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Clippers Visit Rockets as Narrow Underdogs

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The Los Angeles Clippers will be looking to continue their steady climb up the Western Conference standings with a sixth straight victory on Thursday when they visit the Houston Rockets as slim 1-point underdogs on the NBA odds.

Los Angeles is coming off a decisive 109-94 win in Oklahoma City on Tuesday to overtake the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference standings, where they now sit alone in second place going into Thursday night’s matchup at the Toyota Center.

The Clippers have powered their current run with stingy defense, limiting opponents to 103 or fewer points in four of their five recent victories. That has also helped make Los Angeles a reliable wager in NBA betting, with the team going 4-1 against the spread during their current surge, ending a shaky 3-6 ATS run.

While two of the Clippers’ five recent wins have come on the road, they have been far from dominant in dates away from Staples Center this season. The team racked up a middling 5-5 straight-up record in 10 away dates prior to their current win streak, and sport an ordinary 17-13 SU road record overall this season. Los Angeles hasn’t fared much better at the sportsbooks when playing on the road, going 6-6 ATS in their past 12, with a 15-15 ATS road record on the season.

The Clippers have benefited from the continued steady play of Kawhi Leonard. A combination of injuries and load management has limited Leonard to just 48 appearances this season, diminishing him to a +6600 wager on the NBA MVP odds. However, he has missed just one contest since the start of February, and has averaged 25.7 points in 12 games since then.

Leonard has also been a steady producer when facing the Rockets. The 28-year-old has averaged 25 points per game in three matchups with Houston this season, but Leonard-led teams have struggled to tally wins over the Rockets, going 1-5 straight-up in six dates since March 2017, including a trio of losses at the Toyota Center.

 

Rockets Small Favorites Coming Off Loss

 

The Rockets return home to face Los Angeles as narrow favorites after suffering a stunning 125-123 loss in New York as heavy 10-point chalk on Monday night. The defeat put the brakes on a six-game SU win streak that lifted Houston into sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference standings. Overall, the Rockets have racked up a 10-3 SU record in their past 13 contests, fueling a resurgence in their NBA championship odds, which have improved to +1200 after sinking to a season-low +1500 in mid-February.

The team has also been dominant in recent dates on home hardwood, going 7-1 SU over their past eight, and a respectable 21-8 SU on the season. However, the Rockets have failed to consistently reward bettors when playing at home, going 5-6 ATS in their past 11. Houston has also turned in dismal results at the sportsbooks when listed as a narrow home favorite, going 6-10 SU and 5-10-1 ATS in 16 outings when favored by three or fewer points since the start of the 2018/19 NBA campaign.

Consistent results have also eluded the Rockets when facing Los Angeles during the regular season. Houston has recorded consecutive wins just once while going 5-3 SU in eight home dates with the Clippers since November 2014, and has covered just once in their past four, but has managed to limit Los Angeles to 97 or fewer points on three occasions during that stretch. Despite those occasionally stingy performances, the OVER has paid out in totals betting in four of the past six meetings between these two teams at Toyota Center.

*Odds as of March 5, 2020

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