Can James Harden Lead 76ers to Win Over Rockets in Return?

Can James Harden Lead 76ers to Win Over Rockets in Return?

Monday night is a big one for the Philadelphia 76ers, who will be feeling a sense of normality as star guard James Harden returns to the court after missing a month with a foot injury. Coincidentally enough, he'll face his former team in the Houston Rockets on the road. The tip-off is scheduled for 8 PM ET at the Toyota Center. Philly is looking to end a two-game losing skid after falling to a pair of very good teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies. Houston also lost in their last contest on Saturday to the defending champion Golden State Warriors by a score of 120-101. Keep reading for the 76ers vs Rockets prediction.

Before we get into the odds, preview, and pick, take a look at our tips for betting on NBA games and how to bet on NBA futures.

76ers vs Rockets Odds

Philadelphia 76ers-6.5 (-115)TBDOv 220 (-110)
Houston Rockets+6.5 (-105)TBDUn 220 (-110)

The Sixers head into this road matchup as a 6.5-point favorite. They've gone just 13-10 ATS so far. However, Philly has won three in a row as a favorite. The Rockets are 12-11 ATS.

The 76ers are actually enjoying a five-game winning streak against Houston dating back to the 2019-20 campaign.

76ers Betting Analysis

Despite having title aspirations, things aren't exactly going Philly's way at the moment and it's come down to brutal injury luck. First, Harden went down then Embiid missed time. Most recently, guard Tyrese Maxey also suffered an injury and is out for a couple more weeks. The health of their three stars is definitely hurting the offense, ranking 28th in PPG with 108.3. But, Doc Rivers has instilled a fantastic defensive identity. They're one of the top teams in the league when it comes to containing opponents.

Playing without the likes of Embiid, Maxey, and Harden did give the likes of De'Anthony Melton and Shake Milton the chance to showcase their talents and both guys took advantage, proving they deserve a more increased role in the second unit. The two combined for 30 points in the loss to the Grizzlies, but it was Embiid who starred, showing out for 35 points, 11 boards, and eight assists. However, the Sixers were cooked in transition and on second-chance points, which proved to be a difference-maker. An athletic Memphis group took full advantage. On a more positive note, all signs point to a Philly victory Monday given their recent success against Houston.

Rockets Betting Analysis

It's been another miserable campaign for Houston, who sit at 6-17 and second-last in the West. They rank bottom-five in offensive and defensive rating and are clearly still in the middle of their rebuild. Jalen Green is leading the way with 21.3 points, four rebounds, and 3.8 assists per night, while backcourt partner Kevin Porter is also putting up 18 PPG, six APG, and 5.7 RPG. These two are building blocks for the franchise.

The Rockets were just simply overmatched on Saturday by the Warriors. When a team drains 25 three-pointers, it's going to be very difficult to win game. The Dubs shot a ridiculous 48% from deep and basically did all of their damage from beyond the arc. Houston actually outscored Golden State 72-34 in the paint, but it didn't matter. Offensively, four of the five starters finished in double-figures, led by Porter who had 20 points on 6 for 16 shooting. Stephen Silas' squad hasn't actually played a lot at home thus far, going 3-5 as opposed to 3-12 on the road. Beating the Sixers won't be easy and they'll need both Green and Porter to show out in big way if it's going to happen.

76ers vs Rockets Prediction

Philly has won the last three meetings against Houston by an average of 20 points. With Harden likely to suit up here, I don't see any issue with them comfortably covering the spread.

Philadelphia 76ers To cover vs Houston Rockets
-6.5 (-115)

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Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn is an experienced sports writer who has been writing about sports betting for OSB for years. He writes about NBA, NHL, boxing, NASCAR and college sports.