There is no hotter team right now than the Houston Rockets, winners of 11 in a row and owners of the best record in the NBA at 22-4. But the Rockets face one of their toughest challenges on Friday night when they host the San Antonio Spurs (19-9) in a nationally televised showdown at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Houston is favored by 7.5 points. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 213.5, up from the opener of 212.
Before choosing a side in this marquee contest, you need to hear what SportsLine expert Stephen Oh has to say. Oh, a co-founder of AccuScore, uses a data-driven approach as he looks to crush the sportsbooks.
And he’s at an elite level when it comes to picking games involving the Rockets and the Spurs. Combining the results of those two teams, Oh is 23-7, cashing in at an astounding 77 percent rate (Rockets 10-3, Spurs 13-4).
Now, he’s analyzed every matchup, every injury, and every angle in Friday night’s Rockets-Spurs game and locked in his pick. You can only see it over at SportsLine.
Oh knows San Antonio’s defense ranks No. 1 in the NBA in points allowed at just 97.5 per game — and now it welcomes into the fold the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Kawhi Leonard made his season debut Tuesday, putting up 13 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 16 minutes. He’ll get more playing time Friday as Gregg Popovich nudges his former NBA Finals MVP into the regular rotation.
LaMarcus Aldridge will certainly welcome any teammate who can fill the bucket. Aldridge averages 22.7 points per game, but no other Spurs player brings in more than 12.8.
The Rockets, meanwhile, have had no problem scoring in bunches. The team averages 114.1 points per game, second most in the NBA, but have put up 117 or more in eight of their 11 straight wins, and at least 124 points four times.
James Harden leads in the league in scoring at 31.6 points per game, but he’s been the No. 2 guy in Houston’s last two victories. Clint Capela had 28 in a 130-23 win over New Orleans on Monday and Chris Paul poured in 31 in a 108-96 win over Charlotte on Wednesday.
Can the Spurs end the Rockets’ huge win streak or at least stay within the spread, or does Houston keep on rolling along? You may be surprised to hear what Oh’s projections have come up with.
So which side should you back in Spurs-Rockets on Friday? Visit SportsLine now to see what big statistical advantage determines which side of Spurs-Rockets you need to be all over, all from the expert who is 23-7 in picks involving these two teams, and find out.
CBS Sports Staff