Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 8/18/20 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 8/18/20 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder (44-28) at Houston Rockets (44-28)

NBA Basketball: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 6:30 pm (HP Field House)

The Line: Houston Rockets +1.5 -- Over/Under: 225.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets meet Tuesday in game one of NBA playoff action at the HP Field House. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder enter the playoffs splitting their last eight games. The Oklahoma City Thunder are averaging 110.4 points on 46.8 percent shooting and allowing 108.4 points on 45.5 percent shooting. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 19 points and 5.9 rebounds while Dennis Schroder is averaging 18.9 points and four assists. Danilo Gallinari is the third double-digit scorer and Chris Paul is dishing 6.7 assists. The Oklahoma City Thunder are shooting 35.5 percent from beyond the arc and 79.6 percent from the free throw line. The Oklahoma City Thunder are allowing 34 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.9 rebounds per game.

The Houston Rockets enter the playoffs riding a three-game losing streak. The Houston Rockets are averaging 117.8 points on 45.1 percent shooting and allowing 114.8 points on 46.2 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 34.3 points and 7.5 assists while Russell Westbrook is averaging 27.2 points and seven assists. Eric Gordon is the third double-digit scorer and Jeff Green is grabbing 2.9 rebounds. The Houston Rockets are shooting 34.5 percent from beyond the arc and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. The Houston Rockets are allowing 34.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 44.3 rebounds per game.

Get the Experts BEST BETS For Today's Games

The Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss. The Rockets are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games as an underdog, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Tuesday games and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The over is 18-7-1 in Thunder last 26 games as a favorite. The under is 6-1 in Rockets last 7 overall. The Thunder are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Houston and 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have won six of the last eight meetings against the Rockets, and that includes two victories back in January. This is probably going to be the most competitive first round series and things even out a bit with Westbrook sidelined with a quad injury. With that said, the Rockets to me are still the better team in this matchup and the return of Gordon does help ease the blow of their star point guard not being on the court. Harden is fresh, and the Rockets are an experienced bunch that's been here before and made deep runs in the playoffs. Outside of CP3 and a couple of others, OKC is a very young team that will getting its first taste of the big stage. I'll gladly take the free bucket in game one.

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Randy’s Pick Houston Rockets +1.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder 8/18/20 Free NBA Pick and Prediction NBA Betting Tips