Houston Rockets vs Phoenix Suns 2/16/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns Matchup Preview (2/16/22)

This matchup between the Rockets and Suns isn’t the most enticing from an entertainment standpoint with a huge 15.5-point spread on the table, and the Suns have won six straight games against the Rockets. After a surprise upset win over the Cavaliers, Houston has lost its last five games by an average of 20.8 points per game. When the Rockets faced the Suns earlier this year, they lost each game by an average of 19 points per game. The Suns, meanwhile, have won six straight games in all settings and have won their last eight home games, making this far from an ideal matchup for a Rockets’ bounce-back win. While the result in this game may seem fairly obvious, could there be a hidden value from a betting standpoint?

Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds

While the Suns are playing on the second night of a back-to-back after a hard-fought win over the Clippers, they recently beat the Bulls and 76ers in gritty-back-to-back performances that required much more of Phoenix than this game against Houston will. I don’t love laying 16 points with the heavy favorite, however, and the heavily juiced Moneyline is out of the question. Therefore, I’m looking to the first-half spread for some value. The Suns have the seventh-best first-half ATS record this season and the Rockets have the second-worst, so I’m willing to wager on Phoenix getting off to a hot start in this game.

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How To Watch

Date: 2/16/22
Time: 9:00 PM EST
Arena: Footprint Center – Phoenix, AZ
Channel: Bally Sports Arizona, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, NBA League Pass

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Houston Rockets Starting Lineup

PG: Kevin Porter Jr.
SG: Jalen Green
SF: Eric Gordon
PF: Jae’Sean Tate
C: Christian Wood

Houston Rockets Analysis

The big story for the Rockets lately has been the resurgence of Kevin Porter Jr. as he’s in the middle of his best stretch of the season. Well, the best two-game stretch that is, as he quickly lost the juice from that spurt. However, Porter Jr. scored 27+ points in two straight games and hit 13-21 three-pointers over that span. If he can play at that level against the Suns, perhaps a Rockets outright upset wouldn’t seem overly outlandish. Eric Gordon remains on the Rockets despite trade deadline interest from competing teams, but at a certain point, he’s only going to be a hindrance to the young players getting important minutes.

While Houston’s record is terrible, they should be excited about the flashes of solid play from Jalen Green, KPJ, Kenyon Martin, and Ja’Sean Tate. Green has been through all of the ups and downs of a typical rookie season, but there are moments where he looks like a significant franchise-building block for Houston. He scored 16 points in the second matchup against the Suns while Christian Wood has 18 points and 15 rebounds. Those are the two primary players Phoenix will need to pay attention to.

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Evan Fournier
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson

Phoenix Suns Analysis

The Suns got the job done on Tuesday night, but it was a much closer game than most expected as they escaped with just a seven-point home win against a Clippers team playing the second night of a back-to-back. Chris Paul continues to enjoy playing against his former team, and he finished with 17 points, 14 assists, and 5 rebounds. Devin Booker scored 26 points and Mikal Bridges scored 19 points. Keep in mind that a blowout is a very possible outcome in this game when betting on player props, but I’d be willing to target any one of those three players in different wagers. Both Paul and Booker arguably deserve more praise for their respective seasons, as well as potential MVP consideration.

At the trade deadline, the Suns made a couple of significant moves with the trades for Aaron Holiday and Torrey Craig. Those two only played a combined 24 minutes last night against the Clippers, but they are going to be important role players for this team and this game could provide a great atmosphere to help them gain traction with their new team. Regardless, the Suns are the best team in the league right now, and they deserve to be the title favorite with the way they have played lately. This game shouldn’t be a problem for them.

Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns Daily Fantasy Picks

I always caution people to pick Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) players from a game that could turn into a blowout, and with a 15.5-point spread, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Suns build up an early lead and not relinquish it. Still, the Rockets would play their top youth talents, and you can take a flier on KPJ to regain his incredible shooting form from a couple of days ago. Christian Wood has been more on the quiet side lately, and I don’t love playing fantasy options against DeAndre Ayton in the frontcourt.

On the Suns’ side, look for Devin Booker to have another big game as the Rockets allow the sixth-most points per game to shooting guards. Booker has scored 24+ points in six straight games against the Rockets, and I’d expect that stretch to continue. Chris Paul, of course, is a force in his own right, but I’d consider him a bit less blowout-resistant as Booker is younger. If Mikal Bridges keeps up his recent high shooting volume, he could be a nice value pick, as well.

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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