The Houston Rockets will visit the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday afternoon. James Harden and company will begin a back-to-back set without Russell Westbrook (rest) and Eric Gordon (knee) on the road. For the Hornets, the team's injury report is uneventful, though Malik Monk (suspension) remains sidelined. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. ET at the Spectrum Center.
Sportsbooks list the Rockets as eight-point road favorites, while the Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 222 in the latest Rockets vs. Hornets odds. Before you make any Rockets vs. Hornets picks and NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned almost $4,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season. It also entered Week 20 a blistering 49-31 on all top-rated NBA spread picks this season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Rockets vs. Hornets spread: Rockets -8
- Rockets vs. Hornets over-under: 222 points
- Rockets vs. Hornets money line: Rockets -352, Hornets +274
- HOU: Rockets are 7-5-1 against the spread in the last 13 games
- CHA: Hornets have covered in five straight games
Why the Rockets can cover
The model knows the Rockets are an elite offensive team even without Westbrook and Gordon. Houston's shot profile is highly efficient and, as a result, the Rockets are No. 3 in points per possession and top five in free throw rate. In addition, the Rockets rank among the league's top ten teams in effective field goal percentage and turnover rate.
Defensively, Houston is not as dynamic, but the Rockets present a unique look for opponents. The Rockets are strong at creating havoc in the form of turnovers and, even if the opposition breaks contain, Houston is adept at avoiding fouls.
Why the Hornets can cover
The model also realizes that the Hornets have strengths, some of which will be magnified because Houston doesn't have its full complement of weapons. Charlotte is a strong offensive rebounding team and, with the Rockets purposefully utilizing a small-ball approach, Houston is vulnerable on the defensive glass.
Defensively, the Hornets rank No. 2 in free throw avoidance and, against a team led by Harden, it is paramount for any defense to avoid fouls in key situations. Charlotte is also above-average at creating turnovers. Even with a strong guard-focused perimeter attack, it will be easier for the Hornets to score if they can do so in transition.
How to make Rockets vs. Hornets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Under on the total, with Terry Rozier projected to fall short of his scoring average and Westbrook out of the lineup. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see that one at SportsLine.
So who wins Rockets vs. Hornets? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Rockets vs. Hornets spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model on a 49-31 run on NBA picks, and find out.