Everybody is waiting for the Rockets to turn things around this season as they currently sit in 2nd to last place in the Western Conference. There’s no doubt that Houston is talented, but the truth is they just aren’t playing well. The Rockets are nonetheless still favored (HOU -3) at Dallas in the December 8th NBA free pick. The Mavs look like a solid play tonight, especially on their home court where they are 10-2 this season.
Rockets Favored Despite Their Road Woes
One of the reasons that the December 8th NBA free pick feels like a trap game is because it’s a stretch to think Houston should even be favored. The Rockets have not only dropped two in a row, they’ve been destroyed by 12 in Minnesota and by 27 at Utah. Houston has won just one of their last 6 road games and one of those defeats came 108-117 at the hands of the Cavs. This vaunted Rockets offense ranks just 24th in the league in scoring. They are also one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA this season hitting 44% from the field and only 33% from three.
Almost all the Rockets had down games in the blowout loss to the Jazz last time out. James Harden went for just 15 and Chris Paul 12. The only good thing from Thursday’s loss was that since the score was out of reach Houston was able to rest their heavy rotation players making the 1-day turnaround a bit easier. The Rockets did lose by 20 points (108-128) to Dallas 10 days ago even though four Houston players scored 18+ points. Can we expect much of the same tonight with the Mavs at home?
Dallas Might Just Be Good
At 12-11 and in 9th place in the West the Mavericks don’t get a lot of national love as contenders. The truth is they’re a very talented team – especially at home where Dallas has gone 10-2 on the year. Dallas has won and covered the spread in their last 8 home games and they’re beating the teams they should, going 5-1 the last 6 vs. teams with a losing record. The Mavs are beating good teams too. They destroyed Utah by 50 last month, upset the Warriors, and won over Boston, the Clippers, and Portland. The Mavs aren’t going to be intimidated by a 11-13 Rockets team in the December 8th NBA free pick.
The Mavs shot 50% from the field vs. the Rockets defense in the November 28th game and went 17-34 from three point range. Luka Doncic had 20 points in that game and Devin Harris provided a huge boost going 5-6 from three. One of the reasons Dallas is a home ‘dog tonight is because they looked atrocious on Wednesday vs. the Pelicans. In that 132-105 point loss Dallas shot 14-46 from 3. What makes the Mavericks a solid wager tonight is the fact that they’re a) back home and b) taking on the Rockets with 2 days rest.
December 8th NBA Free Pick Betting
There’s just really no reason to be backing the Rockets right now, especially on the road at Dallas. The Mavs getting points at home where they are 10-2 does feel kind of trap-ish but the line could also be due to the fact that:
- Rockets are 4-0 last four in Dallas
- Favorite is 5-2 the last 7 meetings
- Rockets are 5-2 ATS the last 7 H2H
- Road team is 4-0 ATS the last four meetings
With trends like that you could be justified taking the Rockets tonight. The Mavs are just too solid at home (this season) however and have the momentum of already destroying Houston once.
NBA Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks +3