2018-2019 Houston Rockets Team Preview and Betting Picks
Toyota Center – Houston, Texas
Mike D’Antoni – Head Coach
Western Conference – Southwest Division
2017 Record: 65-17
The Houston Rockets had the best record in the NBA Regular Season last year and went to the postseason as the #1 seed in the Western Conference. The Rockets made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
The Rockets were one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA throughout the regular season however in the finals, game 7, they missed 27 consecutive 3-point attempts, and ended up losing the game and the series, eliminating them from the postseason.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into the 2018-2019 Houston Rockets and determine where we think they will end up.
Houston Rockets Coaching
The Houston Rockets are coached by Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni has been with the team for the past 2 seasons, 2016 & 2017, and he has led the team to the playoffs in both seasons.
D’Antonio has a plethora of coaching experience ranging from the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, LA Lakers, Philadelphia 76’ers and the Houston Rockets.
D’Antoni has coached a total of 14 seasons in the NBA and during that time, has led his team to the postseason 8 times. D’Antoni is a 2 time NBA Coach of the Year, 2-time All-Star Game Head Coach and has numerous awards to his name.
Houston Rockets Offseason Transactions
- June 22, 2018 – The Rockets used their 2nd round NBA Draft selection to pick 46th and take USC Trojans Guard De’Anthony Melton.
- July 6, 2018 – The Rockets signed undrafted free agent Gary Clark, from the Cincinnati Bearcats to a two-way contract.
- July 6, 2018 – The Rockets lost Trevor Ariza to free agency, who later signed with the Phoenix Suns.
- July 7, 2018 – The Rockets signed free agent Michael Carter-Williams, formerly of the Charlotte Hornets, to a 1-year contract worth $1.9 million dollars.
- July 8, 2018 – The Rockets resigned Chris Paul to a 4-year contract worth $160 million dollars.
- July 10, 2018 – The Rockets resigned Gerald Green to a 1-year contract worth $2.4 million dollars.
- July 13, 2018 – The Rockets signed free agent James Ennis III, formerly of the Detroit Pistons, to a 2-year contract worth $3.4 million dollars.
- July 19, 2018 – The Rockets lost Luc Mbah a Moute to free agency, who later signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
- July 27, 2018 – The Rockets resigned Clint Capela to a 5-year contract worth $90 million dollars.
- August 13, 2018 – The Rockets signed free agent Carmelo Anthony, formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to a 1-year contract worth $2.4 million dollars.
Houston Rockets Starting 5
Chris Paul (PG) – Paul is one of the best Guards in the game. Whether you call him a Point Guard or a Shooting Guard, the bottom line is he will run the court with Harden. They create one of the most potent backcourt duo’s in the Western Conference and should once again serve as one of the top assist leaders in the NBA.
James Harden (SG) – The league’s MVP is one of the best pure shooters in the game. He will once again post a stockpile of minutes on the court and shoot his own fair share of 3-pointers.
Carmelo Anthony (SF) – Anthony really hasn’t found a home in the NBA. He has gone from team to team and hasn’t really found somewhere that makes him happy. In Houston, he will be a 3rd, maybe even a 4th option, so I’m not sure he will be happy here either. Anthony could be the poison that holds this team back in 2018-2019.
Marquese Chriss (PF) – The Rockets will lean on Chriss when they run the court and play small ball. Chriss needs to improve in 2018-2019 or he will be very limited on minutes.
Clint Capela (C) – If Capela can progress on the successful season that he had last year, the Rockets will be in great shape! Capela led the league in FG % last year and he is a force in the lane. He gives the Rockets the inside threat to compliment Harden and Paul on the perimeter.
Houston Rockets Key Bench Players
Michael Carter-Williams (PG) – Carter-Williams will come off the bench and provide the Rockets an exciting presence on the court. He was once the Rookie of the Year and still has time to grow into his old style of play. If he can become just a fraction as good as he used to be, this pickup will be well worth the short-term investment.
Eric Gordon (SG) – There may be times when we see Gordon getting large minutes, mainly when the Rockets play small ball because he is a 3rd scorer that can prevent defenses from placing Harden and Paul in double coverage.
PJ Tucker (SF) – Tucker became a starter last year by default and when he came in, he made the team a better defensive unit. With Tucker on the court, the Rockets were the #3 defense but when he was off the court, the defensive unit was ranked 11th in the NBA. Tucker not only plays strong defense but also is a very good 3-point shooter, which makes him a valuable asset of the bench.
James Ennis III (PF) – It will be interesting to see how the Rockets use Ennis. He could be used to spread the floor and keep offenses balanced. Ennis plays strong defense and can give a boost to the lineup in the paint.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Houston Rockets
Losing Trevor Ariza and Mbah a Moute is a tough nut to crack. The size and depth that they lost will not be easy to deal with but they did sign the likes of Melo and Carter-Williams, which will be a bit of a help.
With Harden and Paul running the backcourt, this will once again be one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA. They will be tough to contain and hard to keep under 110 points on a nightly basis.
The way to beat the Golden State Warriors and dethrone them from the amazing run is to outscore them and make them run the court with the pace they aren’t comfortable with. That is exactly what I think the Houston Rockets will do this year and my prediction for competing for that top spot once again in the Western Conference.
The odds over at MyBookie on the Rockets to win the NBA Championship is +850, which I think is a very strong value. They are certainly one of the top 3 teams in the Western Conference and the reality is with their defense in place, they are probably really the #2 team in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Another wager to consider this year is playing the Rockets over 55 games for regular season wins. Last year, they won 65 games and I don’t think they have gone backward really much, especially not 10 games worth. I think it is a very safe wager to play the over 55 regular season wins at MyBookie!
Our friends over at MyBookie have set the following lines on the Houston Rockets:
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +850
- Odds to Win Western Conference Championship: +550
- Odds to Win Southwest Division: -800
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 55 games
- NBA MVP Odds: James Harden +600
- NBA MVP Odds: Chris Paul +8000
Don’t forget to check out our NBA Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings with each team in the NBA throughout the season!