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Thunder Look to Continue Dominance Over Rockets as Road Dogs

Chris Paul NBA Basketball Betting Preview Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets

The Rockets aren’t scoring as much, they’re losing at home and they host an Oklahoma City team on Monday that’s 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings. The Rockets opened as 6-point favorites, making the Thunder, with the NBA’s best ATS record, an intriguing play.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets
  • Date/Time: January 20, 5 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Toyota Center
  • TV Coverage: AT&T SportsNet - Southwest, Fox Sports Oklahoma
  • Opening Odds: Rockets -6 | O/U 228
  • Thunder vs Rockets Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Despite losing four of their last five, including two straight home games, and winning by four points when they hosted the Thunder earlier this season, Houston opened as a 6-point home favorite on Monday. The total opened at 228 points, which is what these two clubs totaled in their first meeting at Houston this season, but is much higher than what Houston and Oklahoma City have averaged over their last 10 matchups.

Oklahoma City News & Notes

The Thunder had lost three of their last four games, all against division-leading clubs, but to avoid a fourth loss in five games they needed to lean on one of their star veterans.

Future Hall of Famer Chris Paul matched his season high by scoring 30 points as the Thunder toppled Portland 119-106 on Saturday. He’s been a steadying presence for the young Thunder team this season, ranking 34th in the league in player efficiency rating, contributing 16.5 points and 6.5 assists per game and allowing guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to blossom into a star in just his second season.

Oklahoma City had a strong first half of the season, currently sitting in a playoff spot, but the Thunder really shined as ATS darlings, with the league’s best record against the spread through 43 games. They’ve also covered the spread in six of their last seven games against Houston, including both of their previous matchups this season, so they’re always a difficult team to play against.

Houston News & Notes

After losing 124-115 at home Saturday against the Anthony Davis-less Lakers, the Rockets have now dropped three straight games and four of their last five.

A dip in offense has been to blame: the Rockets finished below their Western Conference-best 118.6 points per game in each of those four losses. Don’t blame Russell Westbrook for Houston’s scoring woes, however, as he’s topped 30 points in four consecutive games.

Instead, Houston needs a return to consistency from the league’s leading scorer, James Harden, who’s topped 30 points in three of his last five games … but finished with 30 points combined in the other two.

A high-scoring game might not be in the cards Monday, however: Houston has seen the total go UNDER in eight of its last 11 games against the Thunder, although in their two previous meetings this season, the total went UNDER at Oklahoma City — and OVER at Houston.

Betting Pick: Thunder +6

The Rockets are in a bit of a slump and haven’t been great ATS this season, while the Thunder are competitive night in and night out. They may not get the road win, but I think Oklahoma City does enough to cover.

Shark Bites
  • Houston is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games.
  • The OVER is 5-0 in Oklahoma City’s last 5 games.
  • Oklahoma City is 7-0 ATS in its last 7 road games.