DENVER NUGGETS (31-24)
at HOUSTON ROCKETS (25-30)
Tip-off: Monday, 8:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Houston -2.5, Total: 223
The Nuggets still have Carmelo Anthony, and now they’re getting some of their walking wounded (Chauncey Billups, Nene) back in the lineup. But can they find success on the road?
Denver enters Monday night in possession of the sixth seed in the ultra-competitive West. But the Nuggets have gotten there despite a 9-17 SU and 12-14 ATS record on the road. They might be able to turn it around in Houston, though. Historically, Denver has struggled to contain Yao Ming. Over the past three seasons, Yao has averaged 22.0 PPG on 59.2% shooting against the Nuggets, and the Rockets are 13-6 SU against Denver with Yao in the lineup. But without Yao, Denver is 3-2 SU against the Rockets. Basketball scores.
Despite all the trade-fueled distractions, Anthony is on fire of late, averaging 32.1 PPG on 55.4% shooting in his past seven games. There have been games when Shane Battier and the Rockets defense has held him in check, but that wasn’t the case during the teams’ last Monday’s meeting in Denver. Melo attacked Battier relentlessly, getting him into foul trouble and getting to the line a whopping 18 times. His final line: 50 points on 16- of-24 FG and 16-of-18 from the line. Denver fell short that night, as Kevin Martin nearly matched Anthony. Martin made up for a dud performance (eight points) at Denver in January with 37 last Monday. He also had 29 and 21 in his two home games against the Nuggets as a Rocket. Basketball odds.
Houston is coming off three straight ATS home losses, but it finished strong in a 106-102 loss to Dallas on Saturday. This one is going to be tight, but considering its win in Denver a week ago, as well as the Nuggets’ consistent road struggles, I’m going with Houston. A couple of trends from the FoxSheets back that pick up, including:
HOUSTON is 21-9 ATS (70.0%, +11.1 Units) versus poor defensive teams – allowing 99+ points/game this season. The average score was HOUSTON 107.2, OPPONENT 103.1 – (Rating = 2*).
DENVER is 11-27 ATS (28.9%, -18.7 Units) when the line is +3 to -3 over the last 2 seasons. The average score was DENVER 102.8, OPPONENT 106.3 – (Rating = 2*).
Ten of Denver’s past 13 games have finished Over the total and this FoxSheets trend also sides with the Over. Basketball spreads.
DENVER is 13-3 OVER (81.3%, +9.7 Units) when playing 6 or more games in 10 days this season. The average score was DENVER 111.4, OPPONENT 110.8 – (Rating = 2*).