MetroBet looks at the Monday night NBA slate and dishes out the latest odds and advice.
Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets (-1.5)
Moneyline: Nuggets +105, Rockets -125
Betting Total: 215.5 points
Time (Eastern): 8 p.m.
Monday night’s clash between the Denver Nuggets (26-11) and the Houston Rockets (22-16) has all the makings of an exciting tilt, one in which the home team should prevail.
Despite the absence of Chris Paul and Eric Gordon, the Rockets have been surging, winning eight of their last 10 games. Their most recent result, a 110-101 loss to the Trail Blazers, can be forgiven. Portland is one of the toughest venues for road teams to play, and Houston was fresh off an emotional Thursday night win over the Golden State Warriors.
James Harden has been the main catalyst behind the Rockets’ hot streak, scoring 35 or more in nine of his last 10 outings. But the emergence of Clint Capela as a reliable secondary scoring option has turned some heads. He’s averaging 17.1 points per game since the start of December, per oddsshark.com. Capela has also grabbed 42 rebounds over the last two games alone.
Denver has struggled in this particular matchup in recent years, losing eight straight to Houston. Another solid trend for the Rockets has been their performance at home, as they’ve won each of their last nine contests at the Toyota Center (8-0-1 against the spread). By contrast, the Nuggets have dropped five of their last six against the spread away from the Mile-High City.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray will keep this game from getting out of hand, but Houston should add another home win to their résumé.
Prediction: Rockets win, 114-109
The play: Rockets -1.5
New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers (-11.5)
Moneyline: Knicks +550, Trail Blazers -900
Betting Total: 221 points
Time (Eastern): 10 p.m.
The Portland Trail Blazers (23-17) are the biggest favorites on Monday night’s board as the dreadful New York Knicks (10-29) come to town, and they should live up to the advanced billing.
Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic combined for 66 points against the Rockets in a nine-point victory on Sunday night. Lillard and McCollum accounted for 50 alone when they beat the Knicks at MSG earlier this season. The seven-foot center Nurkic is fresh off his sixth double-double in his last nine games (per Covers.com) and is up to 20 double-doubles on the campaign.
As long as Portland’s stars are on top of their game, it looks like New York will struggle to compete. The Knicks have shot less than 38 percent from the floor in four of their last five tilts.
Prediction: Trail Blazers win, 117-102
The play: Trail Blazers -11.5