Rockets vs Thunder: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Thursday, November 8th, 2018, 8:00 PM (ET)
Chesapeake Energy Arena
After one of their worst starts in the past decade, Houston seems to have gotten back on track, and is riding a three game win streak. The Thunder are on a win streak of their own, tallying six victories in a row after starting the season 0-4.
The obvious correlation between the Rockets win streak, and the stat sheet, is that the Rockets are a better team when Chris Paul doesn’t have to be a go-to scorer. Carmelo Anthony rose from the dead last Friday, and dropped 28 points. James Harden has averaged 26.5 points since returning to the lineup two games ago. With other players taking they heavy workload on the scoring end, the multifaceted Paul is allowed to impact the game in other ways. Paul has scored under double digit points in his last two games, yet nearly averages a triple-double during that span, most recently dishing out 13 assist in his team’s impressive victory over Indiana.
Oklahoma City’s trajectory is trending way up, after what seemed to be a season destined with disappointment. One of the many bright spots in the teams six game win streak is the play of forward Jerami Grant. Grant’s minutes per game have jumped nearly ten minutes from last year to this season. Grant has capitalized on the added usage rate, specifically over the last three games, where he’s put up an averaged line of 15.7 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals, per game.
Russell Westbrook missed Wednesday’s game with an ankle sprain, and his availability for the back-to-back game is currently in question. Dennis Schroder filled in admirably in Westbrook’s absence, leading the team in scoring with 28 points. OKC will be a tough out for the Rockets come Thursday, even if Westbrook can’t go, and especially with the game taking place in Oklahoma City. With that said, James Harden has looked like his old MVP self since returning to the lineup. With Harden taking on the brunt of the scoring, the Rockets look like true contenders again.
Score prediction: Rockets win 101-96
The biggest alteration to this bet is the availability of Russell Westbrook. Without Westbrook, Chris Paul will be on the attack, not only scoring, but also attacking to dish the ball to open scorers on the arc. Quite frankly Raymond Felton shouldn’t ever be asked to defend a player like Chris Paul at this point in his career.
The Rockets have not scored over 98 points in their past two games, but have come away victorious due to holding their opponents to an average of 91 points a game. Oklahoma City is coming off a game themselves where they scored under 100 points, putting up only 95, mostly due to the loss of Westbrook. If Westbrook can’t go on Thursday, we can expect much of the same from OKC’s offense.
Head to Head
These two teams have faced off 216 times throughout the years, with OKC holding the slight edge 109-107. The Thunder, however, has gone a disappointing 3-7 against the Rockets over the past two seasons.
- Houston is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 road games when playing a team with a winning record.
- Houston is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games.
- Houston is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games against the Western Conference.
- Oklahoma City is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 games.
- Oklahoma City 2-5 in its last 7 games played on Thursday.