Rockets vs. Magic Prediction
The Rockets are red-hot but can the Magic cover as a home underdog tonight at 7:00PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Magic are 5.5-point home underdogs versus the Rockets while the over/under currently sits at 223 points. Orlando did open as a 6-point dog before the number was bet down to 5.5, while the total opened at 222 and was bet up a full point to the current number of 223.
The Thunder are coming off a 118-116 victory over the Thunder on Thursday night. James Harden hit 6-of-16 shots with two 3-pointers and was 12-of-14 from the free throw line for 26 points. He also added eight rebounds, 12 assists, a steal, a block and six turnovers in the victory. Montrezl Harrell also came off the bench to add eight points, eight boards and three assists in 29 minutes for the Rockets.
Aaron Gordon notched his second double-double of the season on Wednesday night, scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds, two 3-pointers and two assists in just 25 minutes. The forward has had a disappointing season thus far but he's starting to heat up. The Magic still fell to the Hawks 111-92 and have now dropped three of their last four games entering tonight's contest with the Rockets.
OUR PREDICTION: The Rockets are hot but Harden seems to be cooling off a little. After scoring between 53 and 32 points in four straight games, he's scored 26 and 23 in his last two games, hitting just 12-of-40 shots in the process. He's healthy, which is key for Houston, but playing on back-to-back nights might be an issue for the Rockets as a team tonight. Plus, they've struggled to cover against the Magic, going just 2-11 against the spread in their last 13 games against Orlando. They're also just 1-6 at the betting window in their last seven road games against the Magic, who are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games coming off a loss.
FRIDAY NBA PREDICTION: ORLANDO MAGIC +5.5