When LeBron James and the desperate Los Angeles Lakers host James Harden and the Houston Rockets, there’s going to be bad blood everywhere – and hopefully some more fisticuffs after the first meeting between these two Western Conference rivals this season produced a near, all-out brawl that was started when Lakers veteran point guard Rajon Rondo spit in Chris Paul’s face.
Whether Paul slaps the nonsense out of Rondo or not (Pleaseeee!) this matchup looks like a highly intriguing affair just waiting to happen. Now, let’s find out where the best value lies in this contest.
Rockets vs Lakers NBA Betting Odds, Preview & Pick
Game Night Stats 📊 pic.twitter.com/E8KJ03U2GJ— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) 21 de febrero de 2019
- When: Thursday February 21, 2019, 10:30 PM ET
- Where: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: Houston / Los Angeles
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
- NBA Odds: Houston -2.5 / Total: 233
Why Bet On Houston at -2.5?
Why should you consider betting on the Rockets in this contest? There are a handful of great reasons. First, let’s start with the fact that Houston is the statistically better team at both ends of the floor in averaging 113.1 points per game (11th) and allowing 111.1 points per contest defensively (14th).
Then, there’s the fact that superstar shooting guard and reigning league MVP James Harden has gone completely bonkers for the better part of the last two months by scoring at least 30 points in each of the last 31 games to tie legendary Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain for the second longest such streak in NBA history.
The Rockets have gone 21-10 since Harden’s streak began, although the sweet-shooting veteran has indicated he’d like to now score the ball a bit less moving forward.
“The scoring streak is obviously amazing, but it’s something that I just had to do because of our situation,” Harden said recently. “We had all the injuries and guys in and out of the lineup and things like that. So I think the streak just started happening, and now it’s like something to talk about.”
Last but not least, Houston has a deeper roster of established stars outside of Harden, including Chris Paul and underrated center Clint Capela (17.6 points, 12.6 rebounds), who will be back on the court for this contest after he missed 15 games prior to the break.
- Average Score For: 113.14
- Field Goals: 44.63%
- Three Points: 34.78%
- Free Throws: 78.21%
- Rebounds: 41.60
- Average Score Against: 111.04
- Field Goals: 47.62%
- Three Points: 34.13%
- Free Throws: 76.73%
- Rebounds: 44.70
Why Bet on the Lakers at +2.5?
Why should you consider betting on the Lakers in this matchup? The best reasons would be because they’re completely and utterly desperate to reach the playoffs after dropping 10 of their final 15 games before the All-Star break. Now, the Lakers are desperate to reach the playoffs and extend LeBron James’ 13-year run of doing so. The Lakers currently trail the in-city rival Clippers by three games for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
“That’s the job, that’s our goal,” James said of ending the franchise’s five-season playoff drought. “It’s been our goal from the beginning of the season and it’s still our goal. We’re working our tails off to get there.”
Another good reason to back L.A. is the fact that they’re playing at home where they’ve gone 16-12 SU this season, not to mention the fact that they’ve got the incomparable James on their roster.“We know we have who we view as the best player in the world on our team, but we also know that it takes a team to win,” head coach Luke Walton told reporters. “So we expect him to lead us and we expect the other guys on the team to continue to make plays and help us win games. This league is too tough to do it by yourself.” L.A. dropped two straight and four of five prior to the break including a 117-113 road loss to Atlanta on Feb. 12. LeBron James led the team with a triple-double of 28 points with 11 rebounds and 16 assists in the loss. The Lakers average 112.2 points per game (15th) while allowing 113.4 points per contest defensively (22nd).
- Average Score For: 112.25
- Field Goals: 47.34%
- Three Points: 33.91%
- Free Throws: 68.67%
- Rebounds: 47
- Average Score Against: 113.44
- Field Goals: 44.82
- Three Points: 35.56
- Free Throws: 78.67
- Rebounds: 46.89
Rockets vs Lakers NBA Betting Trends
- Houston is 4-10 ATS in the last 14 games
- Houston is 4-2 SU in the last 6 games
- The total went OVER in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games on the road
- LA Lakers is 1-4-1 ATS in the last 6 games at home
- LA Lakers is 1-4 SU in the last 5 games
- The total went OVER in 4 of LA Lakers’s last 6 games
Expert Analysis and Prediction for Rockets vs Lakers
I know the Los Angeles Lakers are desperate and I certainly expect them to come out with a fine effort in this contest. However, for me, I like Houston to pick up the big road win simply because they have a better roster of starts with Harden now getting some much needed help from Chris Paul and possibly more importantly, Clint Capela.
Houston has gone 5-2 in their last seven games against teams from the Pacific Division while the Lakers have gone 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine home games against a team with a losing road record and 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games.
Additionally, the Rockets are 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings against the Lakers and a robust 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road dates against L.A. With the Favorite in this rivalry going 18-7 ATS in the last 25 meetings and the road team going 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings, I like the Rockets to win and cover the chalk by a narrow margin.
NBA Betting Pick: Rockets 121 Lakers 115