The Oklahoma City Thunder (37-28) will attempt to snap the 15-game winning streak of Houston when they welcome the Rockets (49-13) to Chesapeake Energy Arena. The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 222.5 points with Houston opening as a 4.5-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, and it can be seen on TNT.
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Free Preview
In the Rockets last outing, they barely escaped the Boston Celtics, 123-120. With 26 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, Houston’s James Harden played well. Houston played a perfect game. They had a solid free throw rate of 0.299 (above their season average of 0.242) and a turnover percentage of 9.1 (better than their season average of 12.3). Boston was 0.209 and 11.5, respectively, for those same stats.
The Thunder are trying to rebound after their 108-100 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in their last game. Russell Westbrook was the games leading scorer with 30 points on 12-for-31 shooting. Portland had an offensive rebounding percentage of 31.1 (above their season average of 22.7). Oklahoma City, on the other hand, had a better turnover percentage (10.7 vs. 13.3).
The battle on the backboards could prove decisive, pitting strength against strength. The Thunder rank first in offensive rebounding percentage (28.3 percent), while Houston ranks third in defensive rebounding percentage (80.8 percent).
Of Houston’s 62 games, 32 have finished under the projected point total, while 35 of Oklahoma City’s 65 games have finished under the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Rockets have a clear advantage. They are 49-13 SU and 32-29-1 ATS, while the Thunder are 37-28 SU and 25-39-1 ATS.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to score 219 points in that game, which was just under the projected point total of 219.5. The Thunder won 112-107, covering as 3-point favorites. Oklahoma City’s 0.595 effective field goal percentage was its biggest advantage over Houston, who had a mark of 0.506. In the loss, Harden had a double-double with 29 points and 14 assists.
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Free Prediction
Free Pick: SU Winner – Rockets, ATS Winner – Rockets, O/U – Under
- The Thunder rank fourth in fast break points per game (14.7) while the Rockets rank 16th (11.2).
- Oklahoma City ranks fifth in rebounds per game (45.1) while Houston ranks 16th (43.5).
- Houston averages 8.8 steals per game, which ranks second in the league. Oklahoma City ranks 13th in steals allowed per game (7.6).
- Oklahoma City ranks ninth in blocks per game (5.0) while Houston ranks 12th in blocks allowed per game (4.6).
- On the road, Houston is 20-11 ATS with 18 unders, 12 overs and 1 push.
- Oklahoma City is 12-18-1 ATS at home with 17 unders and 14 overs.
- Houston is 22-2 when they allow under 100 points, while Oklahoma City is 18-5.
- In games where they reach 100 points, the Thunder are 33-14 and the Rockets are 47-10.
- The Thunder rank second in points off turnovers per game (18.5) while the Rockets rank 13th in points off turnovers allowed per game (16.0).
- Houston averages 42.6 three pointers per game, which ranks first in the NBA. Oklahoma City ranks 25th in three pointers allowed per game (30.5).
- The Thunder rank 10th in points allowed in the paint per game (43.1) while the Rockets rank 28th (48.0).
- The Rockets rank 23rd in assists per game (21.8) while the Thunder rank 29th (21.2).
- Oklahoma City ranks first in second chance points per game (15.1) while Houston ranks 18th (11.8).
- Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Houston is 4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Thunder have been outscored by an average of 4.8 points in their last five games. On the season, Oklahoma City has defeated opponents by an average of 2.8 points.
- During their last five games, the Rockets have scored an average of 112.6 points per game (1.4 below their season average) and allowed an average of 102.6 points per game (2.6 below their season average).