Rockets vs Pacers – NBA Pick for November 12th
I survived a brutal start to Friday night’s NBA slate, as my Celtics pick over the Charlotte Hornets almost went up in smoke in the first quarter.
The visiting Hornets (who had been 1-5 on the road, by the way), jumped out to a huge lead and Boston lost Kyrie Irving (minor facial fracture) for the game.
Irving as taken out by an inadvertent elbow by his own teammate, while the Hornets proceeded to inflict their will on the Celtics for much of the night. It was a nail-biter, but the Celtics closed strong and got the win, which propped me up to a solid 16-5-1 on the year.
At the time of this writing I’m unsure how my Knicks pick (-5 against the Kings) will hold up, but it’s time to look ahead to Sunday’s NBA schedule. The big reasons why is bettors have a light four-game betting slate to work with and the action gets started at 2:30 pm ET.
Needless to say, the pickings are slim and if you’re going to bet on a game on Sunday, you’ll want to get a head start. Luckily Saturday’s slate is already underway as I sit down at my desk, which means a lot of the NBA odds for tomorrow’s games have trickled out.
I’m loving the value we get in several spots, but the Houston Rockets at -145 at MyBookie feels like a major steal on Sunday.
James Harden and co. will be playing on a back-to-back set and could be tired with their third game in four nights, but something tells me that’s a silly concern as they gear up for the very beatable Indiana Pacers.
Vegas is clearly slightly concerned that the Pacers could pull off the upset, but this looks like a great spot for bettors to eat up the value. Let’s take a closer look at Sunday’s showdown in Indy to see what the best bet is:
To be honest, I can’t hate on any betting angle for this game, aside from taking the Pacers. I can absolutely see an argument for this being a trap game for the Rockets.
Houston just got done fending off the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday and they had a tough assignment in the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Going on the road against a bad (but explosive) Pacers team qualifies as a potential trap setting.
That’s true in theory, but the Rockets are not to be trifled with and bettors aren’t getting much incentive for rolling the dice with Indiana. It’s always important to consider home underdogs when they make sense, but at +125, the value just isn’t there.
The bets that do make sense, of course, are anything with the Rockets, the Total going Over and Indy to beat the spread at +3. That is still a really small spread, however, and the Pacers are incredibly tough to trust after losing four of their last five games.
There are still a lot of angles here, but my favorite bet is the favored Rockets, straight up. This is a game that 100% fits their style, as Houston can play a more methodical offense, but due to their run and gun nature, has no problem matching Indiana’s 10th-ranked pace.
Houston is a more controlled offensive team and plays slightly better defense. Indiana can certainly pile on the points, but they grade out poorly in terms of efficiency (20th) on the defensive end.
The harsh reality is the Pacers don’t have anyone that can slow down Harden, while the Rockets are equipped to destroy even the best defenses from the outside. Big man Ryan Anderson is specifically slaying on the road this year, too, while Clint Capela could have his way in the pick-and-roll game against a suspect Indiana defense.
Again, this is admittedly a potential trap game, but it’s also a game the Rockets crave and should win. This is one of the best and most explosive teams in the NBA, and fatigue aside, they should be able to take down a bad Pacers team that doesn’t defend and isn’t even going to always show up offensively.
The best part is the value, and at -145 at MyBookie.ag, I find no reason to attack any other bet on Sunday.