Clippers vs. Rockets Pick

NBA Predictions: Will undermanned Rockets falter vs. Clippers? 12/22/17

Will the host Houston Rockets overcome being without a couple key starters tonight in their quest to begin another winning streak against the Los Angeles Clippers? Game time is 8PM ET.

According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Rockets are listed as an 11.5-point favorite on the spread line. The over-under is set at 219 points.

Los Angeles enters with a 12-18 overall record and 15-15 ATS after a 108-95 home victory over the Suns. Houston is 25-5 overall and 16-13-1 ATS following a 122-116 home loss to the Lakers which ended its 14-game winning streak. The Rockets went 2-1 straight up and 2-1 ATS in three meetings last season. The under went 2-1.

In the win against Phoenix, Austin Rivers led the Clippers with 21 points along with six assists and two rebounds. Lou Williams notched 18 points and two assists. DeAndre Jordan contributed 12 points and 20 rebounds. C.J. Williams added 12 points. Los Angeles led 53-35 at halftime.

Houston saw guard Chris Paul leave the loss to Los Angeles with a sore left abductor and will not play tonight against his former team. James Harden had a monster game in the victory with 51 points, nine assists and three rebounds. Eric Gordon tallied 21 points and four rebounds off the bench. Trevor Ariza added 18 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists. The Rockets trailed 63-59 at halftime and were unable to climb over the hump in the second half.

Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS in its last five meetings in Houston. The over is 5-2 in its last seven meetings in Houston.

Bet on Clippers vs. Rockets

Even though Paul left the game in the third quarter Wednesday night and did not return, the bigger absence was Clint Capela at center as he sat out with a heel issue and is doubtful to play against the Wizards. While Harden can carry the load in the backcourt, Houston has no one who can capably take over the responsibilities of Capela in the frontcourt. Capela is perfect to feed to on the lobs and keep defenses honest, while his rebounding ability and defensive presence make him very valuable. It forced the Rockets to go to small ball and they were unable to deal with the length of the Lakers. While the Clippers aren't necessarily as long as the Lakers, they do have an intimidating presence in the middle in Jordan. If he can dominate the glass and get some easy putback dunks, I expect Los Angeles to keep this one close. Los Angeles has enough scoring ability with Williams and Rivers in the backcourt. Go with the underdog here.

NBA DAILY PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS +11.5

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