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L.A. Lakers vs. Houston Rockets - 2/21/19 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Houston Rockets at L.A. Lakers
Date & Time Thursday February 21, 2019, 10:30 PM (EST)
Location
STAPLES Center
Los Angeles, CA
The Line
The Line: Los Angeles +2.5 -- Over/Under 233
TV Channel
TNT
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NBA | Houston Rockets at L.A. Lakers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers play host to the Houston Rockets at the STAPLES Center on Thursday night.

The Houston Rockets have been building some nice momentum with seven wins in their last 11 games and they will be looking to start a bit of a run after falling short against the Timberwolves in a 121-111 road loss on Feb 13. James Harden led the team with 42 points and six assists, Chris Paul continued to struggle with his shooting as he shot just four of 13 from the field but he still finished with 16 points and eight assists while Eric Gordon and Gerald Green each scored 13 points. As a team, the Rockets shot just 40 percent from the field and 19 of 53 from the 3-point line as they gained the early advantage in the first half before getting dominated in the second half where they were outscored by 69-53 as they had no answer for Jeff Teague. With the tough loss, Houston fell to 33-24 overall and 13-15 on the road.  

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers have been in a real slump lately as they’ve lost eight of their last 11 games and they will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat after falling short against the lottery-bound Hawks in a 117-113 road loss going into the All-Star break. LeBron James led the team with a triple-double of 28 points with 11 rebounds and 16 assists, Brandon Ingram added 19 points while Reggie Bullock chipped in with 15 points. As a team, the Lakers shot just 43 percent from the field and 14 of 40 from the 3-point line but they just couldn’t make a basket when they really needed it as they managed just 18 points in the fourth quarter after pouring in 69 points in the first half. With the loss, Los Angeles fell to 28-29 overall and 12-17 on the road.

Looking at the betting trends, the Rockets are 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games, 0-5 ATS in their last five games playing on three or more days rest and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a losing record. The Lakers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven against the Western Conference, 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games and 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine home games against a team with a losing road record.

Head to head, the road team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, the Rockets are 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings overall and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Los Angeles.

There is going to be plenty of bad blood when these two teams after a fight broke out between Chris Paul, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo in the team’s last meeting. The Rockets haven’t been at their absolute best but they’ve been able to keep their heads above water with Harden shouldering the load on offense which can’t be said for the Lakers who have won just three of their last 11 games. A win would be great for the Rockets who are looking better and better with Paul working himself back into shape, but no team needs a win quite like the Lakers who are in real danger of missing the playoffs. It’s tempting to take the Rockets who are 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in LA, but the Lakers are getting desperate now and I think they can pull off the minor upset behind a big game from LeBron in this grudge match.

Pick:
Los Angeles +2.5

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