Houston Rockets Preview: Plenty of Scoring Firepower, Defense Optional

Friday, October 5, 2018 4:00 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 4:00 PM UTC

After adding Carmelo Anthony and losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, the Rockets will be more reliant on offense this season than defense. Houston ranked sixth in defensive rating last season, but that may change this year without much on defense other than Clint Capela protecting the rim.

<h2 style="text-align:center">Rockets' 2018-19 Season Win Total</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Over 55.5 Wins (-170)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4427&amp;book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bovada</a></h2><ul> <li><strong>2017-18 Record: </strong>65-17</li> <li><strong>2017-18 ATS Record: </strong>50-48-1</li> <li><strong>(Bovada) 2018-19 Season Win Total: (</strong>55.5)</li> <li><strong>(Bovada) Odds To Make Playoffs: </strong>(-10000)</li> <li><strong>(BetOnline) Odds To Win Division: </strong>(-450)</li> <li><strong>(BetOnline) Odds To Win Western Conference: </strong>(+400)</li> <li><strong>(BetOnline) Odds To Win NBA Championship: </strong>(+600)</li></ul><h2> </h2><h2><strong>ATS Outlook</strong></h2><p>With a couple different injuries to Chris Paul in his first season as a Rocket, the books did an outstanding job of evening out the action on the Rockets in 2017-18. They hovered around .500 ATS all season, and while that may continue into this season, my focus on Houston is more geared towards <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" target="_blank" title="NBA Odds Board">betting their totals.</a></p><p>As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Houston was a lot better on defense last season than expected. This led to them cashing the under a remarkable 58-39-2 (59.8%) in both the regular season and the playoffs.</p><p>Houston opened the season cashing the under in six of their first seven games last season, but if Carmelo is moved into the starting lineup for this team, I really doubt they are going to be a top ten defensive team. Combine that with a still very fast pace in a Mike D’Antoni offense, and the under trends from the Rockets last season may not stay around for 2018-19.</p><p>With Anthony and P.J. Tucker on the court instead of Ariza and Mbah a Moute, the Rockets are going to give up a few more points than they did last season. Their defense revolves around Capela and Paul, but if one of those guys is down for a game or two with injury, the over is going to end up being an intriguing wager depending on who the Rockets are playing.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"pt\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;It's just preseason but Carmelo Anthony looks comfortable in the Rockets offense. I like how D'Antoni is utilizing Melo in ways he rarely has been before, including as a roller in the P&amp;amp;R. Feeling even better about the fit. &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/ringer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@ringer&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/2MfYzOnx21\"&gt;https://t.co/2MfYzOnx21&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/zCxND9NGTV\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/zCxND9NGTV&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/KevinOConnorNBA/status/1048026898284965889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;5 de outubro 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>How Can They Dethrone The Warriors?</strong></h2><p>While the addition of Anthony will surely improve the offense of the Rockets, they weren’t good enough last season to beat Golden State, and barring another couple of big mid-season trades, they still aren’t.</p><p>However, <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/" target="_blank" title="More Picks &amp; Predictions">as I’ve mentioned in other team previews this week,</a> there are a handful of teams that are just one player away from competing to beat the Warriors. However, the Western Conference has just gotten better, and even if the Rockets have another big regular season, by the time the playoffs roll around, Golden State will have the services of DeMarcus Cousins back, and it’s all over for the rest of the West.</p><p>Still, among Western Conference teams, the Rockets are the team best equipped to take down the Dubs. One injury to one of the core Warriors is all it will take to make this season’s Western Conference very interesting.</p>
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