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NBA Free Pick: Houston Rockets @ Memphis Grizzlies March 20

NBA Free Pick Linebacker Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies

Houston Rockets @ Memphis Grizzlies (MEM +5.5, O/U 216)

The Houston Rockets head to Memphis tonight on an impressive streak, having won 12 of their last 13 games. The Rockets’ run has vaulted them to third in the Western Conference, while the Grizzlies are all the way down at 14th. Memphis will look to avoid its third straight loss, but will be down three starters in Jaren Jackson Jr., Avery Bradley and Kyle Anderson. Vegas opened the line for tonight’s game at MEM +4.5, and it’s since moved to +5.5. The Linebacker projects the Rockets will cover the spread, giving us a solid play on Houston. Our model suggests a wager of $64 on HOU -5.5 for a $100 average bettor.

The Linebacker’s NBA model has gone 481-429 (52.9%) ATS and 494-464 (51.6%) on OVER/UNDERs this season, producing $2,362 in profit for $100 average bettors. Head to www.thelinebacker.com/pricing to start your free trial today and get every NBA pick!

Why will Houston cover the spread?

  • James Harden and the rest of the Rockets should get plenty of free-throw opportunities. Memphis commits 22.3 fouls per game and allows opponents to shoot 24.9 free throws per game, which are both fifth-most in the NBA. The Rockets’ 25.1 free-throw attempts per game ranks seventh in the NBA.
  • Opponents get 18.6 percent of their points from the free-throw line against Memphis, the most in the league.
  • The three-point line should be another huge advantage for the Rockets. Their 15.6 threes made per game is first in the NBA, while Memphis ranks 29th with just 9.4 made per game. Houston also defends the line much better, holding opponents to 34.2 percent from three, fifth-lowest in the NBA. The Grizzlies rank 19th at 35.8 percent allowed.
  • Memphis’ strength defensively is forcing turnovers. The Grizzlies force opponents to cough it up on 15.6 percent of possessions, which is third-best in the NBA. The Rockets do a great job limiting turnovers, however, sitting ninth with just 13.4 percent of their possessions ending in turnovers.
  • Overall, Memphis matches up miserably on defense against Houston. The Grizzlies force opponents to score via the line and the three-pointer, which Houston excels at. Houston leads the NBA with 58.9 percent of its points from threes and free throws, which is 7.4 percentage points higher (!!) than the next closest team.

How to bet the total in Rockets @ Grizzlies:

The Linebacker projects a final score of 112.9 - 104.6 in favor of the Rockets. With a projected total of 217.5 and an OVER/UNDER of 216, we have a very small suggested bet on the OVER. Our model suggests a wager of $15 on OVER 216 for a $100 average bettor.