Rockets vs Thunder Odds, Picks, Predictions | NBA Betting Preview (Wednesday, March 27)

Rockets vs Thunder Odds, Picks, Predictions | NBA Betting Preview (Wednesday, March 27) article feature image

Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Green #4 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Rockets vs Thunder Odds

Wednesday, March 27
8 p.m. ET
League Pass
Rockets Odds
-110o / -110u
Thunder Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Rockets vs. Thunder on Wednesday, March 27 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

The Oklahoma City Thunder rarely go down at home, and they'll put their indomitable run form on the line once again in a tough matchup against the Houston Rockets.

Despite losing Alperen Sengun weeks ago, Houston has steadied to take 11 of its last 12 and should give Oklahoma City a run for its money here.

Let's break down this matchup and find some betting value.

Houston Rockets

Against all odds, without their lead man on top of an injury to Cam Whitmore, the Rockets have increased their production on both ends of the floor to become one of the hottest teams in the NBA.

The improvement on an already-elite 112.1 defensive rating for the season isn't all that surprising given Sengun was something of a liability on that end, but the drastic change in their offense has truly been unexpected.

Houston hasn't changed all that much, taking slightly fewer 3-point shots and a handful more at the rim, but its fortunes from outside the arc have been far better in the month of March with a stunning 39.4% of its looks falling.

On top of that, while some playmaking has been lost without Sengun, this team's ability to score within four feet of the rim has gone from nonexistent to incredibly reliable.

It's worth noting with all of this that the Rockets have been around five percentage points worse from 3 on the road this season, though in knocking down nearly 36% of their shots from outside in their last four road games, they've done a better job than usual.

Defensively, the Rockets have been the best team in the league this month in defending the 3, continuing a trend we've seen all season long. But the big turnaround has come against the midrange jumper, which is something we generally only see put to good use against the worst offenses in basketball.

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Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder certainly haven't been markedly worse than the Rockets of late, winning eight of their last 10 while heading into the end of March with a 9-3 record this month.

Things have more or less been the same defensively, where they've won a ton of difficult games. But offensively, things have dropped off rather significantly with a dip of four points per 100 possessions in March compared to what they've done all year.

Oklahoma City has been a bit less inclined to shoot the 3 this month, but that certainly hasn't been due to poor performance given its 39.5% hit rate, according to Cleaning the Glass.

It hasn't been quite as efficient at the rim and inside the arc in general given more shots are coming from midrange, and any issues offensively for this team will always be magnified given its inability to snatch away rebounds on that end.

It's also worth noting, as we discuss this offense, that the Thunder have been considerably stronger on that end at home this year by around 3.9 points per 100 possessions. However, they've actually been a better shooting team on the road and also haven't seen nearly the same sort of improvement on offense in the home/road split than they have on defense.

Speaking of which, the 3-point line should be a story to watch here for the Thunder. They've struggled all year to defend the outside shot, but things have gone from bad to worse in March with opponents hitting 38.2% of their looks.

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Rockets vs Thunder

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Thunder are a solid 7-4 against the spread on the second night of a back-to-back, a situation they find themselves in on Wednesday, and are a strong 19-11 ATS as home favorites.

With that said, they're just 3-8 ATS over their last 11 games, failing to put away poor opponents, and have covered just twice in their last nine as a favorite of at least five points.

This version of Oklahoma City isn't quite the same as the one we've grown to love as bettors over the course of the season; its weak schedule has masked some issues defensively. And despite the soft matchups, it has taken a clear step back offensive end of the floor even though it has won games.

Wednesday's matchup has all the makings of a tough one for the home side, and I anticipate Houston's hot shooting to continue against one of the weakest 3-point defenses around at the given moment.

The Rockets are also a steady defensive group, which has only grown since Sengun was replaced by better frontcourt defenders. With a sizable gap on the glass as well, I think there's more than enough to fall in love with the road dogs here.

Pick: Rockets +6.5

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC