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The Houston Rockets have gotten out to a respectable start with some bumps along the way as they have won five out of their first eight contests. The Rockets are coming off a comfortable win over a shorthanded Golden State Warriors team.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls have already experienced many growing pains, which has seen them drop three out of their last five games. The Bulls are fresh off a much-needed double-digit win on the road over the Atlanta Hawks.
It sets up an intriguing matchup between the two teams looking to keep the ball rolling in the right direction on Saturday night.
Rockets led by All-Star duo to much early-season successIt has been a solid start out of the gate for the new-look Rockets behind their All-Star duo having won five out of their first eight games, which has put them near the top of the Western Conference with one of the best records. However, the team has had their fair share of struggles offensively with James Harden and Russell Westbrook relearning to play aside each other that has impacted their efficiently scoring the ball with much of that coming from Harden, who is shooting just 38.7 percent from the floor and 27.0 percent from beyond the arc, but is leading the league with 36.5 points along with 8.1 assists per contest. He has remained the driving force offensively, even with Westbrook now in the mix adding another dynamic to their offensive game plan.
Harden has continued to rack up strong offensive outings that has seen him score more than 20 points all but once this season, while he has tallied more than 30 points five times that has been topped by a 59-point performance against the Washington Wizards. He will continue to cause defensive headaches for the Bulls that should lean the game significantly in the Rockets' manner. Meanwhile, Westbrook has settled into his own as he is averaging a near triple-double with 20.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists per contest while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and only 25.8 percent from beyond the arc. Westbrook has put up a pair of triple-doubles that could see him add another strong outing against the outmatched Bulls.
Bulls stumbling offensive out of the gate to the seasonHeading into the 2019-20 campaign, there was much hope from the Bulls that could take another step forward with their young core group getting more time together on the floor. The franchise has put together a young and promising collection of talent that could see them become a force in the Eastern Conference down the line. However, the Bulls have continued to struggle to find consistency as their youth has had issues putting together consistent play on both ends of the floor. Their have been some bright spots on the roster, but it hasn't led to much success with only three wins in the first nine games. Guard Zach LaVine has continued to step in as their leading offensive factor averaging a team-best 20.4 points on 44.1 percent shooting from the floor as he has three 20-point outings in the last five games played.
However, it has been the offense behind that has struggled as the team is averaging just 106.7 points per contest while shooting 43.5 percent from the floor, which isn't going to cut it in the NBA that has become a league led by offense. They have been one of the lower-scoring teams in the league over the last couple of years that has prevented them from finding much success. It has seen third-year big man Lauri Markkanen struggle to step it up offensively as he's averaging 15.1 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 39.3 percent from the floor and 30.4 percent from beyond the arc. These numbers are down across the board from what has been expected from him as their secondary scoring option. Instead, he has had struggles picking up his play on that end of the floor, shooting below 40 percent in three out of his last five games. If the Bulls hope to secure their second straight win on Saturday night, they will need their youth to keep up offensively with the offensive prowess that the Rockets possess.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Chicago is 1-5 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning straight-up record.
- Chicago is 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win.
- Chicago is 0-4 ATS in their last four Saturday games.
- Houston is 5-0 ATS in their last five games playing on two days rest.
- Houston is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning% below .400.
- Houston is 4-1 ATS in their last five Saturday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bulls are clearly outmatched in this contest against the offensive firepower that the Rockets hold behind their two league MVPs. It will be a one-sided affair that will quickly get out of hand on Saturday night that will show why Chicago is a team on the rebuild. Ultimately, this will be one of the more easy games to pick on the slate.
Full-Game Total Pick
At the same time, there will be plenty of scoring from both sides as each team has struggled defensively. If the Rockets allowed an undermanned Warriors teawm to notch 112 points against them, what's to say that the Bulls can't do the same? Expect plenty of offense from both sides.