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Struggling Rockets are slight road favorites vs the Spurs

Rockets vs Spurs Betting Odds

The Houston Rockets conclude their five-game road swing as they travel to the AT&T Center to tip off against the San Antonio Spurs. The Rockets won three of the four meetings with the Spurs last year for their first season-series win since the 2013-14 season and they are a two-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 210 points.

Shark Bites
  • San Antonio is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 home games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of Houston’s last 11 road games.
  • Houston is 4-8 SU in its last 12 games.

Rockets vs Spurs Game Center

Rockets live and die on the three-point shot

Houston began this five-game road swing blistering hot, winning each of three games against the Eastern Conference for its first winning streak of the season. However, in its last game, back vs a Western Conference foe, the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was outmuscled 98-80. The Rockets’ game plan is fairly simple one, shoot from beyond the arc. They are averaging 41.9 three-point attempts per game which is the most in the NBA, 1.4 more attempts than second-place Milwaukee. The problem is that they are only hitting 32.7 percent of those shots which is the sixth-lowest percentage in the association and they are shooting just 42.1 percent from the floor overall.

This offensive approach has led to a 4-6 record through the first 10 games of the season and many of these perimeter shots are almost being forced as they have the highest percentage of three-pointers unassisted at 32.1 percent which is the highest in the league, 5.5 percent more than second place. Defensively, though, they have done a good job slowing down their opponents, allowing the second-fewest shots from the floor and the 10th-fewest points per game. With their poor shooting percentage and above-average defense, the Rockets have the fourth-slowest pace of play in the league.

San Antonio looks to end losing skid

The Spurs find themselves on a two-game losing slide and would like to limit that to just two games. This slide is coming off the heels of their first winning streak of the year when claimed four in a row over Western Conference foes, while their current skid has come against the East. Unlike Houston, San Antonio elects to take higher-percentage shots for its offense and former-Raptor DeMar DeRozan appears to be the beneficiary of this game plan. The 29-year-old has led the team in scoring in eight of the team’s 10 games thus far, shooting very well from mid-range.

San Antonio doesn’t crash the net that often, averaging just 40.8 points per game in the paint which is the second-fewest, but 73.3 percent of their shots from the floor are two-point attempts, mostly mid-range shots. The Spurs are, as always, a well-disciplined team taking the fewest fouls per game in the NBA at 19.3. Defensively, San Antonio ranks around the middle of the pack for the majority of defensive categories, including allowing an average of 109.8 points per game which is 13th-fewest in the league. One stat that stands out for this match, though, is it allows the ninth-fewest three-point attempts per game.

UNDER trending in tonight’s game

There are signs pointing to the UNDER between the Spurs and Rockets and Bovada has tonight’s total opening at 210 points. As mentioned above for the reliance on shooting from the perimeter for Houston, it has only broken 100 points in games that it sinks 35 percent or more of its three-point attempts, but on the season, it averages just 32.7 percent. Meanwhile, the total has gone UNDER in four of the last five meetings between these two teams with an average combined score of 200. Lastly, both teams ranks in the bottom part of the league in pace of play with Rockets being the fourth-slowest and the Spurs being the sixth-slowest – few shots tend to equal low score.

My take on Houston vs San Antonio

I like the two points the Spurs are getting and I’m on the Spurs +2. San Antonio takes the fewest fouls in the league which limits free points for Houston, which is shooting just 71.3 percent from the free-throw line as it is. Meanwhile, the Rockets have not done a good job shooting the ball at all this season ranking dead last in shooting percentage and the Spurs do a good job at limiting shots from the perimeter. Lastly, San Antonio is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games while Houston is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games.