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Clippers, Rockets Ready to Fill the Buckets

It didn’t take long for the Los Angeles Clippers to put a rough stretch of play behind them – but they’ll be in for a fight Thursday night as they bring a five-game winning streak into Houston. The Rockets are coming off a humiliating loss in New York and would love nothing more than to secure a season series win over the Clippers.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Houston Rockets

Opening Odds Analysis

Houston opened as a slim favorite and has stayed right around the -1 to -1.5 range at most sportsbooks. The opening total of 236 has risen just a half-point.

Los Angeles News & Notes

With the exception of an oddly wild win over the undermanned Philadelphia 76ers, the Clippers have built their most recent winning streak on a tremendous defensive showing. Los Angeles has held four of its previous five opponents to 103 or fewer points, and has moved up to fifth in the Western Conference in scoring defense for the season (109.8 points per game).

But as you might expect, the offense still drives this bus and Kawhi Leonard continues to be the catalyst, leading the team in scoring with a career-best 27.0 ppg. Leonard has averaged 25 points, nine rebounds and 4.7 assists in his first three meetings of the season with the Rockets, and averages 28.5 points on the road – the OVER on his point prop might be worth a look here.

Houston News & Notes

Much of the focus on the Rockets’ decision to play Super Small Ball (not to be confused with Super Smash Bros.) has been on how well they space the floor on the offensive end. But they’ve been a dynamo on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 10th in defensive efficiency over the past 15 games, and that includes Monday’s stunning 125-123 loss to the Knicks.

But Houston can take solace in the fact that it’ll earn at least a split of its four-game season series with the powerhouse Clippers, having won two of the first three meetings. And James Harden has been at his absolute best vs L.A., averaging a whopping 37.3 points on 50 percent shooting while averaging 5.7 three-pointers – we like the OVER on his point total, as well.

Betting Pick: OVER 236

These teams have made a habit of eschewing defense in recent meetings – and this one should be no different, with both sides relatively healthy and boasting dangerous offenses.

Shark Bites
  • The Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • Houston is 7-1 SU in its past 8 home games.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in the last 6 games in this matchup.