Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs 12/22/18: Starting Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Odds, Daily Fantasy, Betting

Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview

The Houston Rockets (16-15) host the surging San Antonio Spurs (18-15) tonight in a Southwest Division showdown. The Spurs currently own a one-game lead in the division over the Rockets, who return home after a one-game road trip. Unfortunately for Houston, they’ll be without starting point guard Chris Paul, and they’re catching the Spurs at a tough time.

San Antonio has won eight of their last ten, and aside from a surprising home loss to the Chicago Bulls last weekend, the Spurs have not only been winning but they’re winning big.

The Spurs and the Rockets split the first two games of the season series, with Houston taking the most recent win a 31-point blowout win on November 30. The Spurs found it difficult to stop center Clint Capela that night as he finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds against LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 20.

Houston would love to get back to their winning ways after their five-game winning streak was busted by the Miami Heat, but sans Paul this season, the Rockets have not been able to secure a single win.

TV Schedule

Date: 12/22/18
Time: 8:00pm ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX

Houston Rockets Starting Lineup

PGChris Paul
SGJames Harden
SFEric Gordon
PFP.J. Tucker
CClint Capela

Rockets Analysis

Houston RocketsThe Rockets will need to find a way to win without Chris Paul. In the five games he’s missed the season, the Rockets are 0-5.

Houston made a late-game rally to try to win on the road against the Heat and extend their streak to six games on Thursday night, but it was unfortunately too little too late for them.

Once again, James Harden put up a monster performance with 35 points, 12 assists, and six rebounds, but he just didn’t get enough offensive help especially after Paul left the game after playing 12 minutes. While Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker chipped in and the Rockets got a nice performance from Danuel House, several other members of their regular rotation could not make up for Paul’s loss.

The Rockets are 9-5 at home, and while they catch the Spurs on a hot streak, they are also playing them on the second night of a back-to-back, so look for the Rockets to try to get out to an early lead as they’ll have the fresher legs.

Rockets Quick Links: Rockets Starting Lineup, Rockets Roster, Rockets Depth Chart, Rockets Injuries, Rockets News, Rockets Schedule

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

PGDerrick White
SGBryn Forbes
SFDeMar DeRozan
PFLaMarcus Aldridge
CJakob Poeltl

Spurs Analysis

San Antonio SpursSan Antonio seems to have shaken off their early-season woes as they’ve gone 8-3 in December, with stark improvements in offensive balance and defense. Passing, which has been a hallmark of Spurs championship teams in the past, seems to be a strength lately as well.

While it may be too early for Spurs fans to celebrate until they get a real look at the team after some big upcoming games against the Nuggets twice, the Raptors and the Celtics, the Spurs are absolutely slaughtering opponents lately. In their last four wins, they have averaged over 125 points per game and have limited opponents to 92.75 points for an average differential over 30 points.

In their most recent 124-98 win last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Spurs shout 52.9 percent from the field and 57.6 percent from beyond the arch. Perhaps most impressive though was that the Spurs didn’t need big nights from their two stars, DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, who combined for 22 points. Early on in the season, the Spurs leaned heavily on the pair, but they had seven players scoring in double figures, with a standout performance by Bryn Forbes, who finished with 22 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Spurs Quick Links: Spurs Starting Lineup, Spurs Roster, Spurs Depth Chart, Spurs Injuries, Spurs News, Spurs Schedule

Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs Betting Odds

The Rockets opened as -6 point favorites but are now live at -5. The over/under is set at 216 points, and the moneyline has seen a minor shift, from -240 to -210 for the Rockets.

Houston has a win percentage of 69.7 percent at home and 71.2 percent as the favorite. The Spurs are 87-72 on the road and 22-44 as the underdog.

Odds & Line Movement Links: Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs, Vegas Odds (All NBA Games Today)

Bet This Game

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DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks

It’s all about the dueling shooting guards for tonight’s matchup. James Harden ($12.2k) is projected for 57.71 points on FanDuel tonight, while San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan ($8.2k) is expected to have a better fantasy performance tonight with 40.02 points.

Rudy Gay ($6.5k) has been a fantasy value all season. That should be no different tonight as he’s slated for a 28.79 point performance. Look to Rockets guard Eric Gordon ($5.9k) to provide a great fantasy value tonight. He’s projected for 29.51 points.

Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections. 

Michael is Chief Editor at Lineups.com. He has decades of combined experience in traditional print journalism and online media and is the publisher of the Project Spurs Network, which includes 13 team-specific sports media sites and the flagship ProjectSpurs.com. He is also the creator of the first Spurs podcast and the longest-running sports podcast on the internet, the Spurscast, and was formerly the host of the News 4 San Antonio Sports Roundtable.

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