Expect a high-scoring game when the Houston Rockets (34-12) and the New Orleans Pelicans (26-21) square off at Smoothie King Center. The games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 229.5 points with Houston set as a 3-point favorite. Action gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, January 26, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans ATS Preview
The Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks in their last matchup, 104-97. James Harden led Houston in scoring with 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting. The Rockets had 8 steals and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.567 (above their season average of 0.552).
In the Pelicans last matchup, they beat the Charlotte Hornets, 101-96. New Orleans DeMarcus Cousins played a key role with 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. New Orleans 0.500 effective field goal percentage was their biggest strength over Charlotte, who had a mark of 0.459. The Pelicans mark was below their season average of 0.549, while the Hornets was below the 0.525 mark opponents have averaged against New Orleans this season.
New Orleans could dominate on the offensive side of the ball as their elite offense faces off against one of the worst defenses in the NBA. The Pelicans rank third in effective field goal percentage (0.548), while Houston ranks 24th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.533).
Of Houston’s 46 games, 24 have finished under the O/U total, while 28 of New Orleans 47 games have finished over the O/U total. The Rockets have the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (34-12 vs. 26-21), but the Pelicans have been superior against the spread (ATS) (25-22 vs. 23-22-1).
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to score 253 points in that game, which was well over the projected point total of 227. The Rockets won 130-123, but were unable to cover as 14-point favorites. Houston had a much better free throw rate (0.193 vs. 0.082). New Orleans, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (15.8 vs. 10.3). Jrue Holiday scored a game-high 37 points.
Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Rockets, ATS Winner – Rockets, O/U – Under
- The Rockets average 18.1 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fifth in the league. The Pelicans rank 24th in points off turnovers allowed per game (18.0).
- New Orleans ranks fifth in blocks allowed per game (4.3) while Houston ranks 17th (5.0).
- Houston ranks third in rebounds allowed per game (41.1) while New Orleans ranks 21st (43.9).
- Houston ranks 18th in second chance points per game (11.9) while New Orleans ranks 24th in second chance points allowed per game (13.4).
- Houston is 13-9 ATS on the road, while New Orleans is 10-12 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 16 of the Pelicans 22 home games, while 14 of the Rockets 22 road games have gone under.
- When holding opponents below 100 points, Houston is 16-2 and New Orleans is 8-1.
- In games where they reach 100 points, the Pelicans are 24-14 and the Rockets are 33-9.
- The Pelicans rank second in assists per game (26.3) while the Rockets rank 16th (22.3).
- Houston ranks first in three pointers attempted per game (43.3) while New Orleans ranks 27th in three pointers allowed per game (31.4).
- The Pelicans rank second in points in the paint per game (50.0) while the Rockets rank 27th in points allowed in the paint per game (47.4).
- The Rockets average 11.1 fast break points per game, which ranks 14th in the NBA. The Pelicans rank 26th in fast break points allowed per game (13.5).
- Houston ranks third in steals per game (9.0) while New Orleans ranks 26th in steals allowed per game (8.5).
- New Orleans is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Houston is 3-2 ATS with 5 unders.
- The Pelicans average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.6, up from 0.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Rockets have scored an average of 107.4 points per game (6.7 below their season average) and allowed an average of 101.2 points per game (5.1 below their season average).