The Houston Rockets have struggled this season and sit at just 26-20 as we enter Wednesday night’s action. However, James Harden has been on an epic tear — possibly a record-setting one — and that’s the main topic of conversation in the latest episode of Chris Sheridan’s Sports Betting Tips podcast. Sheridan’s joined by the man who wrote the NBA encyclopedia, Jan Hubbard, to put Harden’s run in perspective.
“It’s hard to compare because of the three-point shot, which Wilt never took one,” says Hubbard. “However, defenses are far more sophisticated now, which makes what he’s doing somewhat as impressive as what Wilt did.”
Harden has now scored 30 points in 20 consecutive games, which is the longest streak since Wilt Chamberlain did it back in 1964. While Harden is at 20 games, Chamberlain’s record is 65 straight games with 30 or more points.
“There are all sorts of prop bets up, including ‘Will James Harden Break Wilt Chamberlain’s Record Of 65 Straight Regular Season Games With 30 Or More Points?’ and it’s a 6/1 bets,” says Sheridan.
That would mean that if Harden managed to break that record and score 30 points or more for 66 straight games, bettors could win $600 for every $100 they bet.
“I would bet small on that,” says Hubbard. “When you get into this era with defenses, it’s hard for him to do that.”
While it looks like a stretch for Harden to get to 66 games with 30 or more, it’s worth noting that the NBA is changing. Offense is the key to games and defenses aren’t as effective as they used to be.
Take a look just four or five years ago and you’ll see a huge change. The best defense in the NBA (in terms of points per game allowed) is the Indiana Pacers right now and they are allowing 103.1 per outing. Taking a look back to the 2015-16 season, more than half the league was at that number or below. There were six teams that allowed less than 100 points per game.
At the other end of the equation, the Sacramento Kings allowed the most points in the 2015-16 season, giving up 109.1 per outing. If you compare that to today, that defense would actually be ranked No. 11 in the NBA. There are 19 teams that allow that number or more. When you look at it that way, it’s possible that Harden can hang around in the 30’s.
It’s also worth noting that Harden’s low in this streak was 32 (twice) but other than that, he’s had no lower than 35. He’s averaging an incredible 42.3 points per game over his last 20. It seems like he’s got plenty of room for error to have an “off” night and still make it above 30.
Next up for Harden is a visit to Madison Square Garden to take on the lowly New York Knicks.
To hear from Sheridan and Hubbard, tune into the latest Sports Betting Tips podcast on Get More Sports.
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