The Houston Rockets will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead on Saturday when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in an NBA Western Conference first-round matchup. The Rockets won the first two games of this series by an average of 14 points. Entering the 2020 NBA Playoffs, teams that won the first two games of a best-of-seven series went on to win it 93.2 percent of the time (288-21). Since 2017, seven of Houston's past nine first-round wins have been by double digits.
HP Field House in Orlando will host this 6 p.m. ET tip-off. The latest Rockets vs. Thunder odds from William Hill list Houston as the two-point favorite, down a point from the opening line. The over-under is listed at 222.5, down 1.5 points from the opener. Before making any Thunder vs. Rockets picks, see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned well over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 58-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. Amazingly, it hasn't missed a single top-rated pick (5-0) since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Rockets vs. Thunder spread: Rockets -2
- Rockets vs. Thunder over-under: 222.5 points
- Rockets vs. Thunder money line: Rockets -130, Thunder +110
- HOU: Was second in the league in points scored at 117.8 during the regular season
- OKC: F Darius Bazley blocked 41 shots this season, sixth most among NBA rookies
Why the Rockets can cover
Houston has been red hot from 3-point range since the restart. The Rockets hit 19 3-pointers in Game 2 after hitting 20 in Game 1. Houston hit 18 or more 3-pointers in each of the first five games in Orlando this summer, tying for the second-longest streak in NBA history. The Rockets were 19-2 when hitting 18 or more 3-pointers during the regular season. Houston has attempted 108 3-pointers in the series, including an NBA playoff record 56 in Game 2.
Guard-forward Eric Gordon is having a solid series so far in the absence of Russell Westbrook (quad) and is averaging 18 points per game in the postseason, more than 3.5 points over his regular-season average. In Game 1, Gordon scored in 21 points and dished out four assists. He followed that up with a 15-point, five-rebound performance on Thursday. Gordon averaged 7.5 points against the Thunder in two regular-season games this season. In 23 career games vs. Oklahoma City, Gordon has averaged 16 points and three assists.
Why the Thunder can cover
Houston, however, isn't a lock to cover the Rockets vs. Thunder spread. That's because the Thunder have played solid defense since the restart. In the eight regular-season games in Orlando, Oklahoma City held the second-best defensive rating (105.4 points per game) in the NBA, holding opponents to the lowest 3-point percentage (30.4) and fifth-lowest shooting percentage (44.3). The Thunder were the sixth-ranked defensive team overall during the regular season, allowing just 108.4 points per game.
Offensively, Oklahoma City is led by guard-forward Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (19.0 points, 5.9 rebounds), who is averaging 20 points per game in the series, including a bounce-back 31 points in Game 2. He hit 9 of 17 shots (52.9 percent) from the field, including 3 of 7 (42.9) from 3-point range. Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in three games against Houston this season.
How to make Rockets vs. Thunder picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total. In fact, it says Gordon will score nearly two points over his average, while Oklahoma City's Chris Paul will also top his season-long average. It has also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Rockets vs. Thunder? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Thunder vs. Rockets spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.