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Rockets vs. Nuggets Predictions: A Chance for Revenge

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published November 29, 2023
10 min read

The Houston Rockets (8-7) will take on the Denver Nuggets (12-6) in the Mile-High City on Wednesday, just a few days after the Rockets beat the Nuggets 105-86.

Houston has gone from a perennial bottomfeeder to a legitimate threat in the Western Conference under the guidance of coach Ime Udoka and thanks to the arrivals of Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks.

The defending champion Nuggets are still a strong team, but injuries and a lack of experience off the bench have made them look more vulnerable than they did when they were breezing through the playoffs.

Here, we’ll go over the betting odds and share our best pick for the Rockets vs. Nuggets matchup.

Rockets vs Nuggets Predictions

Rockets vs. Nuggets Betting Odds for Wednesday, Nov. 29 

The Nuggets are 6.5-point favorites over the Rockets despite last Friday’s result. Nikola Jokic and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for 58 points, while the rest of the team only managed a combined 28 points.

TeamsSpreadMoneylineTotal
Houston Rockets+6.5 (-105)+225Over 216.5 (-115)
Denver Nuggets-6.5 (-115)-275Under 216.5 (-105)

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The new-look Rockets are built on a strong defensive identity. VanVleet is a pest on the ball and is willing to pick up opposing ball-handlers full-court, while Brooks plays physical and tenacious defense on the toughest assignment.

Houston ranks fourth in defensive rating and allows the second-fewest points per game (105.5). However, they’re 0-6 and giving up an average of 115.8 points on the road, which is a glaring red flag.

A majority of Houston’s offense runs through 21-year-old and third-year center Alperen Sengun (20.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists). The rising star has said that Jokic is an inspiration to him and that they have similar games, and he has lots of potential he’s still yet to fulfill.

Sengun put up 21 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists when the teams met last week.

The Rockets don’t do anything amazing on offense. They’re 17th in three-point shooting, don’t draw a ton of free throws, and are 27th in second-chance points. They also play at the third-slowest pace in the league, which greatly limits their ability to play in transition and capitalize on opponents’ mistakes.

On the other side is the Nuggets. They’re an even 5-5 over their last 10 games but are 8-0 on their home court, a year after they finished the regular season 34-7 at home.

Jokic is having another MVP-worthy season and is averaging 28.8 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 8.9 assists. He also scored 30+ points in three straight games and 39 in his last game, a 132-120 win against the San Antonio Spurs.

Jamal Murray has not played since November 4 but was upgraded to questionable for Wednesday’s matchup. Aaron Gordon did not play against the Spurs because of a heel issue and is also questionable.

The Nuggets also like to slow the game down and are 26th in pace of play. They’re 10th in offensive rating, but unlike years past, eighth in defensive rating, thanks to the contributions of young players off the bench. 

One area the Rockets have a decided advantage is ball security. They have the fourth-lowest turnover percentage in the league, whereas the Nuggets are just about average at 14th. 

At the same time, Denver is a top-10 rebounding team, while Houston is below average on the glass.

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Rockets vs. Nuggets Prediction and Betting Pick

The Nuggets proved throughout the entirety of last year that they knew how to make their home a fortress. Through the first month and the change of the new campaign, they have been just as strong at home as they were a year ago.

The potential returns of Gordon and Murray could be helpful or hindrances, depending on how the game plays out. Murray in particular could need time to find his shooting rhythm, or he could come out blazing with a full tank of gas.

Secondary creation from players not named Jokic has been an issue, which is where Murray’s return could be tremendously impactful. Reggie Jackson had his moments but is not the long-term solution to the problem.

The Rockets have great wing and guard defenders but can’t afford to put anyone other than Sengun on Jokic, and as great as Sengun is and will be, he isn’t capable of slowing down the two-time MVP. That means that Houston’s greatest strength won’t be as impactful as it is in other matchups.

We like the Nuggets to cover here. Jokic put up a monstrous stat line when they played last Friday, and they’re yet to lose at home. Houston has not won on the road and won’t be able to leverage its defense the way it does in other matchups.

  • Rockets vs. Nuggets pick: Nuggets -6.5 (-115)

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

397 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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