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The Houston Rockets have plowed through the first half of the season holding one of the best marks in the Western Conference. The Rockets are coming off a convincing win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies have hit their stride in the month of January winning their first six straight games. The Grizzlies are heading into the contest after a double-digit win over the Golden State Warriors.
Rockets continuing to lean on James HardenHeading into the 2019-20 campaign, the Rockets were once again expected to be in the mix for one of the best marks in the Western Conference behind the play of their dynamic backcourt. Things have shifted a bit after the acquisition of former league MVP Russell Westbrook that has brought another element to the table for the franchise. Westbrook has been their leading factor in the backcourt as he has progressively fit into the mix next to his former Oklahoma Thunder teammate as he's averaging 24.6 points, 7.0 assists, and 7.7 rebounds per contest. However, the Rockets will be without him for Tuesday's game as he's only playing one game of back-to-back sets.
Meanwhile, star guard James Harden has continued to prove to be the league's best scorer yet again as he's averaging a career-best 37.7 points per contest through 37 games played. Harden hasn't taken his foot off the pedal at any juncture this season as he has notched more than 30 points in four out of the last five games, including a pair of 40-point outings that were each triple-doubles. The Rockets will need Harden to head the charge with his scoring and playmaking with Westbrook expected to be out of the mix. Houston has been one of the better scoring teams in the league, but that may need a bigger night than usual from the former league MVP to lift them on the road.
Grizzlies young core surging forwardAs expected, it has been a bumpy season for the Grizzlies that have moved forward with committing to a complete youth movement to head the charge on the court. However, the team has found success as of late, winning their last six straight games heading into Tuesday's contest. That has helped lift them near the .500 mark on the year that has pushed them into the eighth overall spot in the playoff picture. The team has had some transformative play from rookie point guard Ja Morant, who has quickly proven to be the real deal with his play on both ends of the floor. Morant has been the driving factor for the franchise that has put a bright future ahead of them.
The 20-year-old has put together a strong start to the month of January as he's averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 assists while shooting 56.8 percent shooting from the floor. That has seen him post double-digit scoring in each of the first six games this month, with four 20-point outings and a pair of double-doubles. Morant will have a tough challenge ahead against Harden that will be quite indicative of how things will unfold for the Grizzlies on Tuesday night. Their recent surge has also been due to big man Jaren Jackson Jr., who has pushed his way towards leading the team with 18.1 points per contest. That includes tallying north of 20 points in four out of the last five games played. If the Grizzlies can get that type of production from Morant and Jackson Jr. that should put them in a great place on their home floor against the Rockets.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Memphis is 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall.
- Memphis is 5-0 ATS in their last five contests after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Memphis is 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS win.
- Houston is 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a losing home record.
- Houston is 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is one of the tougher matchups to choose from on Tuesday due to how each team is playing as of late. The Grizzlies are playing some of their basketball while the Rockets are one of the top teams in the Western Conference. However, the absence of Westbrook will be notable against a hot Memphis team. That should help tilt things a bit in their favor, especially with their core group of Morant, Jackson Jr., and Jonas Valanciunas playing well. The Rockets are favored in this contest for a reason, but the Grizzlies should be able to continue their hot stretch on their home floor.
Prediction: Memphis +4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
At the same time, that should set the pace for what should be a higher-scoring affair on Tuesday night between these two teams. Although the Rockets will be without Westbrook for the contest, Harden has been able to excel with an increased offensive role that should set the tone for their being plenty of scoring. That has seen Houston notch more than 115 points in four out of the last five contests, including coming off notching 139 points against the Timberwolves. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have tallied at least 119 points in each of their last five games, which all points to the offense being the overriding theme in this contest.
Prediction: Over 238