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Banged-up Nuggets Look to Extend Rockets’ Recent Woes

Nuggets vs Rockets Betting Odds January 22 2020

The Denver Nuggets are missing 60 percent of their starting lineup, but it’s the Houston Rockets who are struggling going into the clash of Western Conference rivals Wednesday. Houston blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead Monday at home against OKC to drop to 1-5 SU and ATS in its last six games.

Denver Nuggets vs Houston Rockets
  • Date/Time: January 22, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Toyota Center
  • TV Coverage: Altitude Sports, AT&T Sportsnet
  • Opening Odds: Rockets -9 | O/U 226
  • Nuggets vs Rockets Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Early bettors were quick to pounce on the opening value of Denver +9 on Tuesday, instantly betting the Nuggets down to +6.5. However, that line had crept back up to +8 by Tuesday evening. The total also moved significantly, climbing 2.5 points to 228.5 at the time of writing.

Denver News & Notes

The Nuggets might be without starters Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Paul Millsap once again, but they’ve still got Nikola Jokic and emerging star Michael Porter Jr. That was more than enough for Denver to get the job done Monday in Minnesota when the Nuggets beat the Timberwolves 107-100 as 4-point road underdogs.

Jokic was his dependable self with 17 points and 13 rebounds, but the big story was Porter’s 20 points and career-high 14 boards — the rookie power forward’s second double-double in his last three games. “He’s growing up right in front of our eyes,” Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said of Porter, who was drafted 14th overall two years ago but missed all of last season due to a back injury.

Forward Jerami Grant and guards Will Barton and Malik Beasley also scored in double figures Monday for the Nuggets, allowing Malone to utilize a nine-man rotation and spread the minutes around. No Nugget played more than 36 minutes, which should help Denver overcome fatigue issues playing its third game in four days and fifth in eight days.

Houston News & Notes

When they carried a 16-point lead over Oklahoma City into the fourth quarter Monday, the Rockets looked well on their way to breaking out of their recent funk. Instead, Houston may have hit a new low — getting outscored 41-20 in the final frame en route to a 112-107 loss.

The Rockets have now lost four straight and five of six despite being favored in all of those contests. In fact, Houston fell at least a dozen points short of covering the spread in each of those defeats, including a 21-point loss as 3.5-point chalk when it visited OKC on January 9.

Not surprisingly, Houston’s recent woes have coincided with an awful shooting slump by James Harden. The Beard was a dreadful 1-for-17 from three-point range Monday and has now missed 42 of his last 51 treys, prompting Harden to spend 25 minutes working on his long-distance shooting after Monday’s loss.

Even with Russell Westbrook posting five consecutive 30-point efforts and collecting two triple-doubles in his last three outings, the Rockets have been held to 115 points or less in each of their last five losses and have gone UNDER in four of their last six.

Betting Pick: Nuggets +8

Until Houston puts together a full 48 minutes, I’ll look to continue fading the Rockets.

Shark Bites
  • Denver is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games vs Houston.
  • Houston is 1-5 SU and ATS in its last 6 games.
  • The UNDER has hit in 5 of the Nuggets’ last 7 games.