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Spurs Set to Roll Past New-Look Rockets

Rudy Gay of the San Antonio Spurs looks to find one of his teammates with a pass.

The James Harden era has come to an unceremonious end in Houston – and the Rockets don’t have much time to dwell on it as they visit the rival Spurs in San Antonio on Thursday. A disgruntled Harden was dealt to Brooklyn on Wednesday for a boatload of picks as the Rockets (3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS) look to move on and rekindle their playoff push vs the Spurs (6-5 SU, 7-4 ATS).

Houston Rockets vs San Antonio Spurs
  • Date/Time: January 14, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: AT&T Center
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Spurs -6 | O/U 223.5 (Line History)
  • Rockets vs Spurs Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Spurs opened as 6-point favorites, but the line has since climbed to either -6.5 or -7 across the board. The total has remained steady at 223.5.

Houston News & Notes

Things escalated quickly in Houston after Harden expressed his general dissatisfaction with the Rockets following humiliating back-to-back losses to the defending champion Lakers. The deal has effectively torpedoed the Rockets’ odds of winning the NBA championship: They came into the season at +3000 but are now listed anywhere from +8000 to +12500 to win it all.

As for Thursday’s encounter with the Spurs, bettors and daily fantasy players can expect big efforts from the Rockets’ two remaining stars. Power forward Christian Wood (22.6 points, 9.5 rebounds per game) will take on more of a role in the offense, while point guard John Wall (18.6 ppg, 5.1 apg) will become Houston’s primary distributor.

San Antonio News & Notes

The Spurs have been one of the most balanced offensive teams in the NBA so far this season. They boast seven players averaging at least 11.7 points, led by DeMar DeRozan at 21.2 ppg. He’s considered questionable for Thursday after missing the previous two games due to personal reasons, with the Spurs going 1-1 SU and ATS in those contests.

Consistency has been an issue for the Spurs’ other key offensive pieces – and Dejounte Murray in particular. The fourth-year point guard is having a solid season with averages of 16.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists, but he is shooting just 38.5 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from three-point range for the month. Still, if DeRozan sits, Murray is a terrific DFS option here.

Betting Pick: Spurs -7 (-110)

Some might see the Harden deal as addition by subtraction for the Rockets, but it’ll take time for them to adjust to their new roster and responsibilities – and that puts the Spurs in great position to cruise to a victory here.

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Shark Bites
  • Houston is 1-4 ATS in its past 5 games.
  • The Spurs are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings at San Antonio.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in Houston’s past 6 outings.