Rockets at Nets – NBA Pick for February 6th

by Taylor Smith
on February 6, 2018
Houston Rockets (-750)
Brooklyn Nets (+475)
Total: 216
  • Spread:Rockets -11(-115)
All odds referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 11:40 am on February 6, 2018. Odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

We’ve got eight games on the NBA schedule on Tuesday night, though Rockets-Nets likely won’t be considered a marquee matchup. Most of the focus will be on the Celtics-Raptors and Warriors-Thunder contests, but Rockets-Nets appears to provide some solid betting opportunity from a few different angles.

Houston comes into this one as arguably the league’s hottest team. They’ve had a couple of days off since absolutely embarrassing the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Saturday night. The Rockets outscored the Cavs 32-20 in the first quarter that night and never looked back on their way to a dominant 32-point victory.

Coming into the season there were questions regarding how James Harden and Chris Paul would play alongside one another. About a half-season in, it’s safe to say that Houston’s dynamic duo is getting along just fine. Against Cleveland, the Rockets’ backcourt combined to score 38 points along with 20 assists and 14 rebounds. It’s also worth noting that the Rockets were without a pair of key role players in Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon that night.

Gordon is probable to return tonight in Brooklyn, while Ariza remains sidelined. While Harden and Paul make the Rockets go, they’ve also gotten excellent play from the likes of Clint Capela. The Swiss big man is quietly enjoying the best season of his career, averaging a tidy 14.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and nearly a block per game.

Tonight, Capela will be doing battle with Nets rookie Jarrett Allen, who appears to have seized the team’s starting center job. The former Texas Longhorn has started each of the last 4 games for Brooklyn, and he’s averaged 15.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. In addition to being an excellent rim-runner and finisher in close, Allen has flashed a post game and some shooting range. It appears as though the Nets got themselves quite the steal with the No. 22 pick in last June’s draft.

Kenny Atkinson’s team rolls with a loose rotation. The Nets aren’t shy to run 11 players out there on a night-to-night basis, which typically makes them a tough team to peg for production. D’Angelo Russell is working his way back from an injury, but he’s still working with a pretty stringent minutes restriction. When everyone is healthy, DeMarre Carroll is really the only player that will steadily see over 30 minutes.

Last season, the Nets were one of the league’s fastest-paced teams. They started quickly this season, but over the last few weeks, they’ve slowed the pace considerably. If this game had taken place in November, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see Vegas slap it with an over/under in the 230-point range. However, with Brooklyn slowing things down, the number is way down to just 216 tonight.

Because of the expectation of high-scoring games, the Nets have actually gone under on the implied total more than any other team in the league. Brooklyn is 21-32-1 on the implied total so far this season. Houston, meanwhile, is 22-28-1.

The Rockets come into this one having won 4 straight games, while the Nets have dropped 6 of their last 7. Houston is currently installed as an 11-point favorite, which looks reasonable enough given the obvious talent discrepancy between the teams. It’s a big number, but the Rockets look plenty capable of blowing Brooklyn out here tonight.

The Nets can be pesky, but take the Rockets to safely cover that 11-point spread. You can also consider hitting the over on 216 points, despite the Nets’ dramatic dip in pace. That said, the smart money is on the Rockets ATS.

Pick: Rockets -11

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