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NBA Between the Chalk – Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers

NBA – Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers: Preview and Prediction

3:30 PM ET, March 15, 2015
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

A potential first round NBA playoff match-up preview takes place today as the Houston Rockets (43-22, 37-28-0 ATS) play the Los Angeles Clippers (42-24, 29-37-0 ATS) at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. This match-up sees the current Western Conference 4th and 5th seeds play their fourth and final game of their regular season series.

Agents using bookie software currently have the Clippers as 4½-point home favorites with the total at 213. Bettors using sites for local bookies placing action on the number have witnessed the Rockets 30-35 against the number while the Clippers are 31-34-1.

The Clippers were victorious SU and ATS in the first 2 meetings against the Rockets this season, with the Rockets winning the third SU and ATS. The last game was played in Houston on February 25th, a 110-105 win for the Rockets as 3½-point home favorites.

James Harden led the Rockets to the victory by scoring 21 points adding 4 rebounds and 10 assists. Corey Brewer had a big game off the bench, netting 20 adding 6 boards. Jamal Crawford led the Clippers off the bench with 24 points, while they got 22 points from both Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. Jordan also had 19 rebounds while Paul had 14 assists.

The first game of this season series was on November 28th in Houston as Blake Griffin led all players with 33 points and added 10 rebounds to help the Clips beat up the home team 102-85 as 4½-point favorites.

Perhaps the biggest story going into today’s game is Griffin; who was upgraded yesterday from “out” to “questionable” for today’s nationally televised match-up. He has missed his teams last 15 games (9-6), requiring surgery for a staph infection in his right elbow.

The other game of this series on February 11th, the Clippers won by 15, defeating the Rockets 110-95 as a 3-point home favorite. DeAndre Jordan led his team in scoring with 24 and continued his defensive dominance with 20 rebounds. He also had 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

The Clippers last played on Friday night in Dallas, getting blown out 129-99 as 2½-point road dogs. The Mavs were led by Chandler Parsons with 22 points, 5 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals. Chris Paul struggled in this one, going 5 of 8 from the field to finish with 11 points but did add 7 assists and 5 steals. Jordan had another strong game with 16 points and 18 rebounds.

Pay Per Head agents saw the Rockets lose their last matchup 109-91 in Utah as 2-point road favorites on Thursday. The Rockets went 34 for 79 (43%) from the field, getting a team high 25 points from Corey Brewer. James Harden had a rare off game going 3 for 13 from the field, finishing with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.

If you’re using sites for local bookies to put action on today’s game, you should know when these two teams play each other, the favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings, with the UNDER 5-1 in the last 6 and 19-7 in the last 25 when they play in Los Angeles. As well, the Rockets are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 and 2-5 ATS in the last 7 in LA.

When predicting this game, a lot depends on the status of Blake Griffin. Up to this point, his status is still up in the air, but if he plays, getting him back in the lineup will be a huge boost for the Clippers moral.

Regardless if Griffin plays or not; Paul, Jordan and company will play well enough on both sides of the ball to win this one, but expect Harden and the Rockets to keep it close and cover the 4½. However, if Griffin does play, the Clippers cover.

Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers 106 – Houston Rockets 103
Coverage: ABC
Written by: R Keough

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