The Denver Nuggets (31-14) go head-to-head against the Houston Rockets (28-16) at the Pepsi Center. The game starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 26, 2020, and will air on NBATV.
Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets Free Prediction
In the Rockets’ last game, they covered the 5.5-point spread against the Minnesota Timberwolves, 131-124. The total points for the game (255) were well over the projected point total of 234.5. The Rockets made 26 of their 31 free throws (83.9 percent) and had a turnover percentage of 8.7 (better than their season average of 12.5). Houston was led by Russell Westbrook, who was the top scorer from either team with 45 points on 16-for-27 shooting.
The Nuggets beat the New Orleans Pelicans in their last outing, 113-106, despite being 4-point underdogs. The game’s total points (219) were under the projected point total of 229.5. Denver’s 8.7 turnover percentage was their biggest strength over New Orleans, who had a mark of 15.2. The Nuggets’ mark was better than their season average of 11.4. Nikola Jokic was the top scorer from either team with 27 points on 9-for-20 shooting from the field.
The Rockets have won two out of three against the Nuggets this season, including a 16-point victory in their last matchup. Houston covered as a 10-point favorite and the game finished with a total of 226 points, which was just 0.5 points below the projected point total of 226.5 points. The Rockets made 24 of their 28 free throws (85.7 percent) and had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (40.0 vs. 27.1). Westbrook put up a double-double in the victory with 28 points and 16 rebounds.
Houston heads into the contest with records of 28-16 straight up (SU) and 22-22 against the spread (ATS). Oddsmakers have a tendency to set the total high when the Rockets are playing, as 25 of their 44 games have gone under the O/U total.
Denver is 31-14 SU, but they have trouble covering the spread (18-21-6 ATS). Much like Houston, Nuggets games also have a tendency to finish under the total (60.0 percent).
Both teams have had a player take their game to the next level over their last five games. Westbrook (31 points,10.6 rebounds,9.8 assists,2.4 steals) has been great for the Rockets while Jokic (20 points,11.0 rebounds,7.0 assists,1.2 steals) has contributed greatly to the Nuggets.
Expect Denver to dominate the offensive glass in this contest. The Nuggets are among the league’s elite on the offensive glass, ranking first in offensive rebounding percentage at 25.3 percent. Meanwhile, Houston ranks 21st in the NBA at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 76.6 percent. Conflicting tempos will be on display in this matchup. The fast-breaking Rockets rank fourth in possessions per game, while the more half-court oriented Nuggets rank 27th.
Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets Odds Pick
Free NBA Tip: ATS Winner – Rockets, O/U – Under
On the road, Houston is 11-11 ATS with 14 unders and 8 overs.
At home, Denver is 8-12-3 ATS with 15 unders and 8 overs.
When allowing under 100 points, Denver is 11-1 and Houston is 3-0.
In games where they reach the century mark, the Nuggets are 29-10 and the Rockets are 28-14.
Houston ranks first in three pointers attempted per game (43.5) while Denver ranks 26th (30.0).
The Nuggets rank fourth in assists per game (26.2) while the Rockets rank 28th in assists allowed per game (25.6).
Denver ranks third in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.5) while Houston ranks 24th (18.5).
The Nuggets rank 10th in fast break points allowed per game (12.4) while the Rockets rank 29th (16.0).
Denver averages 50.0 points in the paint per game, which ranks sixth in the NBA. Houston ranks 24th in points allowed in the paint per game (51.0).
The Nuggets average 14.4 second chance points per game, which ranks sixth in the league. The Rockets rank 21st in second chance points allowed per game (13.6).
Houston ranks fifth in rebounds per game (47.1) while Denver ranks 19th (44.9).
The Nuggets rank ninth in steals per game (8.1) while the Rockets rank 20th in steals allowed per game (8.0).
Over its last five outings, Houston is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
Denver is 2-2-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs over its last five games.
The Rockets have been outscored by an average of 0.2 points in their last five games. On the season, Houston has defeated opponents by an average of 4.5 points.
During their last five games, the Nuggets have scored an average of 113.2 points per game (3.9 above their season average) and allowed an average of 114.6 points per game (8.6 above their season average).