The Houston Rockets (6-3) will meet the Los Angeles Clippers (3-7) Friday evening as part of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament with both teams heading in opposite directions. The Rockets have won six in a row after a rough start, while the Clippers have lost six in a row despite the acquisition of James Harden.
There are no major day-to-day injuries for either team. One big change will be Russell Westbrook going to the bench, putting Terance Mann in the starting lineup for Los Angeles.
The Clippers are 7.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total coming in at 219.5. Los Angeles is -298 on the moneyline while Houston is +240.
Rockets vs. Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Rockets +7.5
Houston is 5-3-1 ATS this season, including a 4-3 ATS mark as the underdog. The Rockets are playing well as a unit and are unburdened by any expectations. The Clippers, on the other hand, appear to be in the “championship or bust” camp with the Harden trade. LA has won seven straight in the head-to-head matchup but this is an improved Rockets team playing with confidence. Take Houston to cover Friday night.
Over/Under: Under 219.5
The Clippers are 4-5-1 to the over this season, while the Rockets are 3-6. Both teams are near the middle of the league in points per game but the Rockets feature the fourth-best defensive rating this season. Houston has been exceptional on that side of the ball with its veteran free agency additions, and should keep LA’s stars at bay. Take the under, even on a relatively low number.