Rockets Vs. Raptors | NBA Season Week 7
We have an absolute treat to look forward to when the Rockets visit the Raptors. Both teams with championship aspirations are starting to hit their stride.
We are a quarter of the way into the season and the Rockets would tell you that they’re underperforming based on their record.
They’re coming off a brutal double overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs which was marred by Harden’s “dunk that never was.”
The Raptors suffered a catastrophic collapse in overtime against the Heat in their most recent game. They managed to score only 2 points in overtime to hand themselves their fifth loss of the season.
|U 230 (-110)
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What The NBA Odds Say About The Rockets vs. Raptors Week 7 Matchup
Linemakers could not have made this game any closer. With just a one point spread in favor of the Raptors, it really shows how evenly matched these teams are.
The dynamic duo of Westbrook and Harden is showing preseason haters that they can work together, but the efficiency is severely lacking.
Pascal Siakam Taking The Place Of KAWHI
Pascal Siakam is making his candidacy clear for most improved player or even MVP as he’s trying to fill the void left by Kawhi Leonard.
Kyle Lowry returned last game from his extended absence due to a fractured finger. He immediately played 41 minutes, so it’s safe to say he won’t be limited in this one.
As for the over/under, we expect Rockets games to always have an inflated total.
They play at third quickest pace in the league and the Raptors are a middle of the pack team in terms of pace.
Usually the slower teams increase their pace to match the quicker one so it makes sense why the total is up here.
Why Bet On The Houston Rockets?
James Harden is leading the league in points per game with 39.5. This is absolutely insane for a player who many expected to regress this season with the addition of Westbrook.
The opposite has actually happened.
Harden is just shooting whenever he can which is leading to some sub-optimal possessions. When he’s on his game, he can drop 60 at any time.
However, his volume is negatively impacting his team as they are not setting up plays or trying to get others involved as much.
Westbrook is trying his best to distribute as he’s done in the past, but the Rockets are sticking to their motto of volume over quality of shots.
Due to this, Houston does have the third-highest offensive rating in the league, but they are also 16th in defensive rating.
If they can’t purely outscore their opponent on a given day, then they probably lose.
There’s not a “lockdown” defense strategy that this team employs which is why most of their games end up in either a blowout or a shootout.
Why Bet On The Toronto Raptors?
Who said that this team would barely scrape by without Kawhi Leonard? It was probably those who didn’t realize what an asset Siakam could become.
Siakam is averaging 25 points and almost 9 rebounds per game. While Lowry was out he was even distributing the ball more as he was getting about 4 assists a game.
The Raptors have a very solid mix of offense and defense. I believe they are one of the best coached teams in the league as their use of their bench has been phenomenal.
Fred VanVleet is averaging 19 points and 7 assists per game and has been invaluable as both a starter and bench player.
This Raptors team is very well rounded since they don’t rely on just one player to carry them.
They have six players averaging over 10 points per game this season and the return of Kyle Lowry will help them even more.
They’re also own the fourth-best defensive rating in the league, which will prove to be a problem for Houston.
Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors Week 7 NBA Prediction
I think that the Raptors are much better than what this spread wants to make us believe.
At home, they are an incredibly tough team to keep up with, and the Rockets shootout strategy won’t be as effective against a team that has the length and athleticism to lock down Harden.
Marc Gasol is still a defensive force and can shut down Clint Capela just like he shut down Joel Embiid.
Even though some say that Harden is unguardable, he will have a difficult time penetrating the paint versus Siakam, which makes me want to lock in the Raptors at -1 here.
I don’t want to go near the over/under because Houston’s offense is too volatile to predict how this game will end up score wise.
It could end up close or they could just stutter and not even provide much competition here.
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