Nuggets and Rockets Jockey for Playoff Position
Now that they’ve clinched a playoff spot, the Denver Nuggets (50-23 SU, 38-35 ATS) and Houston Rockets (47-28 SU, 34-38-3 ATS) can take it easy from here. OR they can keep fighting to improve their spot in the Western Conference standings.
The Denver Nuggets halted a nine-game losing skid against the Rockets earlier this season. Now they look to make it two straight wins. Backup guard Malik Beasley scored a career-best 35 points and star center Nikola Jokic added 31 as the Nuggets posted a 136-122 home win over the Rockets on Feb. 1.
Denver is a hot squad with seven victories in its last eight games. They are waging a battle with the Golden State Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference. Tuesday's 95-92 home win over the Detroit Pistons gave the Nuggets their first 50-win season since going 57-25 in 2012-13. Houston suffered a 108-94 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. They are battling the Portland Trail Blazers for the third seed in the West. James Harden scored just 23 points on 9-of-26 shooting and is averaging 25.5 points over the past two games. He averaged 59 over the previous two contests.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The contest against Houston begins a stretch in which seven of Denver's eight games are against probable Western Conference playoff squads. This could be a good thing heading into the postseason. Point guard Jamal Murray scored 33 points against Detroit after having just four on 2-of-12 shooting in a loss to the Indiana Pacers two nights earlier.
The loss to Milwaukee was just the third in the past 17 games for Houston. They never got on track offensively and shot 36.4% from the field. Center Clint Capela was on his game with 17 points (on 8-of-11 shooting) and 11 rebounds for his 39th double-double of the season. The Rockets won the past five home encounters with the Nuggets.
Prediction: Rockets 126, Nuggets 123
NBA Betting Odds & Trends
|Denver is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games|
|Denver is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Denver's last 16 games|
|Denver is 8-16 ATS in its last 24 games on the road|
|Denver is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Denver's last 9 games on the road|
|Denver is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston|
|Denver is 1-9 SU in its last 10 games when playing Houston|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Denver's last 5 games when playing Houston|
|Denver is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Houston|
|Houston is 14-3 SU in its last 17 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Houston's last 8 games|
|Houston is 4-7-1 ATS in its last 12 games at home|
|Houston is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 6 games at home|
|Houston is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Denver|
|Houston is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing Denver|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games when playing Denver|
|Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Denver|
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