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The NBA regular season schedule resumes after some exciting matches in the NBA In-Season Tournament. On Wednesday night, the NBA placed 11 games on the schedule, but our focus is on the matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets!
The Oklahoma City Thunder (13-6) have climbed to second place in the Western Conference and are just two games back from gaining first place. The Houston Rockets (8-9) have fallen back into a slump and are struggling to stay in the top ten of the Western Conference.
This match will be the first of four matchups between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets this season. Before this match begins, bettors can build a winning Same Game Parlay! When you sign up at FanDuel Sportsbook today, you'll receive $150 in bonus bets if you win a $5 wager on a money line!
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The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets are two teams that have overachieved through the early 2023-24 NBA regular season. While the Thunder are challenging for the top of the conference, the Rockets have overcome low expectations to hover around the .500 mark. This will be the first of four regular-season meetings between these teams.
One of the best two-way teams in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder, has few significant weaknesses. They’ve posted a 14-4-1 ATS Record and a 77.8% cover rate, good enough for first in the league. Their Margin of victory is 8.4 while owning an ATS +/- of +7.1. Canadian point guard and All-NBA First Team member Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the team with 29.9 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game on 53.8% from the field and 36.5% from deep.
The Houston Rockets have transformed their culture and, as a result, their defense, becoming one of the top defensive sides in the NBA. They boast an ATS Record of 10-5-2 and a cover rate of 66.7%, good enough for fifth in the league and trailing top teams like Philadelphia, Orlando, and Oklahoma City. They own a 2.8-point margin of victory and a +6.2 ATS +/- through 17 games. Much of their success is owed to the growth of Alperen Sengun, who leads the team with 21.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
The Houston Rockets list Victor Oladipo (Knee) and Amen Thompson (Ankle) as out and unavailable for this match. The Oklahoma City Thunder have no injuries to report.
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Dillon Brooks, one of the league’s premiere three-and-D players in the NBA, has been a vocal and on-court leader for the Houston Rockets this season. While the Rockets have fallen on hard times lately, they’re still overachieving due to Brooks's production and experience.
On the season, Brooks averages 13.2 points and 1.8 threes per game on 47.9% from the field and 44.1% from the three-point range. He is yet to play the Thunder this season, but they’re a team that allows 13.2 threes per game (19th) on 34.6% from deep (6th). The quality of the Thunder defense is impressive, but they allow plenty of opportunities from deep–which Brooks is sure to capitalize on.
In his last five games, Brooks has averaged 11.6 points and 1.2 threes per game on 41.2% from the field and 30.0% from deep. He’s been in a slight slump regarding his shooting, but the Thunder present the opportunity for volume when they’re hosted by Brooks and the Rockets. Hitting two threes in his last game, a loss to the Lakers, expect another solid night from Brooks as he tries to carry over his momentum.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder have been brilliant this season, as they’re within reach of first place in the Western Conference. A playmaking forward who helps initiate the Thunder offense, Giddey hasn’t taken on the role of scorer as much for Oklahoma City this season. Through 19 games, Giddey has averaged 12.0 points on 42.7% from the field and 31.0% from three-point range.
This will be the first time Giddey faces the Rockets this season, a team that owns one of the league’s best defenses. Giddey has hit under 10.5 points four times through his last five games, and the matchup against a defense-focused Rockets doesn’t work in his favor. Clearing 10.5 in just nine of his 19 games this season, Giddey faces a difficult challenge against the Houston Rockets.
Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
When: 8:00 PM EST, Wednesday, December 6, 2023
TV: Bally Sports OK, Space City Home Network
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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