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High-Flying Rockets Open With Low Total in Matchup at Denver

Rockets vs Nuggets Betting Odds November 20 2019

The Rockets are the NBA’s hottest team but they’re on the road against one of the league’s toughest defensive teams in Denver. Houston is a slight underdog, but can bettors not take the Rockets right now when they’re being given any number of points?

Matchup Information
  • Houston Rockets vs Denver Nuggets (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: November 20, 9 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: NBA Channel, AT&T Sportsnet Southwest, Altitude Network
  • Opening Odds: Denver -2 | O/U 225  (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Rockets are the NBA’s hottest team, but Denver is also playing great basketball and is at home, so the game opened essentially as a pick’em with the host Nuggets as 2-point favorites. Denver tends to play a lot of low-scoring games, while the Rockets, for all their offense, have seen the UNDER hit in five of their last six games, so the total opened at a modest 225 points.

Houston News & Notes

With the Celtics’ 10-game winning streak snapped, the Rockets have officially become the NBA’s hottest team, riding an eight-game win streak following their 132-108 triumph over Portland on Monday.

While it’s getting almost boring to discuss the greatness of James Harden (whose 36 points lowered his season average to 39.2 per game) and how the Rockets are humming along with the league’s best offense, we also got to see a vintage Russell Westbrook game on Monday too.

The former MVP logged 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the win, his third triple-double of the season. He’s still averaging 21.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game, despite so far having the third-lowest usage rate of his career.

With so much attention focused on Harden, if Westbrook can continue putting up big numbers in an efficient manner, the Rockets backcourt will be nearly impossible to stop.

Denver News & Notes

The Nuggets have also been playing strong basketball, winning six of their last seven games, and they’ve been doing it all with defense.

The Nuggets have held opponents to under 100 points in five of their previous six wins and give up the fourth-fewest points in the NBA at 102.9 per game. It’s necessary as Denver has been one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league as well, although the offense exploded in Sunday’s 131-114 victory over Memphis.

Jamal Murray scored a season-high 39 points in the win, as he has picked up his scoring in the season’s second month. He averaged 17.8 points per game in October but has upped his scoring to 20.1 per game in November.

The most talented scorer on the team, it’s no surprise that Murray’s improved performance has coincided with Denver’s winning stretch. He’ll need to keep up his scoring ways against Houston but should be able to have a big game against a team that struggles to defend opposing guards.

Betting Pick: Rockets +2

The Nuggets have a great defense and are at home, but spotting the Rockets any points, given how well they’re playing, is just too good to pass up.

Shark Bites
  • Houston is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver’s last 7 games.
  • Denver is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home vs Houston.