DENVER NUGGETS (25-18)
at HOUSTON ROCKETS (22-21)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Houston -2, Total: 217
Both the Rockets and the Nuggets are looking to win their second straight games when they meet in Houston on Wednesday night.
Houston and Denver are both coming off wins, but while the Rockets failed to cover in a 100-94 home win against the lowly Bobcats on Monday, the Nuggets knocked off the Thunder in a wild 121-118 victory on Sunday. The first time these teams met this season on Nov. 7, Denver won 93-87 at Houston, marking its fourth straight win (SU and ATS) in this series with the Rockets, with three of those victories coming at Toyota Center.
Which high-scoring offense will prevail on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Scott is 3-2-1 ATS in his past four days to boost his season Best Bets mark to 52.3% ATS (58-53-1). StatFox Brian is at 51.2% ATS (64-61-3) while StatFox Gary is winning 51% ATS (51-49-4) for the season. The four experts are collectively 50% ATS (253-253-13) on Best Bets for the season. For NBA Totals, Scott is 8-3 in the past eight days, boosting his impressive season NBA Totals record to 61-43 (59%). Brian has gone 7-4 in NBA Totals since Jan. 13.
Before their overtime win over Oklahoma City on Sunday, the Nuggets had lost two straight, including a 112-108 home defeat to Washington two days earlier. SF Corey Brewer (11.3 PPG) had a huge game in Sunday's win, scoring 26 points (one shy of season high) with six rebounds. PG Ty Lawson (14.4 PPG, 6.8 APG) added 11 points and nine assists, but also seven turnovers against the Thunder. Lawson has dominated the Rockets in the past two seasons with 20.2 PPG and 7.2 APG in five meetings. SG Andre Iguodala (13.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.5 APG) has really been struggling the past five games, averaging only 8.4 PPG on 33% FG and 3-of-17 threes (18%). His rebounding has been down in this span as well as he is pulling in only 2.8 RPG compared to his season average of 5.5. The Nuggets gave up a lot to get Iguodala and they’ll need him to start playing more like he did in Philadelphia when he averaged 15.3 PPG (46% FG) over eight seasons.
Houston had lost seven straight games (SU and ATS) before beating the Bobcats on the road on Monday. But the whole offense was in a shooting funk during the just-completed, four-game road trip, averaging just 93.5 PPG on 37.9% FG, numbers that are way down from the 105.5 PPG and 46.0% FG over the first 39 games of the season. SG James Harden (25.9 PPG, 5.4 APG) was really off the mark during the road trip by making just 25% of his shots (20-for-80 FG) and 4-of-27 threes (14.8%). But Harden was able to get to the free-throw line at will against Charlotte, and ended up knocking down 19-of-21 FT attempts. Even on an off-shooting night (5-for-20 FG), Harden still scored 29 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists on Monday. PG Jeremy Lin (12.0 PPG, 6.0 APG) has also gone ice-cold in the past two games, going 4-of-17 from the floor and totaling just 16 points in these two games. He has also been off the mark in four career games versus Denver, making just 3-of-16 shots, including 0-for-5 from three-point range. Lin is shooting just 28.1% (36-for-128) from behind the arc this season. SF Chandler Parsons (14.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG) has been playing well recently though, scoring 16.1 PPG on 52% FG (45% threes) in the past seven games, scoring at least 14 points in six of these contests.