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July 24, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets

It’s tempting to go the easy route and pick another NCAA Tournament game in hopes of bolstering Talking Points’ 5-3 record on the mega-betting event.

But it’s also obnoxious, given that I’ve already made selections for both of today’s Elite 8 contests here. So it’s elsewhere I’ll look on the South Point betting board with what’s left of my $10,000 starting bankroll.

Houston Rockets minus-2 vs. Los Angeles Clippers: $330 to win $300

If it weren’t for the San Antonio Spurs’ ridiculous but annual second-half tear, the Rockets would be the hottest team in the NBA. Winners of five in a row with four covers, now is not the time to fade Houston.

The Rockets have business to settle. And it’s personal. James Harden, Dwight Howard and Co. will try to avoid a season sweep against the Clippers, the team exactly one game ahead of them in the Western Conference standings.

The Clippers won the first two games against the Rockets this season by 19 and 13 points. Houston solved part of the riddle in its last trip to Los Angeles, but let the game get away in the fourth quarter to still lose by eight points.

Los Angeles isn’t that much better and Houston should be eager to prove it. So much of handicapping the NBA involves gauging a team’s mental state and motivation on any given night of a grueling season.

It’s oftentimes difficult to decipher, but not on this night. The Rockets won’t give anything less than their greatest effort, which should be enough to deliver something that’s eluded them all season.

Standings: Bern (17-11, $11,390), Keefer (13-13, $9,267), Brewer (9-15-3, $5,960

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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