Both teams enter this game with identical 14-11 season records. Portland is in third place in the Northwest division of the Western conference and trail NBA-best-record Oklahoma City by six games.

5* graded play on the Houston Rockets as they take on the Portland Trailblazers set to start at 10:00 PM ET. 

Luis ScolaHouston is second place in the highly competitive Southwest division of the Western conference and trail leader San Antonio by just 2.5 games (Spurs take on the Sixers tonight).

If the season ended yesterday both teams would make the playoffs by the smallest of margins. Houston is now in the sixth seed while Portland is in the eighth and final playoff position. Dallas also is 14-11 and holds to the seventh spot. However, these three teams are not playoff bound safe as Utah at 13-11, Minnesota 13-12, and Memphis 12-13 are within solid striking distance. 

The NBA betting line 

The NBA lines for this game opened with Portland installed as 7.5 point favorites. There have been about 10% more bets placed on Portland than Houston, but the line has started to move lower at many shops. More than half the sportsbooks I survey have the game lined at Portland as seven point favorites. The fact that the line has moved in the face of great numbers of bets on Portland is a certain sign the sharps are on the Houston side of this game. 

 

Now, this is not the sole reason for making this play, but it does serve to reinforce the grading produced by my simulator. It takes many different handicapping tools and techniques working in combination with each other that make for the solid winning results I have posted for more than two years on the SBR threads. 

Simulator projections 

My proprietary sports betting database and simulator show a high probability that Houston will lose this game by seven or fewer points and has a very solid opportunity to win this game. The simulator detail shows that Houston has a very high probability exceeding 85% that they will contain Portland’s three-point shooting to 25 to 31% and will make between 78 and 83% of their free throw attempts. 

In past games Houston is a solid 16-3 ATS when they hold their opponent to between 25 and 31% from beyond the roc spanning the past three seasons; 164-124 ATS when the make 78% to 83% of their free throw attempts. 

Supporting system 

Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 42-17 making 23.3 units per one unit wagered since 2006. Plat against home teams in a game involving two solid offensive teams scoring between 98 and 102 points per game and after a combined score of 205 points or more two straight games. Of the 59 plays made based on the criteria of this system, 29 of them or 50% have covered the spread by seven or more points. This implies too, that 29 of the 42 wins or 69%, have covered the spread by seven or more points. This under scores and supports the simulator grading for Houston to cover easily and potentially win straight up.

Take the Houston Rockets as a 5* Titan Play