LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and the rest of the Portland Trail Blazers will be matched-up with Dwight Howard, James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in the fourth and final meeting between the West contenders.
Houston (43-19) is at third place in the West while Portland (42-20) is at fifth place. With one game separating the two, the battle for home court advantage will be crucial as the regular season enters the final month or so.
The Rockets are zooming past the standings—and just about living up to the expectations as a West power—with a four-game winning streak which include statement wins over the Miami Heat, 106-103 and Indiana Pacers, 112-86. They are also nearly unbeatable at home in the last three weeks with 15 wins and just 2 losses in this stretch.
Portland has struggled of late splitting their last four with losses to the Dallas Mavericks, 103-98 and disappointingly, to the Los Angeles Lakers, 107-106. However, they have won five of their last seven outings.
This will be a battle between the fast-paced teams in the league. The Rockets average 106.5 points per game (3rd in the league) just behind the Blazers, which logs 107.6 PPG (2nd in the league).
Harden had 28 points and 3 steals in the blowout win versus Indy while Howard had 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Aldridge had 30 points in the loss versus Mavs and added 17 boards. Lillard struggled shooting the ball missing 7 of his 10 shots and he also had 5 turnovers.
Betting Lines: Portland Trail Blazers (+5.5) vs. Houston Rockets (O/U: 213.0) Game time: 10:00 am AEDT
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
Portland Trail Blazers Trends - The Trail Blazers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on the road - The Trail Blazers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. West teams - The Trail Blazers are 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 games vs. Southwest division teams
Houston Rockets Trends - The Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games - The Rockets are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games vs. West teams - The Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games at home