The Milwaukee Bucks are still the highest scoring team in the NBA at 118 PPG, actually scoring at 125 PPG over its last 5 games all at home. The defense gave up just over 108 PPG over that same stretch. Now the Bucks head out for a 3-game road trip over the next week. Its hard to believe, but the Bucks have the best record in the NBA due largely to an outstanding home record of 19-4. That means they are only 9-7 on the road, not indicative of a top team. Leading MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the team in scoring (26.6 PPG), rebounding (12.6 RPG) and assists (6.0 APG).
After a rough start to the season, the Houston Rockets are finally playing ball at the level expected, winning 8 of its last 10 games. Over the last 5 weeks, the Rockets have been deadly at home, winning 10 in a row. The only remaining problem seems to be playing on the road where they are a dismal 1-5 over the last 6. This game is in Houston. James Harden is now leading the league in scoring at 33.7 PPG. Over the last 10 games, he has been burning the nets for an astounding 38 PPG. Of course, there’s cause for concern because the supporting cast seems to get lost on the court for long stretches. Clint Capela leads to the team in rebounding (12.8 RPG) and is the team’s second leading scorer at 17.6 PPG. PG Chris Paul remains out with injury.
Prediction: It’s interesting that the linemaker tabbed the Bucks as favorites given the team’s struggles on the road. It’s further surprising given how well Houston has been playing at home. The Rockets have actually won its last 10 games at home by just over 10 PPG. Let’s stay with the trends on this one. Pick Houston +1.5 (score – Houston 121-113)