The 2016-17 NBA Season tips off their second half tonight with a solid six game slate taking to the hardwood. A slate that features two of the top teams in the Western Conference squaring off in Golden State while the New Orleans Pelicans look to get their first win since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins against a very good Houston Rockets team.

 

On paper these two teams are at different ends of the Western Conference entering tonight’s showdown in New Orleans. Tonight’s contest will be no easy one for the Pelicans with or without Cousins in the lineup as the Rockets currently sit third in the Western Conference with an overall record of 40-18 with much of their success owed to the MVP candidate James Harden.

 

That being said Harden and the Rockets will have their hands full tonight against Cousins and Anthony Davis. Here is a quick look at the keys to the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans contest on Thursday Night.

 

Houston Rockets Key To The Game – Win The Glass

 

The biggest key for the Rockets to walk away with a win in New Orleans is finding a way to win the glass against a Pelicans team that has two of the top big men in all of the NBA. Entering tonight Cousins and Davis are averaging over 22 rebounds together per game this season. If the Rockets can find a way to win the rebounding battle they should walk away with a big win on the road.

 

New Orleans Pelicans Keys To The Game – Force Harden To Pass

 

While Harden is leading the league in assists per game much of that success has come from teams needing to shut him down. This has opened up some key scoring opportunities for his teammates that have produced at times. Tonight with Cousins and Davis down low Harden and the Rockets will be limited to settling for outside shots something that has been a struggle for them at times especially if Harden is not the one doing the shooting.

 

Houston Rockets @ New Orleans Pelicans (+4)

Over/Under 227

February 23rd, 2017 @ 8pm ET

 

Houston Rockets Betting Trends Analysis

 

As the Rockets get ready for their Western Conference showdown tonight against the Pelicans they enter this contest as the overall better team in the standings as well as their record against the spread. Overall the Rockets are 33-25 against the spread this season while going 19-11 on the road. Their successes against the spread includes going 19-9 against the Western Conference but have struggled to just 1-4 on the road over their last five games.

 

New Orleans Pelicans Betting Trends Analysis

 

The Pelicans early season struggles has not only turned up in the standings but also in their success against the spread. On the year the Pelicans are just 28-29 against the spread while going just 14-15 at home. Despite their struggles this season the Pelicans have been solid on Thursday Night going 7-2 against the spread while also going 4-1 against teams with a winning road record.

 

Head To Head Betting Trends Analysis

 

For these two teams the underdog has carried the series of late going 10-4-1 against the spread over their last 15 meetings. This includes the Rockets going just 3-7 against the spread the last ten times they have made the trip to New Orleans. One trend that is worth monitoring has been the ract the two teams don’t score a ton of points to cover the over. In their last 17 meetings in New Orleans they have failed to cover the over in 13 of those contests while they have combined to score less then the over in 23 of their last 33 overall contests.

 

Prediction  – New Orleans Pelicans +4