Spurs at Rockets: Betting odds, point spread for Saturday night

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Ben DuBose
·4 min read
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In the start of an indefinite run without starting center Christian Wood, the Houston Rockets are hoping for veteran big man DeMarcus Cousins to pick up much of the slack. His first chance to do so comes Saturday at home versus a division rival, with tipoff between the Rockets and San Antonio Spurs set for 7:00 p.m. Central from Toyota Center.

While it’s been an up-and-down season for the former All-Star, the optimistic case with Cousins is that he’s generally played better with more minutes. When Wood missed three games with his initial right ankle injury in late January, Cousins started in all three and averaged 17.3 points (40.9% on 3-pointers), 14.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.

Aside from Wood, who again sprained his right ankle in Thursday’s game at Memphis and will be “re-evaluated on a weekly basis,” the Rockets could be much healthier than they’ve been in recent days.

Veteran guards John Wall and Victor Oladipo staggered “maintenance” absences during Wednesday and Thursday’s road back-to-back, so Saturday’s game will likely be their first time to start together in the backcourt since Monday. That game was a 30-point blowout at Oklahoma City, in which the Rockets set a new franchise record for 3-pointers.

Wall is listed as “questionable” with back spasms, but he played through the issue Thursday, and head coach Stephen Silas said postgame that Wall had told him he was fine. If for any reason that changes and Wall is unable to go, sixth man Eric Gordon would start in his place.

Related

Rockets star Christian Wood sidelined indefinitely with right ankle sprain

Spurs at Rockets: Lineups, injury reports, and broadcast info for Saturday

The lines, courtesy of BetMGM

  • Point spread: Rockets -1.5 (-110), Spurs +1.5 (-110)

  • Moneyline: Rockets -120/Spurs +100

  • Over-under: 222.5 (-110 O, -110 U)

  • Player O/U Scoring Props: TBD

Place your legal, online sports bets in CO, IN, MI, NV, NJ, PA, TN, and WV at BetMGM.

Saturday’s projected starters for San Antonio are Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson, and Jakoc Poeltl. Meanwhile, Houston is expected to counter with John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Jae’Sean Tate, PJ Tucker, and DeMarcus Cousins.

The Spurs have a long injury report of their own, with LaMarcus Aldridge (hip flexor) and Lonnie Walker IV (stomach illness) each listed as out. Dejounte Murray is questionable with a sore left ankle. For the Rockets, defensive ace David Nwaba (left ankle sprain) is also questionable.

The Rockets and Spurs split a pair of games in San Antonio last month, but Houston was severely short-handed at the time — with Wall, Oladipo, and sixth man Eric Gordon all unavailable. This time, the Rockets enter with seven wins in their last eight games, while the Spurs are 4-4 over that same span. With a win on Saturday night, Houston would jump San Antonio in the tightly packed Southwest Division race.

Advice and prediction

The Rockets are now 9-4 when John Wall plays this season, as compared to 2-6 when he sits. Moreover, they are 7-0 when he plays without James Harden. Assuming the five-time All-Star plays through the back spasms, that’s one source of optimism as the Rockets begin what they hope is a brief era without their star big man in Wood.

Despite being a half-game worse in record going into Saturday, the Rockets (11-10) look like the better team on paper. Houston ranks No. 8 overall in net rating, as compared to No. 18 for the Spurs (12-10). In the last eight games, there’s even more of a disparity, with the Rockets ranking No. 2 in the NBA and San Antonio at No. 23 overall.

Some of that gap should shrink given the absence of Wood, who was having an All-Star caliber season. But with a home game and Houston getting a day of rest beforehand, there’s reason to believe that Wall and the defensively stout Rockets can grind out another victory — and perhaps another “under” with the cumulative points total.

Prediction: 112-105, Rockets

Get more betting analysis and predictions at Sportsbook Wire.

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