NBA Betting – Harden Hopes to be Available as Rockets Pay Christmas Visit to Spurs
- Updated: December 25, 2013
The Houston Rockets have been suffering due to the loss of one of their big guns, but he is hoping to be back in the lineup on Christmas Day as the Rockets take to the roads to face the San Antonio Spurs in NBA betting action that is set to begin at 8 PM ET at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
The Rockets come into the game with an 18-11 straight-up record, and they are 15-13 against the basketball pointspread. The Spurs are 22-6 straight-up and also 15-13 against the number.
What is a bit uncertain about the Houston lineup on Wednesday is the status of James Harden, who has been trying to get better from an ankle injury and is going to do his level best to face this intense Southwest Division rival.
In the NBA betting lines that have been established by the folks at BetAnySports, the Spurs are favored at home:
Harden has been hurting for about ten days, when he suffered his high ankle sprain against Sacramento. He has sat out the last two, in which the Rockets actually shot 55% from the field, relying more on Dwight Howard, a high percentage shooter in the paint who went 23 of 34 with 64 points in those contests. Harden is being treated, and even though he is listed as questionable at the moment, he is very confident that he can play. About his ankle, he said, “It’s getting better. The swelling is going down and the pain is getting better.”
Whether Houston is going to be more efficient offensively with him available on Wednesday is one matter, but BetAnySports customers realize they SHOULD be, in the respect that Harden theoretically stretches out defenses so that they can not sag inside against Howard. Harden is fifth in the NBA with 23.90 points per game, and he does key an outside attack that has taken more three-point shots than anyone else.
The Rockets got one of their injured players back on Monday, and there was a bit of “LinMania” at the Toyota Center as he scored 20 points. Lin missed the first meeting between these clubs, which took place on November 30 at San Antonio. The Rockets didn’t need him to post a 112-106 win (covering as 6.5-point underdogs in the NBA odds), as Harden scored 31 points. In that game, San Antonio had no chance on the boards, being out-rebounded by a 68-44 margin. And if the Spurs have any designs on hacking Howard (who is second in the league with 13.3 rebounds per game), they might want to think twice, as the center has made two-thirds of his free throws in the last two games (18 of 27) and actually sank all seven attempts against the Golden State just twelve days ago (in addition to a three-pointer!).
San Antonio may need to tighten things up on defense; the Spurs have allowed their opponents to make 47.7% of their shots over the last five games. Undoubtedly that’s one reason they have played five straight games over the total in NBA betting (also eleven overs in last 13).
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