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Friday NBA Free Pick 1/26/2018

Are the Rockets Vulnerable On the Road Against New Orleans

The Houston Rockets are having an amazing season, ranking 2nd in the NBA Western Conference behind Golden State and currently in the midst of a four game winning streak. Oddsmakers have taken note, making Houston -4.5 favorites in the 1/26 NBA free pick against New Orleans. We all know the Pelicans are one of the most talented teams in the league – up front at least with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Can that duo be enough to get the home win over the force that is Houston though?

How are the Road Rockets?

1/26 NBA free pick
Paul has had a couple mediocre games in a row but should be up for tonight’s nationally televised contest.

Houston has a very solid 16-6 road record this season but they are just 4-5 over their last nine road tilts. Those wins came against Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, and Chicago too – all bottom feeders of the NBA this year. The Pelicans are decent at home going 13-9 on the year, but they have won the last four on their own court. If the Rockets do have an advantage in the 1/26 NBA free pick, believe it or not it could be on the defensive end. Houston allows the 6th fewest points in the league to power forwards and the 4th least to centers. Could Ryan Anderson / Clint Capela really get the edge over DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis?

Of course we know the Houston offense is going to lead the charge tonight as well. The Rockets have the #2 scoring unit in the league up against the Pelicans surprising 29th ranked scoring defense. James Harden is seemingly back from hamstring issues after posing 25 points and 13 assists the last game against Dallas. The Rockets have scored 110+ points in six of their last 10 while the defense has buckled down holding four of the last six opponents under 100.

Can New Orleans Make a Stand Friday Night?

1/26 NBA free pick
Look for another big scoring night at home for New Orleans G Jrue Holiday.

The Pelicans beastly duo up front were contained the last game in a 101-96 win over Charlotte, combining for ‘only’ 35 points and 19 rebounds. It was actually a low output considering Davis has three 35+ games in his last six and Cousins went for 44 points, 23 rebounds, and 10 assists two games ago against Chicago. The real X-factor for New Orleans in the 1/26 NBA free pick might be Jrue Holiday up against the Houston backcourt. SG Wesley Matthews scored 29 points for Dallas in the last Houston game and Holiday has gone for 22+ in five of the last seven. Holiday scored 37 in a 123-130 loss in Houston on December 11th in a game which New Orleans was without Anthony Davis.

New Orleans has won six of their last seven games which includes an OT victory in Boston. Currently the Pelicans are the 6th seed in the Western Conference, riding their 4th ranked scoring defense to the season’s success. The Pelicans own the #2 shooting percentage defense in the league and are top 10 in opponent’s three point shooting. That ‘D’ has held three of the last four opponents under 104 points scored – but will be up against a whole different test in Houston’s offense.

1/26 NBA Free Pick Betting

The 1/26 NBA free pick line has stayed firm at HOU -4.5 and the Rockets are the third most popular bet of tonight’s slate garnering 66% of the public action. The Rockets are 6-2 ATS their last 8 overall, but that’s also an indictment of their opponents Houston is 0-5 ATS their last 5 road games vs a team with a winning home record. Both teams are playing on one days rest and it might be the Pelicans night to score a huge home victory.

Pick: New Orleans Hornets +4.5


Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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