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Houston Rockets Odds - Too many injuries for Rockets to compete in West

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/3/2014 7:00:43 AM

Online sports betting players were surprised by Houston’s run to the conference semis, even as center Yao Ming went down with another injury and Tracy McGrady was also hurt. But this year’s Houston Rockets odds aren’t giving them any credit, and it’s injuries to star players that will kill their chances throughout the course of the season.

Houston Rockets Odds: +5003 to win NBA Championship

  • No Yao or McGrady to start the season
  • Losing Yao and Mutumbo leaves the Rockets small in the post
  • Adelman will need the best coaching job of his career

Houston Rockets odds maker breakdown: STARTING FIVE
The Rockets have been building around Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, but both will be on the disabled list to start the year. Yao may not even be back this year, which leaves the Rockets very undersized. Luis Scola moves from power forward to center, while Chuck Hayes is now the starting power forward. Trevor Ariza left Los Angeles to be the Rockets’ starting forward, and ironically, the player he replaced, Ron Artest, went to the Lakers. Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier round out the starting five, and Brooks is looking to build on a solid postseason showing.

Houston Rockets odds maker breakdown: BENCH
The bench lost Dikembe Mutumbo, who retired after tearing up his knee in the playoffs against Portland, but he may have retired anyway, given that he was the NBA’s oldest player. Also, with Hayes now in the starting lineup, their backup big men are David Andersen, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Joey Dorsey. Carl Landry brings energy and physical play off the pine, while Kyle Lowry will be starting his first full season in Houston and will be counted on for his defense. Losing Von Wafer’s explosive hurts, though.

Houston Rockets odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
The Rockets were a two-man show with Yao and McGrady in the fold, but their injuries may be a blessing in disguise as Houston plans to be more up-tempo this year, led by Brooks. The Rockets were 17th in points scored, and while losing their two offensive stars could hurt their offshore sportsbook chances, Houston could be a more unpredictable team on that end of the court. Scola will be counted on for more points, and someone off the bench will have to contribute with the exit of Wafer, who signed a contract in Greece.

Houston Rockets odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
Houston was seventh in the league in points allowed, and while they lose Artest, who was their defensive spark, Battier may be a more controlled perimeter player, and Ariza made his mark with the Lakers playing defense. The only problem may be in the lane, where the Rockets lost Yao and Mutumbo. The Rockets are physical and scrappy, but they may not have the size to alter shots.

Houston Rockets odds maker breakdown: COACHING
Rick Adelman finally got the Rockets past the first round of the playoffs last year, and they even pushed the Lakers to seven games in the conference semifinals. This season could be the biggest coaching challenge of Adelman’s career, though, with no Yao or T-Mac. Adelman’s motion offense depends on ball movement, so the loss of particularly Yao may not be as bad as many think.

Houston Rockets odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
NBA betting odds aren’t giving Houston that much of a chance to win the title, and they’ll be hard pressed to equal last year’s 53 wins. The Rockets will be fighting to snatch no more than a seventh seed this year, as you don’t just lose players like McGrady, Yao and Artest and stay afloat. Brooks in particular is still getting used to being a starting NBA point guard. Don’t expect much from Houston this year as they go through a transition period.

For more of the best sports betting articles on the internet and previews of all 30 NBA teams, check back with the Betting Edge daily.

Craig Parsons is's college basketball expert.



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