Two teams that have not yet lived up to expectations meet on Friday night, as the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Houston Rockets in a game that can be seen on ESPN. The 76ers were thought to be a team that could compete with Milwaukee in the East, but so far Philadelphia has not shown the ability to win consistently. On the other side, the Rockets were hoping that the addition of Russell Westbrook would help them take the next step to become a title contender, but Houston is a level below the Lakers. Let’s look at the game between the 76ers and Rockets NBA picks.
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- Date and Time: Friday, January 3, 2020, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Toyota Center
- Opening NBA Odds: Check Back Later
- 76ers vs. Rockets TV Coverage: ESPN
The 76ers will be wrapping up a road trip on Friday, but they had Wednesday and Thursday off after playing at Indiana on Tuesday. Philadelphia has had their issues on the road this season, as they were just 7-10 before the game against the Pacers. Philadelphia is averaging about 110 points per game and giving up about 104 points per contest. The 76ers had their chance on this road trip to show they are the clear challenger to Milwaukee in the East, but losses to Orlando and Miami took away from the win against the Bucks at home on Christmas Day.
The Rockets also played on Tuesday and then had Wednesday and Thursday off so there is no advantage in terms of rest for this game for either team. Houston is battling with a group of teams for second place in the Western Conference. The Rockets were 11-4 at home before their game against the Nuggets on Tuesday. The Rockets are averaging about 119 points per game and giving up 114 per contest. Despite being a high scoring team, the Rockets had gone under the total in three straight games before the matchup against Denver.
This series had been dominated by the Rockets until recently. Houston has taken 8 of the last 10 overall in the series, but Philadelphia has won two of the last three. The teams split their two meetings last season with each team winning big at home. The Rockets won 107-81 in Houston, while the 76ers won 121-92 in Philadelphia. Houston has taken 7 of the last 10 at home in this series, but they are just 5-5 ATS, with six of the last ten going over.
The 76ers have not been that good on the road this season, but this team is capable of beating anyone. Philadelphia can play really good for a couple of quarters and then completely fall asleep for another two quarters. It really does seem to be all about motivation for the 76ers. They should be highly motivated for this game on Friday, as they will be going up against James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The 76ers should have the advantage inside with Joel Embiid, so it will be a matter of how well they defend Harden. Philadelphia has shown the ability to defend this season, as they are 4th in the NBA in fewest points allowed. There is no question that the Rockets will be favored in this one, but Houston hasn’t proven to be a reliable favorite, even at home. I will take the points with the 76ers on Friday night.
76ers vs. Rockets Score Prediction: Rockets 111, 76ers 110
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