Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns Preview (10/30/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The rebuilding Houston Rockets (1-5) face the Phoenix Suns (4-1) on Sunday night. Houston will be without veteran Eric Gordon and potentially Jabari Smith Jr, while Phoenix is missing Deandre Ayton.

Will the Rockets shock the Suns and claim their second win of the season? Odds, predictions, key matchups, and starting lineups are below.

Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds

Phoenix is a substantial favorite, as the spread has settled at -12.5 Suns. Their moneyline is -800, which is too high to even use in parlays. Meanwhile, Houston’s moneyline can be had at +575; they must win 15% of the time here to be profitable. The over under is 228.5, which is lower than I expected.

Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction

It’s somewhat of a coinflip for who covers the spread to me, but the over is extremely appealing. The two teams have combined for 227.6 PPG this season; however, the offenses may come to life in this matchup.

The Rockets are 8th at 36.7 3PA and own the 5th fastest pace in the league. They are a high variance team that takes plenty of shots. Jalen Green (20.7 PPG) possesses superstar potential, and the second year guard is capable of dropping 35+ points on any given night. His backcourt partner – Kevin Porter Jr – is an exceptional three-point shooter who sets up teammates with high shot quality through his underrated playmaking. It wouldn’t be shocking at all if Houston’s backcourt combined for 50-60 points.

Meanwhile, Sengun faces a porous Suns interior defense with Ayton out. Sengun’s footwork and variety of post options are too much for Biyombo and Landale. Add in Jabari’s three-point shooting and Eason’s transition game, and the Rockets have the potential to reach 115-120 points.

On the other side, the Suns face a Rockets squad that ranked 30th last season and 23rd this season in Defensive Rating. Houston will only drop in this category once every team plays a substantial amount of games. And at the lightning pace Houston plays at, Phoenix’s 48.5 FG% (5th) will produce a plethora of points.

At an individual level, Chris Paul and Devin Booker are a complete mismatch for Houston’s backcourt defense. Paul can set up Biyombo in the pick and roll even if the veteran center isn’t the most talented offensive player. Meanwhile, Booker likely feasts in isolation.

Overall, it’s probable that this game features a barrage of three-pointers and a large point total. Recent history also confirms this, as the over in this matchup is 4-1 in the last five matchups. It’s also 14-3 in the last 17 meetings in Phoenix.

Betting Trends

  • Over is 14-3 in the last 17 meetings in Phoenix
  • Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings

Key Matchups

Which team will win the positional matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.

Three-Point Shooting

For the over to hit, it’s essential that Houston and Phoenix convert their 3PA at a decent rate. The Rockets own a team 35 3PT%, while the Suns have a 35.9 3PT%. However, both teams allow plenty of wide open 3PA (6+ feet from nearest defender). Houston allows the 5th most wide open 3PA (19), and Phoenix allows the 6th most wide open 3PA (18.6). If both of these teams can capitalize on these attempts, then the over has an excellent chance to hit.

Chris Paul Without Deandre Ayton

Can the Point God turn Biyombo into an offensive threat down low? Biyombo is assuredly not Ayton, but Paul has shown the ability to seriously elevate the production of any center he plays with. Phoenix receiving interior production would significantly boost the probability that the over hits, and it stems from 37-year-old Chris Paul.

Houston Rockets Starting Lineup

PG: Kevin Porter Jr
SG: Jalen Green
SF: Jae’Sean Tate
PF: Jabari Smith Jr
C: Alperen Sengun 

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineups

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Cameron Johnson
C: Bismack Biyombo

Key Injuries

Houston Rockets Injuries: Eric Gordon (O), Jabari Smith Jr (Q), Bruno Fernando (O), TyTy Washington (O)

Phoenix Suns Injuries: Deandre Ayton (O), Jae Crowder (O), Ishmail Wainright (O)

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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