The Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets will be tipping off for the fourth time in the last month under the lights of Ball Arena! Join us for our NBA odds series where our Rockets-Nuggets prediction and pick will be revealed.
Entering play with a dead-even 9-9 record, the Rockets head into the night seeking their first road win of the season. As it stands, Houston's young roster has not yet won a road game up to this point with their 0-8 mark away from home. Overall, the Rockets were at least able to snap a three-game winning streak with an impressive 110-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets are more than relieved to return home as they finally lost to the Los Angeles Clippers for the first time in their last nine meetings against them. While out on the road, the defending champs are an underwhelming 5-8 away from Ball Arena but have yet to lose on their home floor with a flawless 9-0 record. Currently in the midst of a mini two-game slide, is this the night when Denver gets back on track?
Here are the NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Rockets-Nuggets Odds
Houston Rockets: +9.5 (-112)
Denver Nuggets: -9.5 (-108)
Over: 221.5 (-108)
Under: 221.5 (-112)
How to Watch Rockets vs. Nuggets
Time: 9:00 ET/6:00 PT
TV: Altitude Sports and Entertainment
Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)
Why The Rockets Could Cover The Spread
Without a doubt, Rockets fans will need to be reminded that this is a Houston team that only won 22 games a year ago, and even if this team isn't quite good enough to make the postseason this year, they certainly appear to be headed in the right direction.
Just like most youthful squads, coming out victorious on the road continues to be a hefty challenge. Believe it or not, but Houston is the final team in the NBA that has yet to win a game away from home. In order to finally get in the win column as visitors, there is no question that the Rockets will need to get out to a rather quick start. With oxygen at a premium, Houston will need to be mentally tough in this one as the first few minutes of the ball game will most likely have the Rockets sucking for air due to the high altitude of Denver.
If there's one name in this starting lineup who is quickly becoming a budding superstar in this league, look no further than big-man Alperen Sengun who has dropped at least 20 points in his last five games combined including a dominating 31-point outing against the Dallas Mavericks a little more than a week ago.
In addition to their superb play of their young center, the Rockets suffocating defensive ways have also caught the eye of the basketball world. Overall, Houston ranks 7th in defensive efficiency throughout the whole league and are prone to stringing together multiple stops in a row. With the offense as inconsistent as it is at the moment, forcing turnovers and not allowing the Nuggets to shoot wide-open jumpers will prove to be critical.
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
Is it time to slightly hit the panic button in Denver? Not at all. Overall, the Nuggets enter this competition with a 14-8 record and were at one time 14-10 at this point of last season. Not to mention, but Denver has barely played with a healthy starting lineup thus far and with everyone finally back in the fold, tonight's game in front of their home fans could be the start of a lengthy winning stretch.
In order to turn this into a reality, expect Nikola Jokic to have a big-time bounce-back performance. For someone who rarely has bad games and is as consistent as they come, the Serbian wonder had one of the worst shooting outings of his career en route to missing a whopping 23 shots from the floor. Nevertheless, even Jokic's worst games ever are still more than productive as the big man managed to record his league-leading ninth triple-double of the season in the loss.
Above all else, the one thing that the Nuggets can also count on is the fact that backup point guard Reggie Jackson has been the perfect piece off the bench for Denver. With the prolonged absence of Jamal Murray, Jackson has averaged 13.6 points per game and is proving to be an invaluable replacement for Bruce Brown on last year's team. With this Nuggets bench continuing to struggle with a whole lot of youth, it has been Jackson who has been the perfect anchor for this unit. Worst comes to worst, expect Reggie to have an impact in this game one way or another.
Final Rockets-Nuggets Prediction & Pick
Clearly, both sides have become quite familiar with one another over the last 30 days. However, since Denver has yet to be defeated at home and Houston is still winless on the road, this matchup seems like an easy pick.
Final Rockets-Nuggets Prediction & Pick: Nuggets -9.5 (-108)