Tip-off: 2300, 01/11/2019
Stadium: Barclays Center
TV: Sky Sports
Houston Rockets travel to the Barclays Center as they look to continue their rich vein of form against surprise strugglers Brooklyn Nets, writes Josh Luckhurst.
Brooklyn came into the season with plenty of optimism after signing marquee players and good friends Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan to join an improving squad which was spearheaded by Caris LeVert.
However, Houston have won on four of their last five trips to Brooklyn, which will pile more pressure on head coach Kenny Atkinson after just one win so far, and we fancy them to oblige again at 3/5 for our first Nets vs Rockets prediction.
A Look At Brooklyn Nets’ Betting Odds
There was plenty of hype when Irving, Durant and Jordan moved to Brooklyn but it has yet to translate onto the court.
Durant suffered an ACL injury in the 2019 NBA Finals for the Golden State Warriors and is doubtful to make his Nets debut before the end of the campaign, unless Atkinson’s side go deep into the play-offs.
However, they come into the clash against Houston with just a 1-3 record, although the victory came against arch-rivals New York Knicks on home territory.
Despite three defeats to their name already, scoring points is not the problem for Brooklyn. They are simply conceding too many.
Irving currently has the second-highest average points per game in the NBA at 35.3, while the team is third in the league for average points scored per match at 120.
Dominating the glass has not been a problem either, as they rank fourth (50.3 per match) in that department, so there are signs that the team do have the tools to do well this season, it just has not happened yet.
Houston can be just as open in defence, though, so it could set up an entertaining game in Brooklyn. In three games at the Barclays Center so far, there have been 230 (in regular time), 222 and 226 total match points.
With this in mind, we fancy this match to have less than 239.5 total points at Evens for our second selection from the Nets vs Rockets odds.
A Look At Houston Rockets’ Betting Odds
The Rockets are in fine form after recovering from an opening-round defeat to title contenders Milwaukee Bucks to see off the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder and register a crazy-scoring success at the Washington Wizards.
James Harden surged to the top of the individual scoring list when his 59 points in the capital guided Houston to a compelling 159-158 triumph at the Capital One Arena on Wednesday evening.
The Rockets have been in contention for the NBA title in recent years – falling to a 4-2 defeat to the Warriors at the Conference semi-final stage last season – but will fancy themselves to go close with the addition of 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook.
The eight-time NBA All-Star replaced Chris Paul, who went in the opposite direction to Oklahoma, and has slotted straight into the playbook with an average of 10.3 assists in his four matches so far – which is the second highest in the league.
Harden and Westbrook have dominated the backcourt but have been ably aided by P.J Tucker, who has eclipsed his career-best averages for points and rebounds, while up front, Clint Capela sits sixth in the list for blocks (2.3 per game).
It is Westbrook who we are focusing on, though, with the point guard averaging a triple-double every two games in his short Houston career thus far.
He has scored at least 10 points, claimed 10 rebounds and provided 10 assists in two of his four Rockets matches, and was one assist short of claiming another one at former club Oklahoma.
The 30-year-old is second on the all-time list for triple-doubles – with 140 – so Westbrook to produce another stellar all-round performance in Brooklyn at an NBA price boost of 9/5 completes our Nets vs Rockets betting tips.
BROOKLYN 108-118 Indiana
Washington 158-159 HOUSTON
Head-to-head: Houston 142-145 Brooklyn, Brooklyn 111-119 Houston, Houston 109-102 Brooklyn, Brooklyn 113-123 Houston
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