Brooklyn Nets vs. Houston Rockets Matchup Preview
This is certainly one of those nights where we will miss the fans a bit more. James Harden returns to Houston for the first time since the trade, and this would have been quite a show to see how the fans reactions would have been. Unfortunately, we will get a limited crowd but still some good basketball. Kevin Durant remains out for the Nets, and Christian Wood remains out for the Rockets. Houston has been dodging some injuries of late as Oladipo left the game briefly last time out, and Danuel House did leave the last game. Brooklyn has been rolling of late, winning nine of their last ten games, and are now just a half-game behind the 76ers for the first seed in the East. Meanwhile, Houston has dropped 12 straight games and is sitting with the second-worst record in the West and the third-worst in the NBA. There was a brief stretch where they might look to be a competitive team, but that has quickly faded. Brooklyn are ten points favorites tonight. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Brooklyn Nets at Houston Rockets Matchup Page.
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston TX
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Nets Starting 5
The Nets continue to find their groove and are averaging 120 points per game over the last ten. The defense has been slightly better as well, allowing 110 points per game. The Nets ran through some pretty good teams during their recent stretch, beating a good San Antonio team, both Los Angeles teams, Phoenix, Golden State, and Indiana. They did lose to Dallas but were without Kyrie Irving. The numbers continue to be insane, as KyrieIrving and James Harden average over 25 points per game this season. Over the last ten games, both of them are averaging 27 points per game. Harden has averaged a near triple-double over his last ten, going 27-9-10. Joe Harris continues to benefit from Durant’s absence but the ball movement and space also continues to be a plus for him. He has averaged 15 per game on his usual stellar efficiency numbers. The weak spot continues to be at center, and down the road, I expect Durant to be the crunchtime center as they go basically position-less. That won’t matter much tonight with Houston’s front-court situation, but against certain teams like Philadelphia, it is a major question mark.
Rockets Starting 5
Houston is in a real slide, and that is unlikely to end tonight. They have lost 12 straight, and while the schedule hasn’t been super friendly, the amount they are losing by each night is absurd. They have no offense, only averaging 100 points per game and are allowing 119. Christian Wood being out is a big problem, especially for how well he has played this season. John Wall has not shot well in this stretch but has led the team in scoring just solely off the volume. All of this production continues to come from him and Oladipo. Eric Gordon has chipped in but has been banged up as well. Being thin in the front cour,t Tate has averaged 12 and 5 over his last ten games and is averaging 30 per game. I like this matchup for him to keep it going. A lot is changing in Houston, and while they might be able to rebuild quickly after this season, this team is headed for a top pick this season. Tonight is set up to be a blowout and a 13th straight loss for Houston.
Nets & Rockets DFS Angle
The blowout concern is an issue, even set at just 9.5 points. We know the usage is going to be with James Harden and Kyrie Irving, who have to have a huge game to pay off their price tags. A limited fourth quarter could derail that ceiling. However, on this slate, Harden and Irving are certainly the top plays from this one. Bruce Brown and Joe Harris are secondary options in a great spot against a struggling Rockets defense. I would look more towards the Rockets players as sole GPP plays. John Wall and Victor Oladipo are seeing a ton of volume, but the shot isn’t falling for either. They are shooting 40% from the field and under 30% from three and yet are still taking a combined 12 per game. Tate is an interesting value, averaging 15-5-2 in the last ten with a steal per game.
Nets vs. Rockets Betting Odds
Nets Spread: -9.5
Nets Moneyline: -458
Rockets Spread: +9.5
Rockets Moneyline: +352
Over/Under Points Total: 229
Houston has been getting trounced of late and has not been able to stop anybody, let alone score themselves. This one checks out pretty easily. The Nets offense is just too good and is going to put up big numbers tonight. Houston is going to need to have a complete turnaround on the offensive end to even keep this one close. Wall has never been a lights-out shooter, and this stretch isn’t all that shocking. Oladipo looks a bit checked out, and this offense is hovering around 100 points per game in the last month. The Nets should cover this one.
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