Houston at Chicago NBA Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,March 9, 2017 8:13, EDT in

There might not be a line on Friday’s Rockets at Bulls game until a few hours before tipoff because the Bulls are battling injuries and illness. It’s the only visit of the season to the Windy City for Rockets MVP candidate James Harden. Houston should be favored on NBA odds regardless.

Houston at Chicago NBA Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Friday, March 10, 8 PM ET
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBA League Pass
Stream: NBA.tv
Radio: Houston / Chicago
NBA Odds: Rockets favored by TBA

Why Bet on Houston?

The Rockets hosted Utah on Wednesday without forward Ryan Anderson. He exited Monday’s game after his back flared up on him. Eric Gordon likely starts as long as Anderson is out. Through games played on March 7, four Rockets had at least 150 3-pointers made and ranked within the top-11 in the league: Harden second w/209, Gordon third w/204, Anderson eighth w/169, and Trevor Ariza 11th w/157. All four of those players have hit 3+ 3FGM at least 30 times this season; only eight other players in the league have done so.

Gordon has come off the bench in 50 games this season after doing so 19 times his first eight seasons combined. He has the second-highest scoring average of any player coming off the bench this season with 17.1 ppg, trailing teammate Lou Williams (18.3 ppg). Gordon has hit 182 of his 204 3FGM as a reserve this season, breaking Mirza Teletovic’s NBA single season record of 179 set in 2015-16. Gordon hit at least 3 3FGM in 13 consecutive games from 11/25-12/17, which was tied for the third-longest streak in NBA history.

Houston had its three-game road winning streak snapped at San Antonio on Monday. The Rockets are 21-12 on the road this season after going 18-23 in 2015-16. Houston was 26-15 on the road in 2014-15, marking the second-most road wins in franchise history. Houston is 17-10 against teams from the Eastern Conference this season after going 13-17 in 2015-16. The Rockets were 23-7 against the Eastern Conference in 2014-15.

The Rockets are looking to sweep Chicago for 2nd time dating back to 2008-09 (2-0 in 2012-13). Houston has scored at least 100 points in 7 of the past 8 games vs. Chicago after doing so once in six games prior to that.

Houston beat visiting Chicago 121-117 in overtime earlier this season. The Rockets trailed 108-100 with 2:45 left in the fourth but closed regulation with an 8-0 run; Harden had 13 points in the quarter. Chicago trailed 115-111 with 2:42 left in overtime before going 6-1 run but went scoreless over the final 1:28.

Why Bet on Chicago?

Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo were doubtful for Wednesday’s game in Orlando with injuries, while Jimmy Butler was questionable with an illness. It’s worth noting Butler had a brutal one-point game when he was ill in January. So how those guys came through Wednesday will help determine if they play Friday.

The Bulls have been struggling down the stretch as of late, averaging just 16.3 points in the fourth quarter over their last three games and shooting 31.5 percent (17-of- 54). The Bulls’ 30 second-half points vs. the Clippers last Saturday were a season low for any half this season. In addition, their 12 points in the third quarter tied their fewest points in any quarter this season.

The Bulls have been especially effective on the offensive glass this season, ranked first in the NBA with 12.6 offensive boards per game. Chicago has been able to take advantage of those rebounds and is tied for first in the league in second-chance points with 15.5 per game.

Chicago has won three straight home games vs. Houston. The score last year was 108-100. Butler finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds and shot 11-of- 12 from the stripe. The Bulls won despite committing 26 turnovers. Chicago handed out 28 assists and out-rebounded Houston, 53-40.

In the earlier OT loss this season in Houston, the Bulls outshot the Rockets 48.0% to 44.9% but Houston had twice as many 3FGM (16). Butler missed that game. Harden is averaging 34.0 points over the past three meetings but is shooting 38.8%.

Houston at Chicago Free Pick: Houston Rockets

The Bulls do generally play the best teams well at home, but they just aren’t at full strength.