Still recovering from the NBA COVID postponement, the Washington Wizards visit the Houston Rockets in a battle of two teams trapped in rebuilding limbo. Online betting points to both squads as lottery teams although they’re still holding on to plenty of solid veterans and a few all-stars.
Houston has now gone six games since the James Harden deal and are 3-3 in that span. They still have adequate talent and can challenge for one of the play-in spots in the West. On the other hand, the Wizards have been all flash with no substance.
The Rockets are rightful favorites here per NBA odds. However, they are anything but a sure bet as Washington still has the best player in this NBA matchup.
Wizards vs Rockets Betting Preview: Quick Look at Each Team
Wizards: Fast-Paced Wizards Can’t Stop Anyone
The story will always be how All-Star G Bradley Beal is wasting his talents in a team going nowhere. Even with former MVP Russell Westbrook’s addition, the Wizards only seem to have gotten worse and it’s all thanks to defense or lack thereof.
Washington plays the fastest pace in the NBA (105.7) and also has allowed the most points (121.3) and the second-best field goal percent (49.1). You have a team who literally runs through each contest without a care in the world.
Beal has been on a tear, leading the league in scoring at 34.5 points. He’s almost single-handedly carried the Wizards’ offense while Westbrook has been sloppy shooting at just 37 percent and turning the ball over five times a contest.
Missing C Thomas Bryant along with their entire frontcourt will only make Washington worse as they can only pray to slow down teams, even the ones that aren’t so threatening offensively.
Rockets: The Pre-Rebuilding Era Continues
Even without Harden, the Rockets still have plenty of talent on paper. They acquired former All-Star Victor Oladipo and have the blossoming big man Christian Wood (who may be out of this game; check NBA news and stay updated). But it’s just not enough.
Houston ranks in the lower-half in the NBA in most major statistical categories including offensive rating, three-point percent, and total rebounds. Their players have been in-and-out of the lineup leading to a lack of consistency on both ends.
Guard John Wall should be playing, but he is far from his All-Star version just like C Demarcus Cousins and the aforementioned Oladipo. The Rockets have a roster of has-beens and vets like G Eric Gordon and F/C P.J. Tucker so they shouldn’t be underestimated.
But Houston as a favorite is as shaky as their players’ health. The Rockets are only 2-5 against the spread at home and 6-9 overall. If Wood is out, they may be ripe for an upset.
Wizards vs Rockets Betting Preview: Wizards Will Outrun Rockets
For the second game this Tuesday, I’m going for the underdog again as part of my NBA betting picks. The Wizards are missing half their team, but they still have the best player in this game: Bradley Beal.
Houston has quietly been a decent defense this season limiting opponents to just 45.3 percent from the field (10th), but Beal and the Wizards play a high-volume offense with the eighth-best offensive rating (112.5) in the league.
The Rockets’ frontcourt trio of Cousins, Tucker, and G/F David Nwaba have been solid defensively combining for a +3.7 on the defensive box plus-minus. They’re the “glue” of the Rockets defense, but on the flipside they’re a -9.1 on the offensive end.
As solid as Houston can be on defense, their lack of scoring options (especially without Wood) is a hindrance. Washington plays fast, scores fast, and has Beal. Find the Wizards in our online sportsbook and take them as an underdog as they can run away with this game given the Rockets’ scoring woes.