The Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets do battle on Saturday evening, with the Rockets looking to avoid elimination from the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The Lakers hold a 3-1 series lead after a lopsided win in Game 4, and the Rockets will aim to recapture the energy used to win Game 1. Danuel House (personal) is out for the Rockets. The Lakers list LeBron James (groin), Anthony Davis (rib) and JaVale McGee (ankle) as probable for Game 5, with Dion Waiters (groin) listed as doubtful.
Los Angeles is a 6.5-point favorite in the Lakers vs. Rockets odds at William Hill for this 8 p.m. ET tip in the Orlando bubble. The over-under for total points expected is 217, up 2.5 points from the opener. Before making any Rockets vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It's also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Rockets spread: Lakers -6.5
- Lakers vs. Rockets over-under: 217 points
- Lakers vs. Rockets money line: Lakers -270, Rockets +230
- Los Angeles: The Lakers are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
- Houston: The Rockets are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Lakers can cover
The Lakers are a tremendous offensive team, ranking second among remaining playoff teams at 113.9 points scored per 100 possessions in the postseason. Los Angeles also ranks as the second-best offensive rebounding team in the playoffs, grabbing 29.7 percent of available misses, and the Lakers are No. 3 in the playoffs in shooting efficiency, headlined by a 59.7 percent true shooting against Houston.
Los Angeles also benefits from a high-level defense, ranking No. 3 in the NBA during the regular season in points allowed per possession, and the Lakers also finished No. 3 in the league in turnover rate. In this series, the Lakers are simply more physical than the Rockets, which manifests on the defensive glass. Los Angeles is grabbing 81.5 percent of rebounds after missed shots by the Rockets, which is a mark that leads all teams in the conference semifinals.
Why the Rockets can cover
Though the Rockets are struggling at the moment, Houston has plenty to rely on to turn the series around. James Harden is one of the game's most prolific offensive players, averaging 29.5 points, 7.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game in the playoffs, and he is capable of an explosion at any moment. From there, Houston was one of the best offensive teams in the NBA during the regular season, finishing seventh in points per possession, eighth in shooting efficiency, ninth in turnover rate, and fourth in free throw rate.
The Rockets also found their legs, at least to some degree, in the fourth quarter of Game 4, scoring 1.25 points per possession to make things interesting in crunch time. Defensively, Houston has been effective throughout the playoffs, ranking fourth in points allowed per possession at 1.057. The Rockets are also creating turnovers at the best rate in the conference semifinals, forcing a giveaway from the Lakers on 17.1 percent of possessions.
How to make Lakers vs. Rockets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Davis and Eric Gordon both projected to exceed their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Lakers vs. Rockets? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Rockets vs. Lakers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.