Upcoming Match-ups

Trail Blazers Getting 8.5 Points vs Rockets as Carmelo Anthony Returns to Houston

Quinn Allen

by Quinn Allen in NBA Basketball

Updated Mar 31, 2021 · 12:49 PM PDT

Damian Lillard shooting free throw
Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are now favored to win their first-round playoff series. Photo by Frenchieinportland [CC License].
  • Houston welcomes Portland to the Toyota Center on Wednesday night
  • The Rockets enter this contest as -375 favorites against the Blazers
  • Get the odds, pick, and betting preview below

James Harden and the Rockets will host a struggling Portland Trail Blazers team on Wednesday night.

The last time these two teams met on November 18th, Houston destroyed the Blazers on home court by a score of 132-108 behind Harden’s 36 points and Russell Westbrook’s 28. This will be the second game of a back-to-back for the Rockets after playing in Memphis on Tuesday night.

Portland meanwhile, have immensely struggled this season, going 3-7 in their last ten contests and just 17-24 this season. Wednesday’s game will be the first time Carmelo Anthony returns to Houston after signing with the Trail Blazers in November. He played for the Rockets for a short period last season but featured in just ten games. Anthony has added a much-needed spark to the Portland lineup though, starting all 26 games he’s played in while dropping 16.3 points per night.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Houston Rockets Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Portland Trail Blazers +8.5 (-115) +305 Ov 236 (-110)
Houston Rockets -8.5 (-105) -375 Un 236 (-110)

Odds taken Jan 14th

By no surprise, the latest Portland Trailblazers vs Houston Rockets odds favor Houston by a healthy margin.

Rockets Finding Their Stride

The Rockets are just 6-4 in their last ten games, but two of those victories were against Philly and Denver. They will be looking to bounce back at home after an 11-point loss to Ja Morant and the Grizzlies on Tuesday.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook are starting to learn how to coexist with one another on the floor considering they’re both ball-dominant guards. Westbrook has adapted to being the secondary ball-handler in the Rockets backcourt, looking more comfortable in the role as of late.

Harden has been exceptional this year, leading the NBA with a ridiculous 37.8 points per game. In Saturday’s win over Minnesota, Harden reached 20,000 career points, becoming the 45th player in NBA history to do so. He’s also just the 15th player ever to score 20,000 points, dish out 5,000 assists, and grab 4,000 rebounds.

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Westbrook is also showing out in Houston, scoring 24.6 points while also grabbing seven 7.7 boards and dishing out seven assists per game. In his last ten contests, the former OKC star has dropped 30 or more points on six different occasions, while also putting up 40 points in one of those ten games.

Clint Capela has also been a monster down low, leading the team with 14.4 rebounds per night and also adding 14.5 points. Houston has the second-best offensive rating in the league at 114.2, while also posting a 58 percent true shooting percentage, tied for fourth in the NBA.

Carmelo Adding a Spark in Portland

Although the Trail Blazers have been disappointing this year, the addition of Carmelo has given them an array of hope in the west. The 10-time All-Star has found his touch in Portland after many people wrote him off, claiming that his career was over. Anthony is scoring 16.3 points per night, including a game-winner last week against the Toronto Raptors.

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There is no doubt that injuries to Rodney Hood and Jusuf Nurkic have really hurt Portland, but nonetheless, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have continued to put up impressive numbers.

They both lead the Blazers with 26.8 and 21.9 points per game, while Lillard has also dished out a team-best 7.6 assists. Terry Stotts’ team has struggled in many categories this year, most notably their shooting, where they’re 20th in the league in field goal percentage and 21st in effective field goal percentage.

They also sit in 24th in the NBA with a dismal 112.4 defensive rating.

Who’s the Best Bet?

With the way Harden is playing this season and Westbrook finding his best lately,  this should definitely be a convincing win on home court for the Rockets. I expect it to be a relatively high-scoring affair given the number of pure scorers on both sides, but Houston should come out on top in this second game of a back to back.

Pick: Houston -8.5 (-105)

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