Philadelphia 76ers (2-4 SU, 4-2 ATS, 3-3 O/U) vs. Houston Rockets (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS, 1-6 O/U)
NBA: Monday, October 30, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. EST
The Line: Houston Rockets -6. Total: 218.
The Houston Rockets will be trying to get back on the winning track when they host the Philadelphia 76ers at the Toyota Center on Monday night. Houston started the season 5-1 and had won two in a row before falling at Memphis on Saturday. The 76ers are coming off a victory at Dallas and have won two of their last three contests.
Philadelphia is still learning how to execute in the final minute with its talented young roster, but it seems to be getting better in that department. The 76ers had the Rockets on the ropes at home this past Wednesday before Eric Gordon drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 105-104 win, capping a stretch in which Houston scored the final nine points of the game. Philly got into another tight game to begin its road trip on Saturday but managed to get the job done down the stretch and pull out a 112-110 victory over the Mavericks.
“It’s the evolution of this young team,” head coach Brett Brown explained. “The good news is we did things we work on in relation to closing out a game.”
Rookie point guard Ben Simmons scored a season-high 23 points on Saturday to go with eight assists and seven rebounds. Simmons is averaging 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists while shooting 51.2 percent from the field.
Houston followed up its win over the 76ers with more success in Charlotte but could not muster the same energy on the second half of a back-to-back situation and finished off a three-game road trip with a 103-89 loss at Memphis on Saturday. The Rockets shot 37.7 percent from the floor during the setback as James Harden struggled to 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting. The all-star guard has scored at least 20 points in each of the first seven games and recorded his first triple-double of the campaign at Charlotte on Friday before slumping to eight assists and four rebounds at Memphis. Harden was operating on Saturday without Gordon, who is averaging 24.8 points but was held out due to a stomach illness and is day-to-day. Center Clint Capela is leading the NBA in field-goal percentage at 72.9.
The Philadelphia 76ers are:
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall
- 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games against the Southwest Division
The Houston Rockets are:
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home games
- 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games against the Western Conference
- 1-8 ATS in their last nine games against teams with losing records
Philadelphia is trusting the process even though it is a somewhat disappointing 2-4 through six outings. If nothing else, the 76ers have been competitive for the most part (aside from a blowout loss at Toronto earlier in the season). They should be itching for revenge following this past week’s tough setback against the Rockets. The 76ers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall, 16-5 ATS in their last 21 on the road, 5-0 ATS in their last five against the Southwest Division, 20-8 ATS in their last 28 following a win, and 24-8 ATS in their last 32 against opponents with winning percentages over .600. Houston is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 at home, 4-11 ATS in its last 15 against the Western Conference, 2-7 ATS in its last nine against the Atlantic Division, 1-8 ATS in its last nine against losing opponents, and 0-5 ATS in its last five against opponents with winning percentages under .400. Expect those trends to continue.