Houston Rockets (46-27) at New Orleans Pelicans (31-43)
March 24, 2019 @ 7:00 PM ET (Smoothie King Center)
Spread: Rockets -10 (O/U – 240)
NBA Picks and Parlays New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets will travel to Smoothie King Center on Sunday afternoon in what will be their 78th game out of the 82 game regular season, where they sit 4 games back from the Denver Nuggets, who surpassed the Golden State Warriors as the Western Conference’s top seed. Houston has been playing arguably their best ball that they’ve played all season, and are 9-2 so far in March. The Pelicans come in to Sunday’s match-up against the Rockets having lost four out of their last five games. Anthony Davis is probable against Houston today with lower back spasms, but Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad) will miss today’s action, with Frank Jackson and Kenrich Williams starting in their absence. The Pelicans have nine games left in 2019 and it looks like Holiday and Moore will likely sit out the rest of the season.
New Orleans Pelicans: The Anthony Davis fiasco has been put on hold, as the team failed to trade him at the deadline, hence the removal of ex-General Manager Dell Demps. The Pelicans, who were a playoff team that eliminated the Blazers in a four game sweep last season, declined this season, due to a number of reasons including the departure of free agents like Demarcus Cousins in the summer or the fact that Anthony Davis wanting out of New Orleans deteriorated the team’s chemistry on the court. The Pelicans look like a team that are fighting for a lottery pick, not a playoff spot and a willing trade partner with the right pieces to develop a young team, not a championship team. The Pelicans’ record of 31-43 is not a disastrous one, as it is just a single game worse than the Lakers, who have a 31-41 record this season and were very much in the playoff hunt until early March. The Anthony Davis hiatus will have to wait, as the Pelicans look to finish off the season and see the results of a young core composed of Elfrid Payton, Frank Jackson, Kenrich Williams, Julius Randle and Jahlil Okafor.
Houston Rockets: Houston is looking scary at just the right time. James Harden, who is the leading MVP candidate for a second year in a row, is averaging an astounding 36.5 points per game this season, and is willing the Rockets back to being a powerhouse in the Western Conference. The Rockets have looked like the NBA’s best team in March, where they have only suffered two losses, one at the hands of the Warriors and a fluke overtime loss against Memphis. It’s not crazy to think that if Chris Paul were healthy in Games 6 and 7 of last year’s Western Confernce Finals against the Warriors, maybe the Rockets would have been the champions instead of Golden State. Essentially the same Rockets squad, minus Trevor Ariza, are back in the playoffs, this year as a three seed, but nonetheless, an even more dangerous James Harden and a team that is hungry after being 48 minutes away from a trip to the coveted NBA Finals. Nevertheless, Mike D’Antoni will use these last regular season games for the Rockets as a time to gain momentum heading into the post-season, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if he rests some of his starters, most notably Harden and Chris Paul.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
New Orleans Pelicans:
New Orleans is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games
New Orleans is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games
New Orleans is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games at home
Houston is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Houston is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games
Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
Free NBA Expert Picks New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets
The Rockets are scorching hot, having only lost 2 games and no players listed on their injury report, coming at just the right time for a team so desperately craving post-season success. The Pelicans are without two starters, one of whom happens to be their second best player. I think it’s an easy choice, with potential blowout implications.
Prediction: Houston -10