The Rockets are soaring up the Western Conference standings thanks to Harden’s MVP-like contributions.
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Houston is on a five-game win streak with its latest victory coming at the expense of the Boston Celtics. The Rockets won 115-104 as 2-point road underdogs but they’re just 2-2-1 against the spread during the winning run.
The club began the season with high hopes after pushing the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination in the Western Conference finals last spring. But things didn’t go well for Houston out the gates.
The Rockets opened the campaign just 1-5 straight up in their first six games, and they covered the spread just three times over their first 11 contests. Things have improved as the season has progressed. Houston is 9-3 SU over its last 12 games with wins over the Celtics and Warriors during the stretch.
Toronto is coming off an overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons, but the club is still 8-2 SU in its last 10 games. ATS wins haven’t as easy to come by for the Dinos. The Raptors are just 1-7 against the number in their last eight games.
Twenty-seven of the team’s 46 wins have come on its home court but the squad has failed to cover the spread in five of its last six home games.
James Harden has a chance to surpass Michael Jordan’s record for most points averaged per game in a season. MJ averaged 37.1 points per game during the 1986-87 season and Harden is averaging 36.7 ppg this year.
If Harden completes the feat, he’ll own the record for highest-scoring season by player not name Wilt Chamberlain. The Beard has dropped down his scoring rate slightly from his ridiculous rate in January when he averaged better than 43 points per game. Still, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player has scored 110 points in his last two games.
Marc Gasol has taken over the starting centre duties from Serge Ibaka and it doesn’t look like head coach Nick Nurse is going to be switching back. Gasol has started the last two games for the Drakes and filled up the stat sheet in both games.
The hope is the move will help a bench unit in need of a spark. The Raptors’ reserve group lacks the same punch it had a year ago, and the drop is even more pronounced with backup guard Fred VanVleet out with an injury.