Indiana Pacers (0-0) at Houston Rockets (1-0)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Toyota Center)
The Line: Houston Rockets -5.5 -- Over/Under:230.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets meet Thursday in NBA preseason action at the Toyota Center.
The Indiana Pacers are coming off a surprise 48-win season and hope they can take that next step in a wide open Eastern Conference. The Pacers are pretty much the same team they were a year ago despite the additions of Tyreke Evans, Doug McDermott and Kyle O'Quinn to add more depth. For the preseason, I’ll be keeping a close eye on rookie point guard Aaron Holiday, who has great athleticism and could crack the rotation at some point due to his playmaking ability. It should also be fun to see what Victor Oladipo has added to his game, as he began his offseason workouts immediately after the Pacers were bounced in the playoffs in a seven-game series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pacers have big time potential and are a dark horse East contender if everything goes well. The Indiana Pacers have split their last eight preseason games.
The Houston Rockets didn’t miss a beat in their preseason opener when they beat up on the Memphis Grizzlies. In the victory, the Rockets scored 131 points on 50 percent shooting while allowing 115 points on 47.1 percent shooting. Chris Paul led the Rockets with 22 points and nine assists while James Harden had 20 points and six assists. Carmelo Anthony was the third double-digit scorer and Clint Capela grabbed six rebounds. The Rockets had six double-digit scorers in the victory and made a ridiculous 21 threes, proving that their in regular season form already. You’d like to see the defensive effort pick up a little bit, but if the Rockets are going to shoot the way they did, it probably doesn’t matter. As we saw last year, when the Rockets are hitting their shots, few teams in the league can keep up. The Houston Rockets have won 10 of their last 13 preseason games. Nene Hilario and P.J. Tucker are questionable.
The Pacers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games, 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games overall and the under is 19-7-1 in Pacers last 27 road games. The under is 17-7 in Rockets last 24 home games and 6-0 in Rockets last 6 Thursday games. The Pacers are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Houston and the under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
It seems like every preseason game I write up, the underdog either covers or wins outright. So, the points are worth a look here. However, the Rockets are a scoring machine in the preseason or regular season, and when they win, they usually win in blowout fashion. I'll eat the reasonable chalk with the Rockets due to how explosive this offense looked in its opener and the possiblity of that showing up again.