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NJ Nets vs. Houston Rockets Free NBA Pick (Feb. 17)

New Jersey at Houston – Will the Nets Contend?

NBA Betting – New Jersey Nets (24-29 SU, 28-25 ATS) at Houston Rockets (32-21 SU, 23-29-1 ATS)

BetUS NBA Odds: HOUSTON -6, Total 192.5

Here are some of the NBA pro basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* NJ has won and covered four of its last six games
* NJ has lost 10 of its last 15 games SU* NJ has played eight of its last 11 games UNDER the total
* NJ has covered 16 of its last 24 road games
* NJ has lost nine of its last 12 road games SU
* NJ has played six of its last seven road games UNDER the total
* HOU has covered one of its last five games
* HOU has won four of its last six games SU
* HOU has won seven of its last eight home games SU
* HOU has played four of its last five home games UNDER the total

Also…

* HOU has won the last five meetings SU
* HOU has covered eight of the last nine meetings
* HOU has covered four of the last six meetings as the home team
* HOU has won 11 of the last 14 meetings SU as the home team
* Five of the last six meetings in Houston have gone UNDER the total
* HOU has had the shooting edge in eight of the last nine meetings
* HOU has had the rebounding edge in six of the last eight meetings
* HOU has made more three-pointers in four of the last five meetings

As we come back from the All-Star break the Nets are five games under .500, just one game out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase and just ahead of teams like the Knicks, Bulls and Bobcats. Houston trails San Antonio four games in the Southwest Division and is in fifth place overall in the West. They are just a half game out of the fourth spot, which would give them a home court in the first playoff round; on the other hand, they are also just three games ahead of the Phoenix Suns, who are the ninth place team. So it’s still pretty much wide open.

This is strange for New Jersey because one of its best players, Vince Carter, is most definitely on the trading block. The Nets have been listening to offers from all over the NBA for the veteran All-Star, who is still young enough (32) to be a vital cog for a few years for some team

What the Nets can get in return for Carter is unknown, but management realizes that this team, which has been rebuilt, can actually make the playoffs. One of the reasons they have managed to keep their collective head above water (well, aside from the fact that they’re in the weaker Eastern Conference) is that Brook Lopez has shown some improvement. The rookie center out of Stanford is playing with a little more impunity, and has had four double-doubles in his last six games. The seven-footer is averaging 12 points and eight rebounds,

New Jersey is unusual in that it performed horribly at home for most of the season. One of the games in which they fell flat was a December 22 meeting with the Rockets, in which they were beaten 114-91 and suffered through 29% shooting from the combo of Carter and Devin Harris. With Lopez’s progress and that of fellow rookie Ryan Anderson, there is at least a little more in the arsenal. The Nets have been sterling as a road dog, covering in 16 of 25 attempts, and they’re also a .500 team straight-up as the visitor (13-13). They can make a game of it.

We’ll take the points with New Jersey, the six-point underdog in the BetUS NBA pro basketball sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: NEW JERSEY +6 **

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