Chicago Bulls vs. Houston Rockets - 3/13/14
Houston Rockets (44-19) at Chicago Bulls (35-28)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Bulls -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
James Harden and the Houston Rockets take the trip to the United Center tonight to battle with the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls have won six of their last nine games but will still be licking their wounds after getting trounced by the Spurs on Tuesday. Yes, the final score says that they only lost by 104-96, but they finished the first quarter down by 38-14 and fell behind by 51-19 midway through the second before they started to claw their way back. To be fair, the Bulls were coming off an emotional win over the Heat, so a letdown performance was always on the cards so there could not have been a worse time to play the Spurs. Chicago can't afford to have many more slow starts over the next couple weeks as they play Houston, Oklahoma City and Indiana twice.
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Meanwhile, the Rockets just had their five-game win streak snapped by the Thunder on Tuesday in a 106-98 loss at Oklahoma City. James Harden filled the stat sheet with 28 points, eight rebounds and nine assists while Chandler Parsons added 19 points, but there was just no stopping Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook who scored 42 and 24 points respectively. The Rockets really needed more from Dwight Howard who was basically shut down for just nine points in 33 minutes but that was because the Thunder clearly had a plan of keeping him out of the game and daring someone else to beat them and it worked nicely.
In ATS trends, the Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last sveen games following an ATS loss and 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a home record above .600, while the Bulls are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games following a loss and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
Head to head, the Rockets are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Chicago.
The Rockets clearly have had plenty of success ATS when playing the Bulls but I will have to wait to see the line before I make my pick.
Houston is only favored by a couple points so I'll definitely be taking them to win and cover in what should be a fascinating clash of styles.