Oklahoma City at Houston Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Wednesday,January 4, 2017 12:10, EDT in

There are no more college bowl games to steal your attention on weeknights, so this Thursday all your betting attention should be focused on a TNT national TV NBA game between Houston and Oklahoma City. Sure, both teams are good but this is more a matchup between the two leading MVP candidates in the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and Rockets’ James Harden. Houston will be a home favorite for this one on NBA odds.

Oklahoma City at Houston Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Thursday, Jan. 5, 8 PM ET
Where: Toyota Center, Houston
TV: TNT
Stream: NBA TV
RadioOklahoma City / Houston
NBA Odds: Rockets favored by TBA

Why Bet on Oklahoma City?

Westbrook leads the NBA with 16 triple-doubles as of Wednesday — the Thunder will be playing the second of a back-to- back here as they are in Charlotte on Wednesday. He’s your MVP favorite as he looks to become the second player in league history to average a triple-double for a season. Westbrook now owns 53 career triple-doubles, which is the most among active NBA players. Westbrook already ranks sixth all-time in NBA history with his 53 triple-doubles.

Westbrook has amassed averages of 30.9 points (1st in the NBA), 10.4 rebounds (12th in the NBA) and 10.5 assists (2nd in the NBA) this year. By reaching these benchmarks, Westbrook is now the second player in NBA history (Oscar Robertson) to average 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 10+ assists through the first 30+ games of a NBA season. Westbrook again joins Robertson (1961-62) as the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double entering the month of January. The Thunder are 31-3 in their past 34 games when Westbrook has a triple-double.

In Monday’s loss to Milwaukee, Westbrook hit just 9-of- 28 shots and 2-of- 10 3-pointers, but also drained 10-of- 11 free throws for 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and five turnovers. The Thunder shot 3-of- 12 in clutch time in the fourth quarter. Westbrook was 2-of- 7 in clutch time including going 1-of- 4 with 1 turnover when he did not pass. Westbrook’s 30-point performance was a career-high against Milwaukee, leaving Cleveland as the only opponent he has yet to record a 30-point game against (28 points). Steven Adams hit 9-of- 11 shots and both of his free throws for 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and three blocks for one of his best games of the season.

The Thunder are currently the sixth leading rebounding team in the NBA (45.2 rpg). OKC is a perfect 8-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition by 10 or more. Additionally, the Thunder ranks second in the NBA with respect to points in the paint (50.1 per game). Last year, the Thunder’s 8.4 rebounding differential was the fourth largest margin since 1950.

Why Bet on Houston?

Harden, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, is fourth in the NBA in scoring and first in assists. Houston won its fifth straight game Monday, 101-91 over Washington. Harden had 23 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds and Eric Gordon scored 31 points. Harden’s ninth triple-double of the season was a rocky follow-up to his brilliant New Year’s Eve performance where he had 53 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds against the Knicks and became the first player in NBA history with a 50-15- 15 game. Against the Wizards, Harden committed six turnovers and was just 2 for 11 on 3-pointers after going 9 for 16 against New York.

Harden has recorded a triple-double in each of the past 3 games, becoming first player in franchise history to accomplish that feat. He is the first player since Larry Bird in Feb. of 1986 to have 100+ points with 75+ combined reb/ast over a 3-game span. Harden has recorded nine triple-doubles this season after having nine prior in his career, all coming as a Rocket. He has the most triple-doubles in franchise history, having surpassed Hakeem Olajuwon (14 times) earlier this season.

Montrezl Harrell hit 6-of- 11 shots for 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes in another start at center on Monday for Houston. He is averaging 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 67 percent shooting over his last five games. With Clint Capela still a long ways off, Harrell will keep getting plenty of time. Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley missed a second straight game Monday with a wrist injury. He might play Thursday.

The Rockets and Thunder have split two close meetings in OKC this year, but Houston has won the past four in the series at home. Both teams have scored 100+ points in 7 of the past 8 meetings. Harden is averaging 17.0 points (25.6% FG), 12.5 assists and 8.0 rebounds this year vs. OKC. Westbrook is averaging 28.5 points (37.8% FGs), 9.5 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 2.50 steals vs. Houston.

Oklahoma City at Houston Expert Pick: Houston Rockets

Take Houston at home on NBA odds in what should be quite the individual battle.