Nuggets vs. Rockets Pick
Will the Houston Rockets have any trouble at home when they host the Denver Nuggets tonight at 8PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Rockets are the clear favorite at home, as they are getting odds of -9 points against the Nuggets. The over/under total for the game is listed at 240 points. Houston has won all three meetings with Denver this season, covering the spread in two of the three wins.
Houston is currently firmly planted in the third spot of the Western Conference Playoffs. They are 52-25 on the season and have a 4.5-game lead on the Jazz for the third spot while sitting 8 games behind San Antonio for the third spot. A win tonight locks up that third position. Houston is 42-35 against the spread on the season, but has failed to cover the spread in four straight. The Rockets average 115.4 points per game on offense while allowing 109 on defense. At home, Houston puts up 117.4 on offense while allowing 108.1 on defense. James Harden is a top MVP candidate with 29.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game.
Denver has won two straight, including a 134-131 win at New Orleans last night, to get to 37-40 on the season. They sit ½ a game behind Portland for the eighth spot in the West with five games remaining. The Nuggets are also 42-35 against the spread this season after covering in five of their last eight. Denver averages 111.8 points per game on offense this season while giving up 111.7 on defense. On the road, Denver is giving up 112.5 while scoring 109.7. Danilo Gallinari is leading the team with 17.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Most times I would ride the Rockets at home, but Houston can start to gear down with five games left, as the third spot is nearly a sure thing. The Rockets need just one win or a Utah loss to stay in that position, so they aren’t likely to risk Harden or their other top players by playing them full minutes. Denver is in must-win mode, so I expect the Nuggets to keep this one close. I like Denver to cover the 9 and possibly even grab the win outright.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: DENVER NUGGETS +9