Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets - 8/18/20 NBA Picks and Prediction
Photo by Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma City Thunder (44-28) at Houston Rockets (44-28)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 6:30 pm (HP Field House)
The Line: Houston Rockets +1.5 -- Over/Under: 225.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Houston Rockets play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Tuesday night.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been in decent shape as they split their last eight games of the regular season to finish with the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the team with averages of 19.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, Dennis Schroder averaged 18.9 points and 4.0 assists per game, Danilo Gallinari averaged 18.7 points per game while Chris Paul averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game. As a team, the Thunder averaged 110.4 points per game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from the 3-point line.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets have been in similar form as they split their last eight games to finish with the fourth seed in the Western Conference. James Harden led the team with averages of 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game, Russell Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game, Eric Gordon averaged 14.4 points per game while Jeff Green averaged 12.2 points per game. As a team, the Rockets averaged 117.8 points per game while shooting an average of 45.1 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from the 3-point line.
Looking at the betting trends, the Thunder are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 road games against a team with a winning home record and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a loss. The Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last seven Conference Quarterfinals games, 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games as an underdog and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
Head to head, the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings overall, the Thunder are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Houston and the Thunder are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings overall.
The Thunder come into this one with plenty of confidence as they’ve beaten the Rockets in six of the last eight meetings and the Rockets will be shorthanded with Westbrook expected to sit this one out. Gordon will be asked to pick up the slack for the Rockets which is a bit of a concern given his lack of form, but Harden has been sensational while role players like Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore have been shooting it well. You can make an argument for either side here, but I’m a little more comfortable taking the Rockets as the underdogs here.