Rockets Will Continue To Stumble On Defense Monday Versus Wizards

Jordan Sharp

Sunday, November 25, 2018 7:21 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 7:21 PM UTC

The Wizards have fought back from irrelevance lately and had signature wins against the Pelicans and Clippers. However, can they make a bigger statement by beating the Rockets in D.C. on Monday night?

Jordan’s NBA picks record: 7-8

Houston (9-9 SU & 7-11 ATS) at Washington (7-12 SU & 7-12 ATS)Monday, 7 p.m ET (NBA TV)Free NBA Pick: 'Over'Best Line Offered: BetOnline

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3568875, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,999991,19,169], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

The Washington Wizards may end up in the lottery this season, and they may end up fire-selling all of their assets either at the trade deadline or next summer. However, they have been playing better lately, which may be the only thing keeping this group of talented players together.

Rockets Stumbling & Wizards Crumbling

Even considering Washington’s recent wins against the Clippers and Pelicans, those teams are not championship contenders. Even though the Rockets are considered contenders, they have not been playing like it so far outside of a small five-game winning streak earlier this month.

Since then the Rockets have lost to the Pistons and Cavaliers on the road, and if they lose this game, the chatter of how they scapegoated Carmelo Anthony is going to grow even more. The sportsbooks apparently think it is possible with the Wizards sitting as small home dogs.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

Rockets really lost to the 4-14 Cavs? pic.twitter.com/RCToxcUSWB

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 25, 2018
\n\n"}[/]

Plus, with Washington playing better, anything is possible in this one. That is why I think the spread is one you should lay off of. It’s already a sharp line, and with these two teams playing wildly inconsistent over the course of their first 18-19 games, it’s tough to bet on either of these teams and have much confidence in them covering right now.

Personally, I think the Rockets’ backs are against the wall, but then again betting them as a road favorite might send the books laughing to the bank.

That’s why the smart play on this game in particular is the total.

The Sharp Pick

With how low this total was when it opened, it would not be surprising to see it climb before tipoff. That being said, if you can get it anywhere close to the 223½ that it opened at, bet the "over" on this one.

The Wizards and Rockets own defenses that rank in the bottom six teams in the league this season. With the Wizards playing better on offense, Houston is going to have a hard time guarding all of their threats. Over the last two weeks, Washington has posted an offensive rating of 111 points per 100 possessions, while their pace of play is nearly 104 possessions per game. If Houston speeds up like they have done in the past but not necessarily all the time this season, this total should be closer to 230 points.

The potential for Houston to jump out of their losing streak might have to come on offense. The Wizards are allowing teams to post a 54.1% effective field-goal percentage against them, which ranks 29th in front of only the Cavs.

In Houston’s last game they scored only 108 points without Chris Paul against the Cavs on the second night of a back-to-back. In their third game in four nights on Monday, hopefully some rest on Sunday will do their offense some good. The Wizards might still be without Dwight Howard, which will only soften their defense.

As I see it, neither of these two teams will struggle to get to 110 points apiece. As long as it stays relatively close, which I think it will, these teams will trade buckets more often than not.

Final Score Prediction: Rockets 115, Wizards 112
comment here