The Houston Rockets host the Los Angeles Lakers in a prime time battle on Sunday evening. Houston is just 3-4 overall this season, but the Rockets are 3-1 at home in the Toyota Center. Los Angeles is 7-3 overall and seeking their fifth consecutive road win to begin the 2020-21 season. Danuel House (back) is out for the Rockets. LeBron James (ankle), Anthony Davis (adductor) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (ankle) are questionable to play for Los Angeles, with Ben McLemore (ankle) questionable for Houston.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. ET in Houston. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Lakers as 3.5-point road favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 223 in the latest Lakers vs. Rockets odds. Before you make any Rockets vs. Lakers 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 seasons. Dating back to last season, it is on a stunning 65-36 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.
- Lakers vs. Rockets spread: Lakers -3.5
- Lakers vs. Rockets over-under: 223 points
- Lakers vs. Rockets money line: Lakers -165, Rockets +145
- LAL: The Lakers are 2-2 against the spread in road games this season
- HOU: The Rockets are 2-2 against the spread in home games this season
Why the Lakers can cover
James and Davis are two of the best players in the NBA, and they key the attack for the Lakers. James is averaging 24.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game, with Davis contributing 22.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and an elite defensive impact. The Lakers also invested in quality depth in the offseason, adding Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell, and the result is a top-three offensive rating of 113.7 points per 100 possessions this season.
The Lakers will have their hands full against a potent Rockets offense, but Los Angeles ranks in the top-10 in defensive rating, defensive rebound rate, shooting efficiency allowed and free throw rate allowed this season. In addition, the Lakers have dominated this series recently. In fact, Los Angeles is 4-1 in its last five meetings against the Rockets.
Why the Rockets can cover
The Rockets are known for their explosive offense, and that is the case to this point in 2020-21. James Harden leads the way with 27.0 points and 11.3 assists per game, with Christian Wood adding 23.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest. Overall, Houston is scoring almost 1.13 points per possession, a top-six mark in the NBA, and the Rockets rank in the top five in both effective field goal percentage and free throw rate.
The Rockets also take care of the ball, committing a turnover on only 14.1 percent of possessions. Considering the Lakers are a bottom-tier team in turnover creation rate (12.4 percent), Houston should be able to hold onto the ball effectively. That possession maximization, coupled with elite shooting efficiency, paves the way to sustainably efficient offense.
How to make Lakers vs. Rockets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with the simulations projecting just 212 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Rockets vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Lakers vs. Rockets spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.