The Charlotte Hornets continue their battle for the playoff spot, visiting the Houston Rockets in a tough matchup at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The Hornets are one game behind the No. 8 seed in the East, while the Rockets are holding the No. 3 seed in the West. These two teams met each other on February 27, 2019, when the Rockets outlasted the Hornets 118-113 as 5-point favorites at Spectrum Center in Charlotte. NBA: Monday, March 11, 2019, Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, 8:00 PM ET
The Hornets have to start winning in sequences as soon as possible
The Charlotte Hornets (30-36; 29-35-2 ATS) are coming off a 131-114 defeat at the Milwaukee Bucks this past Saturday to record their third loss over the last four outings. The Hornets are playing in a poor form and have won just four of their previous 14 games overall. Also, they are 0-5 following a straight-up win and need to break out of their funk as soon as possible or will miss another postseason. The Hornets are just 2-6 straight up and 3-5 ATS in their previous eight outings on the road, but they’ve won two of their last three road encounters with the Western Conference.
Kemba Walker continues to lead the way for the Hornets, averaging 23.3 points and 6.3 assists per game over his last ten outings while making 39.0% of his field goals. The sharpshooter Jeremy Lamb is tallying 15.2 points per contest on 44.3% shooting from the field this season, while Cody Zeller is posting 10.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Hornets are scoring 111.0 points per 100 possessions (14th in the league) on 45.0% shooting from the field (24th) and 35.2% from beyond the arc (18th), allowing 111.8 points in a return (21st) on 46.7% shooting from the field (22nd) and 35.3% from downtown (15th).
The red-hot Rockets are looking for their ninth straight win
The Houston Rockets (41-25; 30-34-2 ATS) are on an eight-game winning streak following a 94-93 victory at the Dallas Mavericks last night. Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 26 points, while James Harden had 20 points on 7-of-25 shooting from the field. The Rockets made just 36.4% of their field goals, but they had another strong night at the defensive end. They are 4-3-1 ATS during their winning streak, while the Rockets are 5-2 straight up and 2-5 ATS in their previous seven showings on the home court. Also, the Rockets have won six of their last eight games on the second day of the last eight back-to-back sets.
James Harden had a difficult time at Dallas last night, but he’s averaging 35.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game over his last ten outings. Chris Paul is tallying 15.4 points and 8.3 dimes per contest this season, while Eric Gordon is posting 16.5 points a night. The Rockets are scoring 114.7 points per 100 possessions (2nd in the league) on 44.7% shooting from the field (26th) and 34.8% from beyond the 3-point line (23rd) while taking 45.5 attempts from deep (1st). On the other side, they are surrendering 112.0 points per 100 possessions (24th) on 47.3% shooting from the field (26th) and 34.1% from downtown (4th).
- 3-8 SU and 2-8-1 ATS in the last 11 games overall
- 0-13 SU and 2-9-2 ATS in the last 13 road meetings with Houston
- Under is 2-9 in the last 11 road encounters with Houston
- 15-1 SU and 10-4-2 ATS in the last 16 meetings with Charlotte
- Under is 14-4 in the last 18 encounters with Charlotte
- Under is 7-2 in the last nine games overall
The Winner Prediction
The Rockets look keen to keep their No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. They are playing really well at the moment, especially at the defensive end which is an encouraging fact after some struggles earlier in the season. On the other side, the Hornets’ form has been slumped lately, and their defense will have a mountain to climb to slow down the Rockets. Therefore, I’m backing the Rockets to cover even though it’s a nine-point spread.
The Pick: Houston Rockets -9.0 (-110)