Two Texas teams searching for their third straight wins will clash at the AT&T Center on Thursday when the San Antonio Spurs (34-19) host the Houston Rockets (36-13).
Point spread: The Rockets opened as two-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 103.4-101.2, Rockets (NBA picks on every game)
Why the Rockets can cover the spread
Houston was short-handed against Orlando, playing without point guard Chris Paul (groin) and seeing Eric Gordon (back) leave the court after just 10 minutes. Both players are listed as questionable at San Antonio, but even if they don't play, there could be some value on the Rockets due to Harden's continued MVP effort.
Houston has won six of its last seven games thanks to Harden along with nine of 11. The Rockets have also covered the spread in three of the past four meetings with the Spurs, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, including a 124-109 home victory on December 15.
Why the Spurs can cover the spread
San Antonio has won 13 of the previous 18 meetings with Houston straight up and will obviously have home-court advantage on its side in this spot as well.
The Spurs own the best home record in the league at 22-4 SU (16-8-2 ATS) and have also won four of their last five overall, with three of the wins during that stretch taking place at the AT&T Center.
In their last two games there, they have beaten the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets by a combined 17 points behind 45 points from LaMarcus Aldridge.
Smart betting pick
This is a tough game to call considering the injuries for the Rockets in the backcourt. So instead of picking a side in this Southeast Division matchup, the over is worth a look with regards to the total at online gambling sites.
Three of the past four meetings have finished above the total, as have six of the previous eight in the series. No matter who suits up for Houston, the team will look to push the pace, so expect another high-scoring affair at San Antonio.
NBA betting trends
Houston is 1-4 ATS in its last five games.
The total has gone under in seven of Houston's last nine games.
The total has gone over in six of San Antonio's last eight games against Houston.
All NBA odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.