Washington Wizards vs Houston Rockets

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Washington Wizards take on the Houston Rockets in a Tuesday night NBA showdown from the Toyota Center in Houston beginning at 8 pm EST. Currently, the Rockets are favored by 2.5-points, up from 1.5 at the opening, while the total stands at 231.5, up from 230.5-points.

After an extended hiatus, the Wizards woes continued in dropping their 4th game in 5 outings after falling on the road versus the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night as the Spurs were able to pull away in the final period outscoring the road team 36-24 en route to the victory. And while the Spurs were able to shot 50% from the floor in addition to making 15 treys, the Wizards shot a dismal 42% as a team along with 33% from long-range. Bradley Beal, however, continued his stellar offensive streak with 31 points while committing 4 of the team’s 14 turnovers. And while the Wizards were unable to cover as 5.5-point favorites, they are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games.

The Rockets have been able to collect a couple wins after a disastrous set of games as they took out the Detroit Pistons on the 22nd while following this up with the Dallas Mavericks in the 2nd of a back to back Saturday night. The Rockets were blazing hot from the perimeter in the 1st and 3rd periods outscoring the Mavericks by a margin of 72-51 during this time en route to the all-important win. Also, huge performances from Eric Gordon along with Demarcus Cousins also proved to be a difference-maker as well as Houston was without Victor Oladipo, who is dealing with a quad injury. Houston was able to cover in 2-straight contest (both as underdogs) as they were 7-point dogs versus Dallas.

Houston has won 3 of the last 4 outings versus the Wizards, including 3-straight at the Toyota Center. Houston has also picked up wins against the spread in 6 of 10 versus Washington while also accumulating a record of 3-1 ATS in their last 4 home meetings, overall.

Wizards fall in return to court

Due to covid-19 concerns, the Wizards postponed a total of 6 games after their 21-point home victory versus the Phoenix Suns January 11th. As a result of this, their play versus the Spurs was certainly lackluster on both ends of the floor as they not only gave up 120 or more points in 4 of their last 6 games, but the offense made just 39 of their 92 shots on the night en route to their 9th loss in 12 games this season. It should be mentioned, however, that the Wizards have done well for themselves on the offensive end in posting 119 points per game (3rd) on 47% shooting (38% from long-range); Yet, their defense has had issues preventing opponents from scoring the basketball as well as they are ranked near the bottom in all major defensive categories.

Nonetheless, coach Scott Brooks illustrated his excitement in his team finally getting back onto the floor and playing basketball. “We haven’t played in two weeks. That’s a long time. That’s a very long time. But there are no excuses. We’re excited to play. We’re going to go out there and give great effort, give ourselves a chance to compete and I think it’s going to come down to — there’s going to be some rust”, as he told CBSSports.

The Wizards will hit the floor versus Houston seeking to end a 3-game skid as they have not picked up a win at the Toyota Center since 2016. And while the Wizards have had some high-scoring affairs versus Houston in recent matchups, they have also given up a ton of points to the Rockets during this time. Beal (35 ppg, 6 rebs) continues to put up big numbers for Washington posting 30 or more in 5 of his last 7 starts while Russell Westbrook (18 ppg, 10 rebs, 11 ass) posted only 9 points while committing 4 turnovers versus the Spurs and has some of the worst shooting numbers of his career in making 37% of his shots along with a mere 31% from the arc in 2020-21. Rui Hachimura (14 ppg, 5 rebs) is questionable for this contest with an illness.

Wall returns; Oladipo questionable for this contest

John Wall (17 ppg, 4 rebs) was able to return to the lineup after an extended absence due to a knee injury to post just 7 points and 8 dimes on 3-9 shooting (0-4 3FG) versus the Mavericks. However, due to forward Christian Wood battling an ankle injury and is questionable for this contest as well, Cousins, who is averaging just 8 points per game along with 8 boards on the year, stepped into the starting lineup to post 28 points while collecting 17 rebounds while Gordon had 33 points as each combined for 10 of the team’s 16 3-pointers.

Reserve David Nwaba (9 ppg) posted double-digits in each of his last 2 outings for the Rockets while Mason Jones also provided a lift off the bench with 16 points (3-4 from long-range).

However, the question remains is when will the Rockets finally floor a healthy team this season? Despite being injury-plagued, can Cousins somehow continue the spark he illustrated versus the Mavericks? Furthermore, can Gordon (18 ppg), which recently rejoined the lineup due to injury as well, continue his hot shooting to keep this team competitive in the meantime? Oladipo’s absence was attributed to rest on the 2nd of a back to back, however, Wood’s (24 ppg, 11 rebs, blk) ankle injury may prevent him from suiting up for his 3rd-straight game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Rockets have not only dropped 3 of the last 5 against the number versus the Wizards but have only covered in one of their last 4 games at the Toyota Center.  And while they were able to pick up 2-straight over a slumping Piston team along with an up and down squad in the Mavericks their last time out, their defense will indeed be tested as Washington will flat out shoot their lights out in this contest.  In all, look for the road team to jump out on top of the Rockets early and cover the plus points.

Prediction:
Washington Wizards +2.5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Again, each of these teams possess one of the worst defenses in the NBA and have not been able to maintain any type of consistency on this end of the floor all season.  With this being the case, I expect this to be a fast-paced contest with a ton of quick buckets in transition being scored throughout.  Furthermore, with the over being the result in the last 4 against these squads, including 3 of their last 4 meetings at the Toyota Center, look for the scoreboard to light up early and often.

Prediction:
Over 231.5