Defense Wins High Playoff Seeding Between Nuggets And Rockets

Thursday, March 28, 2019 5:25 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019 5:25 PM UTC

The Rockets see an opportunity tonight to get a win and move up the Western Conference standings. With both teams fighting to lock up a favorable seed, we could see some heavy defense tonight between these two.

<p style="text-align:right"><em><strong>Jordan’s NBA Picks: </strong>43-29</em></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Denver (50-23 SU &amp; 38-35 ATS) at Houston (47-28 SU &amp; 34-38 ATS)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Thursday, 8:00 PM EST, NBATV</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NBA Pick: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/denver-nuggets-vs-houston-rockets-3569094/odds/" target="_blank" title="Game Odds">UNDER</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4435&amp;book=Pinnacle" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Play at this A+ Rated Sportsbook!">Pinnacle</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3569094, "sportsbooksIds":[238,93,1096,19,999991], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>The Houston Rockets are not known to be a great defensive team, but that is exactly what they have been since the All Star Break. Now welcoming in a stout Denver team trying to move back to the top of the West, we should see way more defense than offense at this point in the year.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Houston’s Post-Break Defense</strong></h2><p>Over their last 18 games since the All Star Break, the Rockets have averaged 112.6 points per 100 possessions, which ranks them 6<sup>th</sup>-best in the NBA during that time span.</p><p>However, we have come to expect solid offense from a club with arguably the best offensive weapon in the game.</p><p>What we have not expected outside of this season has been their defense, but, when you look at those same 18 games since the break, the Rockets are allowing just 106 points per 100 possessions. That ranks them 3<sup>rd</sup>-best in the league over that stretch and they are one of only five teams that rank in the top 10 defensively and offensively since the All Star Break.</p><p>That matters a lot tonight against another team that has struggled some since the break, but is more than capable of bringing a big defensive effort to Houston.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;There are only 3 NBA teams that rank top 10 in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;They're the Toronto Raptors (3rd in offense, 4th in defense), Golden State Warriors (1st in offense, 6th in defense) and Houston Rockets (2nd in offense, 7th in defense). &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/tgj7ztMgZw\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/tgj7ztMgZw&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/AlexKennedyNBA/status/974912889839587328?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;17 de março de 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><strong>The Sharp Pick</strong></h2><p>Denver is right behind the Rockets since the break, allowing 106.5 points per 100 possessions over their last 16 games. However, after a slowed down and defensive first meeting between these two teams, the last two games have been offensive explosions and double digit wins for either team.</p><p>That makes me even more confident that this game on Thursday will be more defensive in nature. The Nuggets have cashed the under in six of their last seven games and 14 of their 16 games since the break, while the Rockets come into this one cashing the under in seven of their last eight games.</p><p>Denver has also thrived at cashing the under as a dog this season and on the road. They are 23-12-1 cashing the under on the road and 11-5 cashing the under as a road underdog.</p><p>Denver is also a machine at cashing the under in conference games, <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" target="_blank" title="Live NBA Odds Board">going 27-16-1 against the West</a>.</p><p>As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, meaningful games like this will have a big playoff feel to them both from the players and the fans. That should lead to more effort on defense, because to be honest in a vacuum, these two teams are very well matched on offense.</p><p>The coaches are going to tell them this and also preach that whomever plays <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" target="_blank" title="More NBA Picks">the best defense on Thursday will win the game</a>.</p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Final Score Prediction: Nuggets 105 - Rockets 110</strong></p>
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