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Rockets vs. Lakers Betting Line – December 17

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Dec/17/2015
Rockets vs. Lakers Betting Line – December 17

The Rockets vs. Lakers betting line for Thursday night had Houston as a -6 favorite.  The total is set at 213.5.

HOUSTON ROCKETS (12-14) at LOS ANGELES LAKERS (4-21)

The Lakers will be looking to win their second straight game when they face a struggling Rockets team on Thursday.

The Rockets would be in the postseason if the season was to end today, but the team has looked miserable recently. Houston is coming off of back-to-back losses both SU and ATS in Denver and Sacramento respectively. The Rockets have allowed 110.5 PPG over the past two contests and will need to tighten things up defensively moving forward. One plus is that they did beat the Lakers 126-97 as 11.5-point home favorites on Dec. 12.

Los Angeles could come into this one with confidence, though, as the team beat Milwaukee 113-95 in its most recent game.

One thing that favors the Rockets coming into this game is the fact that they are 4-2 both SU and ATS when facing Pacific division opponents on the season. It also helps that they’ll be playing a Lakers group that is a pathetic 0-12 SU and 1-11 ATS against Western Conference teams this year. Both teams enter this contest on Thursday at close to full strength.

The Rockets are not playing nearly as well as they could be this season and a lot of that has to do with the usage of C Dwight Howard (12.6 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 1.8 BPG). The big man is averaging just 8.3 shot attempts per game and that is really unacceptable. Howard is a force in the paint and if the Rockets want to start winning games then they should really start getting him more touches around the basket.

SG James Harden (29.0 PPG, 6.7 APG, 6.2 RPG, 1.9 SPG) has been doing everything he can to win this team games, but if Howard could step it up then it would take a bit off his shoulders. Harden should be excited to play against this Lakers team, though. He had 30 points in 32 minutes of action when they faced off on Dec. 12 and should be able to repeat that performance on Thursday.

Another player that will be important for the Rockets is PG Patrick Beverley (8.2 PPG, 1.3 SPG). Beverley is a fantastic defender and the Rockets will need him to do a good job of guarding Los Angeles’ many talented perimeter players. If he can do that then Harden will be able to use less energy on the defensive end.

The Lakers are coming off of a win over the Bucks and one thing that is really standing out is the improved play of SG Kobe Bryant (16.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.1 SPG). Bryant was off to an embarrassingly bad start to the season, but he is averaging 23.5 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.0 RPG and 1.5 SPG over the past two contests (one being against Houston on Dec. 12). In those games, Bryant shot a combined 16-for-31 from the field and 7-for-16 from the outside. He is playing more efficiently and will need to continue to do so moving forward.

Another player who is really a bright spot for Los Angeles is PG D’Angelo Russell (12.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.4 APG). Over the past five contests, Russell is averaging 17.4 PPG, 4.4 APG and 1.6 SPG in 31.2 MPG. He is starting to earn the trust of his coaches and teammates and his ability to drive to the rim and find his teammates is something that will really make him a stud in the future.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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