 for 10 shooting.
Last season’s defensive player of the year, Kawhi Leonard held Pacers star Paul George to 7 points on 1 of 14 on Monday. Leonard has also made scoring difficult for Houston’s leading points producer James Harden, who has gone a combined 11 for 34 the last two times they faced each other.
The Rockets are 10–05 since firing coach Kevin McHale and off a loss this past Wednesday at Orlando, (104–101.) Harden is shooting 41% this season while Trevor Ariza is only 6-of-20 from the field while averaging 6.5 points over the last two games. Ariza missed all 8 of his 3-point attempts in their loss to Orlando. For the season he’s shooting a 31.8% from behind the arc as well as a career-worst 38.3% overall.
Point guard Ty Lawson is suspended while Dwight Howard is apparently unhappy, (what else is new?)
· The Spurs lead the league in defense allowing an average of 88.8 PPG and boast a top 10 offense averaging 102.4 PPG while winning on the road by an average of 10.5 PPG.
· The Rockets are 6–10 ATS at home this season.
· The Spurs hold the league’s best point differential at (13.6,) slightly better than defending NBA champion Golden State at (13.5), while the next closest team is the Thunder at (8.8.)
· Houston’s 1–11 ATS when the total is 200 to 209.5 this season
· The past two seasons San Antonio is 23-7 ATS vs. teams that allow an average of 103+ points per game.
· The Spurs are the better coached team plus they have a much stronger bench. I believe the Spurs get the ATS cover this evening supported by the following two systems.
· Play against home underdogs with a shooting percentage defense of 46% or more on the season, averaging 53 or more rebounds per game on the season. This system is 52–20 = 72% ATS when playing against the Rockets.
· After scoring 105 or more points in three consecutive games, play on road favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points that out score their opponents by an average of 6+ points per game. This system is 83–43 = 66% ATS since 1996.
Spurs vs Rockets Pick
My EveryEdge play is on the San Antonio Spurs at –7 points.