NBA Preview Odds: Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers May Cause Some Noise
This is the last chance for both the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers to fine-tune final details before their 1st Round Playoffs matchups begin.
Take advantage of this final regular-season game during the bubble in Orlando
TIME: 9:00 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN; BETTING LINE: ROCKETS -4.5 / TOTAL 230 *
Both teams are in desperate need of a win as they need to end the season on a positive note heading into the Playoffs, which are going to add a notch and intensity into their next games. Philadelphia is currently riding a 3-game losing streak while the Rockets have lost 2 in a row.
Another important detail here is that both teams already know who their 1st Round foe will be starting next week. Both are must-see matchups as the 76ers will take on the Boston Celtics in a classic battle between two teams that know each other very well. It doesn't help that Ben Simmons is expected to be out from a kneecap injury at least until November 1st, meaning he'll probably miss the playoffs altogether.
The Rockets, on the other hand, have a drama-filled first-round matchup against former Rocket Chris Paul, who is now the main guy for the Oklahoma City Thunder. So, he'll be looking for some payback against James Harden, who had a falling out with Paul towards the end of his tenure in Houston. Also, keep in mind that Russell Westbrook, a former player for the Thunder, and a current superstar in the league, will be out with a Quadriceps injury for the first few games of the 1st Round.
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Both teams are in desperate need of a win today
As mentioned earlier, the Sixers who are in 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings, have a record of 42-20. Their current 3 game losing streak came at the hands of the Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, and the Toronto Raptors, which are all on fire lately in the bubble. A couple of those games were pretty close all the way until the end, except for the Suns, who thrashed them by 13 points.
The Rockets are riding a 2 game losing streak, with losses against the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs. James Harden has been producing, as usual, averaging 34.4 points per game and 7.5 assists. However, with Westbrook's injury, they need somebody else to step up and fill in for Russell's 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7 assists per match.
For tonight's game, we expect Mike D'Antoni from the Rockets and Brett Brown from the Philadelphia 76ers to keep it simple tonight and avoid injuring their roster. Their goal will be to get a win, but also giving minutes to their bench to give them some added rhythm towards the playoffs. Joel Embiid has been hurting lately with a sore ankle and is expected to be a game-time decision, so, don't expect him to play.
The Dart Throw: Rockets 116 - 76ers 110
*Odds are subject to change.
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