It will be a battle between Southwest Division opponents when the New Orleans Pelicans (10-23) welcome the Houston Rockets (22-10) to the Smoothie King Center. The game can be seen on ATTSN Southwest at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 29, 2019.
Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans ATS Prediction
In the Rockets’ last game, they defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 108-98, as 11-point underdogs. The game’s combined points (206) came in well under the projected point total of 230. The Rockets, who came into the game averaging an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.9, had a superb mark of 29.6 and had a better turnover percentage (11.5 vs. 12.9). With 44 points on 17-for-27 shooting, James Harden was the top scorer from either team.
The Pelicans had no trouble getting past the Indiana Pacers in their last game, 120-98, comfortably covering as 9-point favorites. The game’s total points (218) were just over the O/U total of 216. The Pelicans forced 18 turnovers and held the Pacers to an effective field goal percentage of 0.424 (below their season average of 0.526). Brandon Ingram led New Orleans in scoring with 24 points on 7-for-16 shooting from the field.
The prolific offense of Houston (third in the NBA with an offensive efficiency of 111.9) will clash against the bottom-tier defense of New Orleans (22nd in the NBA with a defensive efficiency of 110.1). The Rockets should have the edge on that side of the ball.
Houston holds records of 22-10 straight up (SU) and 16-15 against the spread (ATS). Vegas tends to place the total high when the Rockets are involved, as 58.1 percent of their games have finished under the total.
Meanwhile, New Orleans owns records of 10-23 SU and 11-19-2 ATS. Games including the Pelicans also tend to finish under the total (56.3 percent).
The Rockets have emerged victorious in both contests against the Pelicans this year, including a 122-116 victory the last time these teams met. Houston covered as a 5.5-point favorite and the game finished with a total of 238 points, which was 8.5 points below the projected point total of 246.5 points. One of Houston’s largest advantages was getting to the charity stripe. They had 32 free throw attempts, while New Orleans had 27. Harden scored a game-high 39 points.
Rockets at Pelicans Betting Pick
NBA Prediction: ATS Winner – Rockets, O/U – Under
Houston averages 18.8 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fifth in the league. New Orleans ranks 26th in points off turnovers allowed per game (18.8).
Houston ranks seventh in steals per game (8.4) while New Orleans ranks 16th in steals allowed per game (7.8).
The Rockets average 46.4 points in the paint per game, which ranks 19th in the NBA. The Pelicans rank 26th in points allowed in the paint per game (51.0).
New Orleans is 5-10 ATS at home, while Houston is 10-7 ATS on the road.
In its last five contests, Houston is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
New Orleans is 3-2 ATS with 5 unders over its last five games.
The Rockets’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.2, down from 5.4 for the season.
During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 108.6 points per game (3.2 below their season average) and allowed an average of 99.4 points per game (17.2 below their season average).