The Houston Rockets are looking to go on a three-game win streak for the first time this season. They will be at home for the second straight game with the Toronto Raptors in town, and we’ll preview the game before going over my best prop pick for the action.
As we enter the fifth month of the NBA season, the Houston Rockets are currently in the midst of just their third win streak. By win streak, I mean winners in back-to-back games, but for a team with 38 losses already, we’ll call it a streak. On Wednesday night, the Rockets were able to hold the Thunder to 106 points in their win, which is the lowest amount of points they’ve allowed since January 8th.
Over their past five games, the Rockets rank 8th in the league in defensive efficiency rating, which is only the second time this season they have ranked in the top 10 for a five-game stretch or longer. Houston would likely be on a losing slide if it weren't for the improved defense since their overall NET rating over the past five games is -1.8.
The Rockets' offensive efficiency rating and true shooting percentage over the past five games rank 27th in the league. The bright side for them is that their opponent tonight allowed 131 points to the Jazz in their most recent loss, their defensive efficiency rating over the past five games ranks 24th.
Unlike the Rockets, the Raptors will be looking to snap a two-game losing slide tonight. Opponents have been finding a lot of success on the offensive end of the floor against Toronto recently, as over the past five games, opposing teams are shooting an average of 51.8% from the field against them, which is the 2nd highest average in that span.
Meanwhile, no team has held teams to a lower field goal percentage in that same span than the Houston Rockets. This sets up a very intriguing matchup on that end of the floor since Toronto had the 6th best offensive efficiency rating over the past five games.
For my prop pick in this one, I’ll be taking Gary Trent Jr. over 1.5 steals at (-130). Trent Jr. will enter tonight off a three-steal game and has averaged 1.7 steals per game this season. The Raptors guard has gone over his steals total in five of the last ten games and has an ideal matchup for this specific prop.
Over the last five games, no team has had the ball stolen away from them more than the Houston Rockets. Opposing teams are averaging 10.8 steals per game against Houston in that stretch, and in their most recent win over the Thunder, they still allowed Oklahoma City to come up with 11 steals in the game.
Even with their recent defensive struggles, the Raptors have remained at the top of the league in steals per game, with an average of 9.2 this season. Toronto is forcing an average of 16.5 turnovers per game, and Trent Jr. plays a significant factor in that number. Even if Houston comes out and is playing well, I still think they will have a fair amount of turnovers, and Gary Trent will be in the middle of it.
Gary Trent Jr. Over 1.5 Steals (-130)