Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns odds: Picks from model that's 19-8 this season

The high-octane Houston Rockets hit the road Thursday night to face the Phoenix Suns -- and they welcome back Chris Paul after a lengthy absence.

The Rockets are 12.5-point favorites, up three points from where the line opened, while the Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 220.5.

Before you make any bets on this NBA showdown, you'll want to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model is picking.

The SportsLine Projection Model has been crushing the NBA. Its A-rated picks against the spread are a blistering 19-8 this season. It's also been a huge success in football. It went an amazing 174-80-2 on straight-up NFL picks last season -- better than all 98 experts tracked by NFLPickWatch. SportsLine computer picks also would have won over 96 percent of CBS Sports Office Pool Manager leagues that made straight-up picks last season.

Now, the model has examined every matchup, every player and every trend in Rockets-Suns and locked in against-the-spread, Over/Under and money-line picks.

We can tell you that while the Rockets are favored, the computer likes the high-risk, high-reward of taking the Suns to win straight-up. A $100 risk on the Suns money line would bring back $650. Simulations show the Suns winning 31 percent of the time, making the risk full of value. 

It also has a strong against the spread pick.

The model has taken into account that the Suns are just now getting accustomed to life without star PG Eric Bledsoe, who was traded to the Bucks last week. They're 1-1 in the last two games, and in each one, they had a high-scoring standout. T.J. Warren had 35 points in a win over the Timberwolves last Saturday and Devin Book scored 36 in a narrow loss to the Lakers on Monday.

The Rockets, meanwhile, have been humming along, averaging 111.2 points per game, third-most in the NBA behind Golden State and Toronto. They are 11-4 and a half-game behind the Warriors for the best record in the Western Conference.

Thursday marks the return of All-Star PG Chris Paul (ankle), who is expected to start and play roughly 20 minutes. But the team is expected to be without Nene (foot) for the third game in a row.

The Rockets are the clear favorite, but can the Suns stay within the 12.5-point spread? Can they win outright? Or will Houston, 7-1 on the road this season, take care of business?

So what side of Rockets-Suns do you need to be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see the strong point-spread winner of Rockets-Suns, all from the model that has absolutely crushed the NFL, and find out.

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