Bit of a light schedule around the NBA on Friday night and one game clearly stands apart: A potential playoff preview from Denver between the Rockets and Nuggets – also featuring MVP candidates in James Harden and Nikola Jokic. The Nugs are fabulous at home and NBA lines favorites.
Rockets vs Nuggets NBA Spread & Pick for Friday Night
- When: Friday, 10 PM ET
- Where: Pepsi Center
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
- Radio: TuneIn/NBA
- NBA Spread: Denver Nuggets -4.5 (Total 227)
Houston leads 2-0. The last meeting was on Jan. 7 in Houston and the Rockets prevailed 125-113. The Rockets led 107-98 with 7:34 remaining before putting the game away with a 10-2 run. Denver shot 1-of-9 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter. Houston made 22 three-pointers, while Denver had just seven. Clint Capela had 31 points for Houston and James Harden 13 assists. Nikola Jokic had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Denver.
Overall in the two meetings, the Rockets are averaging 117.0 points (52.4% FGs) while Nuggets are averaging 106.0 ppg (48.5% FGs). Capela is 27.5 ppg on 72.7% shooting and Harden: 27.0 ppg and 12.5 apg. Jokic is averaging 19.0 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.00 spg. Houston’s nine-game winning streak overall in the series is its second-longest ever vs. Nuggets. So is the Rockets’ four-game winning streak in Denver.
Why Bet on Houston?
The Houston Rockets were stunned at home by short-handed New Orleans on Tuesday, 121-116. New Orleans used an 8-2 run to make it 114-102 with 3 1/2 minutes left. Jrue Holiday had six points for the Pelicans in that span, and Houston missed seven straight shots. The Rockets led by as many as 15 early.
James Harden had 37 points to extend his streak of 30-point games to 24, but he had a tough shooting night, making 11 of 32 overall and going 6 for 18 from 3-point range. He had 11 rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Harden has scored 35 points in 11 straight games. That’s the 5th-longest streak of 35-point games in NBA history, and the longest since Kobe Bryant had a streak of 13 games in the 2002-03 season. The top 3 streaks all belong to Wilt Chamberlain. Harden’s 43.6 PPG in January was the 7th most in a calendar month in NBA history, and the most by any player not named Chamberlain (min. 10 games).
Still, Harden wasn’t happy losing to a decimated opponent.
“We had no energy,” Harden said. “It was from the beginning of the game, too. We let them get too many easy looks, easy layups. We didn’t put [any] defensive pressure on them at all.”
Chris Paul played 26 minutes vs. the Pelicans on Tuesday with 10 points, nine assists, two steals and one triple. He did bang his knee but was able to play through it, finishing 4-of-9 from the field and 1-of-2 from the line. CP3 is still trying to get his legs under him and went to the practice court after the game to get some extra shots up.
Mike D’Antoni said that Paul will play on Friday against the Nuggets, but he’s uncertain for Saturday’s game against the Jazz. D’Antoni added that CP3 hasn’t experienced any setbacks in his first two games back from the hamstring injury and that he anticipates his minutes to trend towards the 30s on Friday. Backup big man Nene will likely be rested for Friday’s game but will play on Saturday in Utah.
- Total Score: 112.28
- Field Goal Percentage: 44.42
- Three-Point Percentage: 34.50
- Free Throw Percentage: 77.85
- Total Rebounds: 41.88
- Total Score: 110.84
- Field Goal Percentage: 47.47
- Three-Point Percentage: 33.86
- Free Throw Percentage: 76.99
- Total Rebounds: 44.72
Why Bet on Denver?
The Denver Nuggets won their third in a row Wednesday, 105-99 in New Orleans. The short-handed Pels’ only available starter, Jrue Holiday, had 22 points, including a step-back, straight-on 3 that cut Denver’s lead to 100-99 with 1:32 left. That’s when Nikola Jokic responded with reverse layups while guarded by Jahlil Okafor to make it 104-99 with 42 seconds left. That improved Denver to 35-15 this season, their best record through 50 games in franchise history.
Nikola Jokic went off against the Pelicans scoring 20 points with 13 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and two blocks in 37 minutes. It was his eighth career triple-double. In the clutch, Jokic has a 64.6 TS% on a 33.3 usage rate with a +25.2 net rating.
Monte Morris was outstanding in a start against the Pelicans, making 8-of-12 from the field for 20 points with seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals, three 3-pointers and no turnovers in 40 minutes. He continues to make the case as a top-five bench point guard in the NBA. Morris’ playing time is tied to the Nuggets missing players, and he was able to get the run with Jamal Murray (ankle) out. Malik Beasley thrived off the bench with 22 points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal and four 3-pointers in 29 minutes against the Pelicans. Beasley also gets more time with Murray out.
Murray missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. Coach Malone said Murray is “feeling better” but unsure if he’ll return Friday. The Nuggets have held opponents to fewer than 100 points in 17 games this season.
Denver is 22-4 at home (tied for the best home record in the NBA), and before their loss to the Warriors on 1/15, they held a win streak of 12 straight at home, making it the longest streak in the NBA this season. The Nuggets also own a record of 13-2 in Denver against Western Conference teams.
- Total Score: 111.48
- Field Goal Percentage: 46.95
- Three-Point Percentage: 35.40
- Free Throw Percentage: 75.37
- Total Rebounds: 46.78
- Total Score: 105.80
- Field Goal Percentage: 45.63
- Three-Point Percentage: 34.06
- Free Throw Percentage: 75.05
- Total Rebounds: 41.74
Rockets vs Nuggets NBA Betting Trends
- Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings
- Houston is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
- Houston is 5-10 SU in its last 15 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Houston’s last 11 games on the road
- Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- Denver is 16-1 SU in its last 17 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Denver’s last 5 games at home
Expert NBA Betting Prediction for Rockets vs Nuggets
Denver ends 9-game skid in series & covers.