In a battle of second-place teams, the Northwest Division's Oklahoma City Thunder arrives in Houston on a 17-8 run against Western Conference foes.
Meanwhile, the Southwest Division's Rockets boast a 15-5 mark at home and a current three-game win streak overall.
The UNDER has been the solid play when they teams meet lately, with six of seven clashes falling UNDER the total.
Rockets vs. Thunder point spread: Houston opened as four-point favorites (bet down to -2.5 by midday Thursday) with a total of 207. (Line updates and matchup report details and trends).
Odds Shark computer prediction: 101-98 Oklahoma City
Why Oklahoma City can cover the spread
Though the Thunder have lost five of their last eight straight-up, and three of four to the books, they have a good chance at stealing this one since they've had a night off and Houston is playing the second of back-to-back nights after it played in New Orleans Wednesday night.
Why Houston can cover the spread
Other than during an 8-1 win streak in November, the Rockets are playing their best basketball right now, and would make quite a statement with a win in the opener of a five-game home stand.
Houston has averaged 107 points during this three-game win streak, so its confidence is running high. They have also lost just five times in 19 games hosting the Thunder.
Oklahoma City will rely on its defense and will undoubtedly play a physical brand of basketball tonight. The Rockets will respond, looking to take advantage of a travel-weary team that will be playing its fourth road game in five contests, spanning 10 days.
The total seems high, play the UNDER angle which has paid out six of the last seven times these teams got together.
- Oklahoma City is 5-14 SU in its last 19 games at Houston
- The total has gone UNDER in six of Houston's last seven games versus Oklahoma City
- Thunder have played five straight OVERs when underdogs
- Rockets 5-1 ATS past six at home as small favorite of 1-2 points