Rockets vs Cavaliers Expert NBA Score Prediction

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DATE – Friday Jan. 15

TIME – 9:30 p.m. Eastern

TV – ESPN

 

Both the Cavaliers and Rockets finished second in the regular season last season in their respective conferences, making expectations for both teams very high heading into the 2015-16 season. And while Cleveland has lived up to its billing, soaring to the top of the Eastern Conference through the first half of the NBA season, Houston has struggled to a sub-.500 record.

 

ESPN will televise the Cavaliers-Rockets game from Houston at 9:30 p.m. as game two of the ESPN NBA Friday Night double-header. The Timberwolves and Thunder will precede the Cleveland-Houston game on ESPN.

 

Houston appeared to be preparing for a surge just before Christmas, picking up a key win at home against the Clippers before upsetting San Antonio in Houston, 88-84, on Christmas Day. That was only the sixth loss for the Spurs on the entire season and it moved Houston one game above .500 on the season, matching its best 2015-2016 mark.

 

But Houston won’t carry much momentum into the Cavaliers-Rockets game, as it proceeded to lose four straight games after upsetting San Antonio to tumble back below the .500 mark.

 

The Cavaliers meanwhile have had a smooth first half of the NBA season heading into the Cleveland-Houston game. Cleveland won 23 of its first 32 games, giving it the best record in the Eastern Conference and the third-best record in the entire NBA, training only Golden State and San Antonio.

 

LeBron James is having a typically strong season entering the Cavaliers-Rockets game, leading Cleveland in scoring at better than 25 points per game, while collecting more than seven rebounds and nearly six assists per game. Kevin Love is averaging more than 16 points and 10 rebounds per game for Cleveland.

 

Kyrie Irving should give the Cavs a boost for this matchup as well, as he is starting to return to form after missing the first one-third of the NBA season with a knee injury, only returning just before Christmas. He is steadily building his minutes played and has reached 20 points in two individual games as he continues to advance toward the Cleveland-Houston game.

 

Cleveland and Houston will meet a second time this season in Cleveland March 29. Houston leads the all-time Cavaliers-Rockets series, 81-42, and Houston has won six in a row in the series.

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LAST 5 CAVALIERS-ROCKETS MEETINGS

3/1/15 at Rockets 105, Cavaliers (-1) 103 (ot) (O 206.5)

1/7/15 Rockets (-6) 105, at Cavaliers 93 (U 198.5)

3/22/14 Rockets (-8) 118, at Cavaliers 111 (O 204)

2/1/14 at Rockets (-11.5) 106, Cavaliers 92 (U 206.5)

3/22/13 at Rockets (-12) 116, Cavaliers 78 (U 212)

*Rockets have won 6 straight outright in Cavaliers-Rockets series

*Rockets are 5-1 ATS in last 6 Cavaliers-Rockets games

*Unders are 3-1 in last 4 Cavaliers-Rockets non-overtime games

 

CAVALIERS LAST 5 ATS

1/4/16 W at Cavaliers (-8) 122, Raptors 100 (O 194)

1/2/16 W at Cavaliers (-8.5) 104, Magic 79 (U 192)

12/29/15 P Cavaliers (-6) 93, Nuggets 87 (U 195)

12/28/15 L Cavaliers (-9.5) 101, at Suns 97 (U 199)

12/26/15 L at Trail Blazers 105, Cavaliers (-7.5) 76 (U 195.5)

*Cavaliers are 7-3-1 ATS in last 11 games

*Cavaliers are 4-9-1 ATS in last 14 road games

*Unders are 9-2 in last 11 Cavaliers games

 

ROCKETS LAST 5 ATS

1/4/16 L Rockets (-3.5) 93, at Jazz 91 (U 198)

1/2/16 L at Spurs (-11) 121, Rockets 103 (O 202)

12/31/15 L Warriors 114, at Rockets (-3.5) 110 (O 211)

12/29/15 L Hawks 121, at Rockets (-3.5) 115 (O 208)

12/26/15 L at Pelicans 110, Rockets (-1) 108 (O 210)

*Rockets are 1-6 ATS in last 7 games

*Rockets are 6-2 ATS in last 8 home games

*Unders are 7-4 in last 11 Rockets games