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Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 1/20/14

Portland Trail Blazers (31-9) at Houston Rockets (27-15)

NBA Basketball: Monday, January 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Toyota Center)

The Line: Houston Rockets -2.5 -- Over/Under: 218.5 See the Latest Odds


The Houston Rockets hope to slow down the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night from the Toyota Center.

Head to head, the Trail Blazers are 2-7-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings while the road team is 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings the favorite is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The Trail Blazers on the other hand are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 road games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

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Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 1/20/14

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Spo

Is it just me or have the Houston Rockets been a disappointment through the half way mark of the season? At 27-15, the Rockets have been just ‘ok’ and while there is still plenty of basketball left in the regular season, something just feels off about this team. Not only that, but Houston has already suffered two 30-point losses and we aren’t even at the All-Star break yet. Even though those blowout losses count the same as a 1-point defeat, how many other so called ‘contenders’ have been beating by 30 points? The Pacers? The Heat? The Spurs? The Blazers? I’m not going to look it up but I can guarantee you those teams haven’t even come close to losing by 30 points this season. Maybe I’m looking into it too much, but I don’t think it’s a great sign.

The Portland Trail Blazers on the other hand, my breakout team before the season started and the team I play with online in NBA2K14, have been just awesome so far this season. Having suffered back-to-back losses recently to Philadelphia and Sacramento, the Trail Blazers have responded in a big way with four consecutive victories, the last two coming in San Antonio and Dallas by nine and 16 points, respectively. Over the course of two and a half months, Portland has become the NBA’s premier offensive team, averaging nearly 110 points per contest and while they are one of the worst defensive teams around, it hasn’t really mattered because their offense is just so explosive and hard to contain because of all the weapons they have.

How is Houston favored in this contest? I realise they are playing at home, but isn’t this the same team that just scored 73 points in one half and then 19 in the next? Forget about the Rockets for second and just focus on what Portland has done in their last four road games. While they did lose in Sacramento (The Kings have also defeated the Mavs, Heat and Rockets twice at home since the start of December) their other three games resulted in wins in Oklahoma City and of course in San Antonio and Dallas. The Trail Blazers are playing with such high confidence right now that I would be pretty surprised if the Rockets came away with the win tonight...

Dan’s Pick: Portland +2.5

Follow me on Twitter @Dan_SCP


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