The Phoenix Suns (11-17) will try to snap their five-game losing streak when they square off with the Houston Rockets (19-9) at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The game can be seen on NBATV at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 21, 2019.
Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns ATS Prediction
The last time the Rockets played, they beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 122-117, as 5-point underdogs. The combined points for the game (239) were just over the O/U total of 236.5. The Rockets knocked down 22 of their 29 free throws (75.9 percent) and held the Clippers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 17.5 (below their season average of 24.4). Houston was led by Russell Westbrook, who was the game’s leading scorer with 40 points on 13-for-31 shooting.
The Suns got blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder in their last matchup, 126-108. They were not able to cover as 12.5-point underdogs. The game’s combined points (234) finished over the projected point total of 228. Oklahoma City’s effective field goal percentage was their largest advantage over Phoenix. The Thunder had a rate of 0.621 (above their season average of 0.530), while the Suns posted a mark of 0.500. With 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting, Ricky Rubio was Phoenix’s high scorer.
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. In the first, Westbrook recorded a triple-double. He put up 24 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists and the Rockets defeated the Suns 115-109 but did not cover as 11.5-point favorites. The game finished with a total of 224 points, which was 16 points below the projected point total of 240 points. Houston did an excellent job of getting and making free throws (22-30; 73.3 percent). Phoenix, meanwhile, had a better offensive rebounding percentage (24.1 vs. 20.8).
Houston holds records of 19-9 straight up (SU) and 14-14 against the spread (ATS). Of the Rockets’ 28 games, 16 have finished under the O/U total.
Although Phoenix has trouble winning games outright (11-17 SU), they have a solid record ATS (15-11-1). Contrary to Houston, games featuring the Suns have typically finished over the total (55.6 percent).
The physical Houston offense seems poised to dominate from the free throw line. The Rockets rank second in the NBA with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.239, while Phoenix is among the league’s most foul-prone squads (giving up a 26th-ranked FTA rate of 0.231).
Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns ATS Pick
Free NBA Pick: ATS Winner – Rockets, O/U – Under
Houston is 8-6 ATS on the road with 9 unders and 5 overs.
Phoenix is 8-7-1 ATS at home with 11 overs and 5 unders.
Phoenix is 2-2 when they allow under 100 points, while Houston is 2-0.
In games where they reach the century mark, the Suns are 11-14 and the Rockets are 19-8.
Phoenix ranks first in assists per game (28.5) while Houston ranks 27th in assists allowed per game (26.0).
The Suns rank fourth in three pointers allowed per game (31.5) while the Rockets rank 27th (36.7).
Phoenix averages 19.7 points off turnovers per game, which ranks third in the league. Houston ranks 26th in points off turnovers allowed per game (19.2).
The Rockets rank fifth in second chance points per game (14.7) while the Suns rank 26th (12.0).
Houston ranks fifth in rebounds per game (47.9) while Phoenix ranks 25th (43.2).
The Suns average 14.1 fast break points per game, which ranks 11th in the league. The Rockets rank last in fast break points allowed per game (16.1).
Houston ranks 11th in blocks allowed per game (4.6) while Phoenix ranks 26th (5.9).
The Rockets average 8.5 steals per game, which ranks fourth in the league. The Suns rank 15th in steals allowed per game (8.0).
Phoenix ranks ninth in points in the paint per game (48.1) while Houston ranks 20th in points allowed in the paint per game (49.4).
Over its last five outings, Houston is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
Phoenix is 2-2-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs over its last five games.
The Rockets’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.6, up from 5.4 for the season.
During their last five games, the Suns have scored an average of 108.8 points per game (5.7 below their season average) and allowed an average of 118.6 points per game (3.8 above their season average).