Rockets vs. Suns odds: Picks from NBA expert who's 19-8 on Phoenix games

The high-flying Houston Rockets visit the stubborn Phoenix Suns on Friday night in a prime-time matchup (ESPN). The Rockets are 7.5-point favorites, with the Over-Under for total points scored at 226.

Before you lock in your bets, you need to see what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say. In the past two seasons, he is 19-8 selecting Suns' games against the spread and 6-3 when the Rockets are involved. This adds up to a combined 25-11 record between the two teams, showing he is on the pulse of both clubs' tendencies.

Part of his success: Hartstein has a vast network of Vegas sources and has been covering the industry as a sportswriter and analyst for two decades. He can spot a bad line from a mile away.

Hartstein knows the Rockets are on a 4-0 against the spread in road games against losing teams. They also have dominated this series of late, with a 4-1 ATS run against the Suns.

They have covered three of their last five overall, while scoring at least 116 points in their three wins. They beat the number Wednesday night with a Chris Paul layup as time expired to seal a 121-112 win over Portland.

In November, Houston dominated from the outset in a 142-116 win at Phoenix. James Harden had 48 points, but he is shelved indefinitely with an injury and will miss Friday night's game.

The Suns, however, have picked up their performance level of late. They are 6-2 ATS in their past eight home games and 4-1 ATS in their last five against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

And the Suns have been giant killers. In their last game, Devin Booker had 26 points and four assists in a 114-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder as eight-point underdogs.

Will the Rockets bury another inferior opponent, or will the Suns rise up and defend their home court? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Rockets-Suns you should be all over on Friday, all from a surging expert who's 19-8 on Suns' games.

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