Another week of the NBA season tips off tonight with 10 more games on the schedule. One of those games features the Houston Rockets heading to Denver to take on the Nuggets. We’ll be previewing the game and then going into why the Rockets may have nice value here as an underdog play.
The 5-14 Rockets enter tonight on a two-game winning streak, their first winning streak of the season. Jalen Green was lights out in those games scoring 30 and 28 points in those games, bringing his scoring average to 24.1 ppg in his last 10.
The team as a whole has been scoring at a high level in these last two wins as well scoring 128 and 118 points in those games. Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. has shot the ball a lot better recently knocking down 11 three-pointers in his last three games so this offense will become even more dangerous if he can continue to improve his shooting numbers.
Defensively this Rockets team is still a huge liability on that end of the floor and enters tonight with a defensive rating of 114.2 which brings their NET rating to -5.5. This could be a problem tonight against a Nuggets team also on a two-game win streak and averaging 114.5 points per game this season.
Denver is shooting 39.8% from three and 49.3% from the field which are both second in the NBA in those categories. Nikola Jokic is still in his MVP form averaging 22.4 points and 9.7 rebounds a game. Much like Houston though the problems with this team have come on the defensive end of the floor. Denver has a 114 defensive rating which is 24th in the NBA.
The Nuggets could also be without Bones Hyland and Michael Porter Jr. tonight due to injuries.
The Rockets are currently +11.5 point underdogs and with the way their offense is playing, this could be a high-scoring close game where they can cover this number. Houston has a 6-4 ATS record in their last 10 and I think that trend can continue tonight.
Jalen Green should be able to take advantage of this below-average Nuggets defense and keep this Rockets team in the game. The Nuggets recently beat the Thunder 131-126 and I think tonight could be a very similar outcome due to the team's styles of play. The Rockets are ninth in the NBA in pace so if Denver tries to play at that pace Houston has the advantage.
The Nuggets have a 1-7 ATS record when playing a team with a losing record at home so they struggle to put the teams they need to away at home. I like this number a lot for the Rockets, with their ability to catch fire from deep they can keep pace with Jokic and Murray so they’ll be my NBA underdog play for the night.