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Houston Rockets vs. Toronto Raptors Free NBA Pick & Preview

Rockets vs Raptors Online Betting Odds

The Houston Rockets will make the trip north of the border for a date with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. The Rockets have dropped back-to-back games following a five-game winning streak, while the Raptors lost their last game in Miami after winning three in a row.[ad-4468020]

Houston Rockets (49-24) at Toronto Raptors (42-32)
Date: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Air Canada Centre
City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
O/U Odds: 204.5
Spread: Houston -1

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Every game is of critical importance for both sides the rest of the way as they jockey for playoff positioning. The Raptors look to hold off the hard-charging Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls for the third spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Rockets didn’t do the Raptors any favors on Tuesday, dropping their contest to the Nets on Tuesday night on the front end of their back-to-back. That loss certainly can’t be pinned on shooting guard James Harden, who scored a team-high 26 points despite attempting just 10 shots from the field. He knocked down all 16 of his attempts from the charity stripe, and disked out seven assists.

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Center Omer Asik also filled in nicely for Dwight Howard, pulling down a career-high 23 rebounds, and adding 12 points for the game’s only double-double. Asik now has 34 rebounds over his last two games.
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Howard missed the contest due to a separate injuries to his back and left ankle, and while he isn’t expected to play on Wednesday, he did travel with the team, which leaves the door open for a return. That injury is in addition to the one suffered by Patrick Beverley, whose injured right knee could cost him the rest of his season.

As for the Raptors, they are dealing with a major injury woe of their own, as point guard Kyle Lowry suffered a knee injury in the team’s last game that could keep him out of this contest. X-rays on Lowry’s knee came back negative following the Miami game, but the knee did reportedly swell up after the game.

The injury comes at a very inopportune time for the Raptors, as Lowry has been on a tear since the All-Star break, averaging 19.2 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in 22 games. Giving Lowry some rest in advance of the playoffs could be the wise move.

Both teams are dealing with some health woes at the moment, but the injuries the Raptors are dealing with leave the team at a greater disadvantage in this contest. Lowry has been the team’s driving force this season, and they’ll have a hard time adapting without him. The Rockets can score points in bunches, and while they have had trouble in Toronto in recent years, they bring a significant talent edge into this contest.

The Rockets are 11-6 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.

The play: Houston -1

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