NBA Picks: Nuggets Not Good Enough to Beat Harden & the Rockets -7 ATS

Steven Suarez

Thursday, March 19, 2015 2:27 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015 2:27 PM UTC

The Nuggets have been much improved since they fired Brian Shaw, but they face a stern test tonight against James Harden and the Rockets. Just how heavily is Houston favored in the NBA odds?

Odds Overview
Though the Nuggets have been playing better lately, they're still significant underdogs on the NBA betting odds board for tonight's road game in Houston. The Rockets are favored by 7.5 points, with some outlets posting a line of 8.

We should expect a shootout tonight with a very high tempo, which is backed up by the fact oddsmakers have released a total in the 214 to 214.5 range. There are going to be a lot of good scorers out there on the court this evening, so the high total makes a lot of sense.


Houston Rockets
Not too long ago the Rockets suffered through a bad stretch which saw them lose four of six, but they've responded by winning two straight ahead of tonight's game. They beat the Clippers by two in Los Angeles and then followed that up with a dominant 107-94 home win over Orlando on Tuesday.

Despite Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton's best efforts, Houston proved too much for Orlando. The Rockets shot an even 50.0 percent from the floor and got double-digit scoring out of James Harden, Donatas Motiejunas, Patrick Beverley, Trevor Ariza, Josh Smith and Corey Brewer in a well-balanced effort. Harden wasn't at his best scoring wise (shooting 4-of-14 from the field) but still ended up with 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. 

Houston is looking good right now and is about to get another big boost with Dwight Howard nearing closer to a return. We can't wait to see the Rockets when they're at full strength and work Howard back into the mix, especially now that the franchise has added some great bench pieces like Smith and Brewer among others.

Click Here for Another Capper's Take on this Matchup

Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets may have lost their last game (at Memphis), but they've still turned the corner overall, having won four of their last five games overall. Included in that run are some standout victories over Golden State, Atlanta and New Orleans (on the road) too, so it's not like the good fortunes have come against weak competition.

Let's see if Denver can keep it going in Houston this evening. The Nuggets haven't been afraid to rest guys here and there, even though they're not preparing for the playoffs or anything, but it looks like everyone will be good to go for tonight's contest against the Rockets.

Danilo Gallinari looks reborn with the new coach in town, but he's not the only one. As a team, Denver looks like a completely different team, so it's a little sad that Shaw wasn't let go earlier and that we didn't get to see these guys really realize their full potential this season. That being said, a great finish to the season could do a lot for confidence heading into next year.

Maximize Your Profit With This Two-Team Parlay Pick

NBA Pick
While we have been impressed with Denver's resurgence, this is a team that still has little to play for in the grand scheme of things this season.

The Nuggets have no shot at the playoffs and are only playing for pride at this point, whereas the Rockets are firmly entrenched in the playoff race and will want to build up as much momentum as humanly possible.

What's more, we really think Harden is going to go off in this game. He was a little disappointing the last time out against Orlando and superstars rarely have two off games in a row, so we think he'll guide Houston to a big win and ATS cover at home tonight. Denver may hang around for a bit, but look for the Rockets to run away with it eventually and back them with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Houston Rockets -7 at BetOnline

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