Houston at LA Clippers -6 O/U 208.5
Skeptics are questioning the legitimacy of LA’s recent hot streak which has seen them rattle off an 11-1 straight up record and a 9-3 mark against the spread in their last 12 games. The Clippers were 11-0 su until their last game where they were beaten as a -4 point home favorite by Sacramento 110-103. During this 12-game span, LA has faced one team (Miami) with a winning record and only two teams that are in the league’s Top 15 offenses. Los Angeles has posted tremendous defensive numbers over the 12 game stretch allowing just 96.1 points per game but the schedule they’ve done it against is being questioned by some. Sacramento’s #3 ranked pint scoring offense scoring 110 against LA two nights ago adds to the argument. Of course in that game, the Clippers did not have defensive presence and rim protecting C DeAndre Jordan (pneumonia) and his status is questionable for tonight. In his place, ex-Kansas star Cole Aldrich has gotten the bulk of the minutes and the defensive drop off is dramatic. Tonight LA plays the explosive Houston Rockets and their defense will be severely tested. Houston has been hot lately scoring 107 points or more in four of their last five games including 112 last night.
Injury situations are important here tonight with defensive stalwarts Jordan and Rockets starting PG Patrick Beverley each questionable. If neither goes, huge matchup advantages go to Houston C Dwight Howard and Clippers PG Chris Paul. Nonetheless, this should be a high tempo, high scoring game since Los Angeles is averaging 106.9 ppg in their L12G and Houston is 7-3 over the total in the second of back-back contests. Eight of the last nine times these teams have met, the final score has exceeded tonight’s posted total of 208.5. The present fundamentals and situation plus the recent history are all pointing the same way so the play here will be on the over.