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Dec 12 NBA Action: LA Lakers @ Houston Rockets

LA Lakers +12.0 (-118) @ Houston Rockets

Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

December 12, 2015 7:00PM CST

Our computer simulation work expects a Rockets win by about 8 or 9 this evening when Houston hosts the Kobe Bryant farewell tour (and the Los Angeles Lakers). Our power rankings model likewise handicaps this contest at about Rockets -8. As such, we perceive significant value siding with the road, dogs.

Of note, tonight's contest represents the fourth time this season Houston has been installed as a double digit favorite. The Rockets failed to cover in each of the prior three instances, and actually lost two of those games straight up.

And while, given their 4-1 record in December both outright and versus the number, one might be tempted to argue that Houston has righted the ship recently, the straight up loss to the #28 ranked Brooklyn Nets Tuesday flies in the face of this thesis.

Of concern to Lakers backers might be the fact that the 10th oldest team in the league will go tonight on zero days rest (LA played the Spurs at AT&T Center last night). However, the less than 200 mile trek from San Antonio to Houston is not especially arduous, and more importantly, Los Angeles has fared quite well in the second game of back-to-back sequences this year, notching a 4-1 ATS record from this position.

In our estimation, Houston's erratic play this season does not warrant double-digit chalk tonight -- even against the bottom-ranked LA Lakers. Despite the more concerted effort of late, we are not convinced the Rockets' issues have been adequately addressed. As such we are happy to take the dozen points and side with the Lakers, who have been exactly as good as the Rockets compared to the betting line (both teams are 8-15 ATS).

OddsShark reports that the spread opened at Lakers +12 before drifting down to 11.5, and that 62% of spread wagers are backing the underdog.

As of the time of this post, the Rockets' Trevor Ariza is listed a questionable, as is Jordan Clarkson for the Lakers.

Happy betting!!

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