The Houston Rockets (7-9) play host to the Portland Trail Blazers (9-7) in an important NBA Western Conference matchup on Thursday. Houston is 4-4 at home this season, with Portland sporting a 4-2 road record in 2020-21. Christian Wood (ankle) is probable for the Rockets, with Dante Exum (calf) set to miss this game. CJ McCollum (foot), Zach Collins (ankle), Robert Covington (concussion) and Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) are out of action for the Blazers.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at the Toyota Center. The latest Rockets vs. Blazers odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Houston as a five-point favorite, up three points from the opener. The over-under for total points is up to 229 after opening at 228. Before finalizing any Rockets vs. Blazers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it is also on a stunning 69-40 roll on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Blazers vs. Rockets spread: Rockets -5
- Blazers vs. Rockets over-under: 229 points
- Blazers vs. Rockets money line: Rockets -200, Blazers +175
- POR: The Blazers are 4-2 against the spread in road games
- HOU: The Rockets are 3-5 against the spread at home this season
Why the Blazers can cover
Even with personnel absences, Portland remains a tremendous offensive team. Damian Lillard is one of the NBA's best perimeter creators, averaging 28.7 points and 7.0 assists per game, and he is a threat at all three levels offensively. As a team, the Blazers are sixth in the league in offensive efficiency, scoring 113.7 points per 100 possessions, and Portland is second in the NBA in ball security, committing a turnover on only 11.4 percent of offensive possessions.
Portland may also be able to generate offensive rebounds against a Houston team that ranks in the bottom five in defensive rebound rate. On the other end, the Blazers are an above-average defensive rebounding team, pulling down 73.4 percent of missed shots by their opponents. Portland's quality ball security on offense also leads to the No. 2 mark in the league in limiting points off turnovers, giving up only 14.4 points per game.
Why the Rockets can cover
Houston has intriguing strengths as a team, but Portland's weaknesses also play a significant role in this matchup. Offensively, the Blazers are potent, but Terry Stotts' team is dead-last in the NBA in assist rate (52.3 percent). Defensively, Portland is struggling mightily, including the second-worst defensive rating (114.7 points allowed per 100 possessions) in the NBA.
The Blazers are a bottom-tier team in both effective field goal percentage allowed (54.8 percent) and free throw rate allowed, with Portland only forcing a turnover on 13.4 percent of defensive possessions. Houston boasts above-average shooting efficiency and a top-10 free throw rate offensively, with the No. 6 defense in the NBA and top-tier marks in contesting shots and forcing giveaways with an aggressive approach.
How to make Blazers vs. Rockets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with the teams projected to combine for 220 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Rockets vs. Blazers? And which side of the spread hits almost 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Rockets vs. Blazers spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.