The leagues top team will be at home when the Houston Rockets (25-5) welcome the Los Angeles Clippers (12-18) to Toyota Center. Houston opened as an 11.5-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 219 points. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, December 22, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Houston Rockets Free Preview
The Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns in their last contest, 108-95. With 12 points and 20 rebounds, Los Angeles DeAndre Jordan had a solid game. Los Angeles played a nearly flawless game. They had an effective field goal percentage of 0.529 (above their season average of 0.508) and a free throw rate of 0.184 (matching their season average). Phoenix was 0.402 and 0.175, respectively, for those same stats.
In the Rockets last game, they were beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers, 122-116. James Harden was the games leading scorer with 51 points on 15-for-27 shooting. Los Angeles had a turnover percentage of 8.8 (better than their season average of 14.2). Houston, meanwhile, had a better offensive rebounding percentage (24.5 vs. 22.2).
The physical Houston offense might be living from the free throw line in this matchup. The Rockets rank first in the NBA with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.245, while Los Angeles ranks 24th in FTA rate allowed (0.215).
Of Los Angeles 30 games, 16 have finished under the projected point total, while 16 of Houston’s 30 games have finished over the projected point total. The Rockets have the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (25-5 vs. 12-18) and a slight edge against the spread (ATS) (16-13-1 vs. 15-15). Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Clippers, it’s been Jordan, who has averaged 17.4 rebounds and 13.4 points, while the Rockets have received great contributions from Trevor Ariza (13.0 points and 1.2 steals).
This is the first time these teams will battle this year. The Rockets won two out of three meetings played against each other last season. In the last matchup, Los Angeles won 125-96. The Clippers dominated every stat category in the game. They had an absurdly low turnover percentage of 8.0 and a great offensive rebounding percentage of 27.3. For those same stats, the Rockets had marks of 13.5 and 19.6, respectively.
Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Rockets, ATS Winner – Clippers, O/U – Under
- The Rockets average 43.2 three pointers per game, which ranks first in the NBA. The Clippers rank 15th in three pointers allowed per game (28.7).
- Los Angeles ranks fifth in second chance points per game (14.2) while Houston ranks 16th (12.1).
- Houston ranks 13th in assists per game (22.6) while Los Angeles ranks 27th (20.4).
- Houston ranks 14th in blocks per game (4.9) while Los Angeles ranks 20th in blocks allowed per game (5.2).
- Houston is 7-9-1 ATS at home, while Los Angeles is 8-8 ATS on the road.
- The Clippers have 10 unders and 6 overs in 16 road games.
- The Rockets have 10 overs and 7 unders in 17 home games.
- In games where they hold opponents below 100 points, Houston is 11-1 and Los Angeles is 8-2.
- The Clippers are 10-11 when they reach the century mark, while the Rockets are 25-3.
- The Rockets average 18.9 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fourth in the NBA. The Clippers rank 17th in points off turnovers allowed per game (17.0).
- Houston ranks third in steals per game (9.3) while Los Angeles ranks 23rd in steals allowed per game (8.3).
- The Clippers rank fifth in points allowed in the paint per game (40.7) while the Rockets rank 25th (46.6).
- The Rockets rank 11th in fast break points per game (11.5) while the Clippers rank 22nd in fast break points allowed per game (12.9).
- Houston ranks second in rebounds allowed per game (40.7) while Los Angeles ranks 22nd (44.0).
- Houston is 2-2-1 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Rockets average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.2, down from 10.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Clippers have scored an average of 96.2 points per game (7.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 97.8 points per game (7.8 below their season average).