A five-game winning streak has re-established the Clippers as the next best team in the Western Conference behind the Lakers. Los Angeles has won five in a row as they welcome in the suddenly sputtering Rockets who are coming off a 125-123 road loss to the Knicks. Houston closed as 10-point favorites in the game and have now lost outright twice this season when favored by double-digits. This game should have a playoff feel as both teams are jockeying for position in the standings. The Under is 18-11 in Houston home games this season.
Prediction: Under 60.5 First Quarter
The Rockets lead the league in first-half scoring averaging 60.8 points per game. They exceeded that total on Monday night against the Knicks but were outscored 73-63 as New York was able to solve Houston’s small-ball lineup. R.J. Barrett went off for a career-high 27 points at MSG as the Rockets defense looked to be a step slow. The Clippers played one of their better defensive halves of the season holding the Thunder to just 47 points on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. With the trio of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Marcus Morris all healthy, it’s tough to fade the Clips as they gear up for the stretch run.
Prediction: Clippers First Half Moneyline (-106)
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Robert Covington has been a revelation since being traded to the Rockets. Through his first 10 games with Houston, Covington is averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. He shot 6-of-11 from the 3-point line in Monday’s loss to the Knicks and is averaging 3.2 made threes per game with the Rockets. The Clippers defense will likely hone-in-on Russell Westbrook and James Harden, which will leave Covington relatively open to knock down some shots. Expect him to continue his success from the outside.
Prediction: Robert Covington Over 2.5 Made Threes (-144)
The Clippers are finally looking healthy and are starting to figure out their defensive rotations with Morris fully entrenched in the starting lineup. Los Angeles has held three of its last five opponents to under 100 points with all three of those games staying under the total.
Efficiency has been the biggest issue for Houston this season as they rank 22nd in shooting at 45.4%. When at full strength, the Clippers are the deepest defensive team in the league and thrive at taking away their opponent’s strength. Expect both teams to bow their necks defensively as this showdown will hold some extra weight in the postseason standings.
Prediction: Under 237
The Rockets have gotten the better of the Clippers this season winning two of the three matchups. Leonard and George combined for 59 points the last time these teams played but it wasn’t enough as Houston prevailed 122-117 at Staples Center back in December. The duo has missed a combined 36 games out of 61 this season as the Clippers have continued to struggle mightily with injuries and load management. It does appear that both are finally fully healthy, and it is showing on the court as LA is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS over its last five games with both in the lineup. Considering the Rockets opened as a very slim favorite at home the oddsmakers are telling us the Clippers are the better team and we are also seeing slight movement in their direction.
Prediction: Clippers +0.5