Can Pelicans Overcome Rockets in NBA Spread on Friday?

Can Pelicans Overcome Rockets in NBA Spread on Friday?

Written by on January 26, 2018

There will be three All-Star starters on the court Friday – James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis — in a potential playoff series preview as Houston visits New Orleans. It’s the only nationally-televised game on Friday’s NBA spread slate.

Houston at New Orleans NBA Spread & Game Info for Friday

When: Friday, 8 PM ET Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans TV: ESPN Stream: WatchESPN Radio: Sportstalk 790 AM (Houston) / 99.5 WRNO FM (New Orleans) NBA Spread: Rockets -3 (228.5)

Season Series

It’s the second of four meetings. On Dec. 11 in Houston, the Rockets won 130-123. Clint Capela scored 28 points and Harden scored 12 straight points for Houston in the fourth quarter in the comeback win. The game was tied with about three minutes remaining after Harden made two free throws. Those were the first of seven straight points by Harden that put Houston’s up 124-119 with 1:30 left. Harden also had 17 assists. Jrue Holiday had a season-high 37 points for the Pelicans and Rajon Rondo had a triple-double of 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Cousins had 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists but Davis was out with a groin injury. Since losing three straight from 4/16/14-1/2/15, the Rockets have won 9 of the past 11 meetings.  Houston hasn’t lost a season series to New Orleans since 2010-11. Over the past five meetings, the Rockets are averaging 122.0 points on 47.3% shooting while Pelicans are averaging 111.4 ppg on 47.6% shooting. Harden is averaging 29.4 points and 14.4 assists while shooting 49.4% in the past five.

Why Bet on Houston?

The Rockets are 34-12 this season. That is tied for the best record through the first 46 games of a season in franchise history (34-12 in 1993-94). Houston is 19-0 when Capela, Harden, and Chris Paul play together and 15-12 when they don’t. The Rockets must like their team because this year’s big trade deadline prize is Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, but the Rockets are reportedly out of the running. The Clippers and Rockets recently held discussions, but they went nowhere reportedly because the Clippers asked for Capela in return and the Rockets balked because they love the 23-year-old. Houston enters on a four-game winning streak following a 104-97 win in Dallas on Wednesday. Capela scored 16 points with 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He’s averaging 16.1 points, 9.5 boards and 1.4 blocks this month. Capela’s minutes have also trended up to almost 29 per game. Harden scored 25 points with five rebounds, 13 assists, one block, one steal and six 3-pointers vs. Dallas. Paul handed out a season-low four assists against the Mavs, adding 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Gerald Green picked up his second straight DNP-CD on Wednesday and coach Mike D’Antoni said that likely won’t change for the time being. Green was terrific when Harden was out injured. “I can’t upset five guys to appease one,” D’Antoni said. “I’d rather have one guy kind of out of it and four happy. I’ve got to keep a core that knows about their minutes. Now, whenever I can, I’ll play him. I won’t hesitate to play him. If somebody’s hurt or sick, he’ll play. Or if I can find time, I will.”

Why Bet on New Orleans?

New Orleans big man Cousins made history on Monday in a double-OT win over Chicago with 44 points, 24 rebounds and 10 assists. That was just the 10th 40-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain (6), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1), Elgin Baylor (1), Oscar Robertson (1) are the others to have one. Cousins played 52 minutes that night and one would think he had little left in the tank Wednesday, but he had 16 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and one steal in 30 minutes vs. Charlotte in a 101-96 road win. With the game tied at 92, New Orleans outscored Charlotte 9-4 through the final 3:07 of regulation. Holiday scored four unanswered and then added two free throws down the stretch to help seal the victory for the Pelicans. Are the Pelicans a safe bet on Friday? Since Jan. 1, Holiday has been coming up big during clutch time (final five minutes of the game with the score separated by five points or less). In nine games since Jan. 1 where Holiday has logged clutch time minutes, the Pelicans are 7-2, and he is averaging 4.7 points, the fifth highest average in the NBA for that span, while connecting on .625 of his field goal attempts. Davis had 19 points and six rebounds in Wednesday’s win. Rondo sat out the fourth quarter again, finishing with nine points and five assists. In the past seven games, Rondo is averaging just 4.8 points on 38.7% shooting. Thus, he’s being benched late. In four games against Houston last season, Davis averaged 26.3 points on .513 shooting from the field, 11.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. New Orleans currently ranks second in the NBA in points in the paint per game, averaging 50.0 points down low.

Latest NBA Betting Trends

  • Houston is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games
  • Houston is 7-1 SU in the last 8 games
  • The total went UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 5 games
  • New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in the last 6 games at home
  • New Orleans is 6-1 SU in the last 7 games
  • The total went OVER in 5 of New Orleans’s last 7 games

Expert Prediction & NBA Pick

  Total matchup of opposites here as the Rockets bomb it and the Pelicans score down low. Take the Rockets in the NBA spread.