NBA Betting Picks: Our Experts’ Favorite Playoff Bets for Lakers vs. Rockets (Thursday, Sept. 10)

NBA Betting Picks: Our Experts’ Favorite Playoff Bets for Lakers vs. Rockets (Thursday, Sept. 10) article feature image
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Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Looking for a few quick picks for Thursday's lone NBA game? Our staff breaks down their favorite bets of the night.
  • Matt Moore is finding an edge on the Lakers vs. Rockets spread and Brandon Anderson likes a prop bet on the Rockets.
  • Check out our staff's full betting breakdown heading into tonight's NBA Playoff action.

There’s just one game on the slate tonight, with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets going head-to-head for a pivotal Game 4. The Lakers currently hold a 2-1 lead in this series and a win could be the difference between them breathing easy heading into the weekend or playing an even more crucial Game 5.

Our staff breaks down their favorite NBA bets for today’s slate and where to find the most value in tonight’s matchup.

Thursday NBA Betting Picks


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Matt Moore: Lakers vs. Rockets

Lakers odds -5.5 [BET NOW]
Rockets odds +5.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -210/+170 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 219.5 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV TNT

I will keep going back to the well with the Rockets as long as this line is above 2.5. I bet Rockets +2.5 on the series spread, but I also genuinely believe there’s value in this game. The Lakers’ offense has been skating through on the back of Rajon Rondo and Markieff Morris and those aren’t extreme outliers, but those two have issues with consistency.

The Rockets have outscored the Lakers by 13.1 points per 100 possessions with PJ Tucker on the floor in this series, and have lost by 10 per 100 possessions with Jeff Green on the floor. You’re telling me that a game flips if Mike D’Antoni in a must-win has to play fewer players? I’m in.

The PICK: Rockets +5.5

[Bet the Rockets at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]


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Brandon Anderson: Lakers vs. Rockets

If you’ve followed the Rockets through 10 playoff games thus far, or over the past few years, you know their style of play can be described politely as streaky. The Rockets can score points in a barrage, and they can also go 0-for-27 behind the arc in the worst possible stretch.

The Lakers seems like they’ve figured this matchup out, though. Anthony Davis at center is, predictably, a game changer, and doubling James Harden to force Russell Westbrook to make decisions has been disastrous for the Rockets.

Still, the Rockets remain volatile and unpredictable, and that’s just how they like it. Any two-minute stretch can be a 12-0 run, in either direction, and they could get super hot or super cold and send this result in any direction.

Rather than picking a side, I’m simply betting on variance here and hoping for one of those barrages in any single quarter. Remember how the Lakers took a 36-20 first quarter lead in Game 2? The Rockets still had the highest scoring quarter in that game with 41 in the third, including 16 points in the first 160 seconds of the second half. The Rockets had the lone 30-point quarter in Game 1, and they had the highest scoring quarter in Game 3 as well.

I won’t be surprised at all if the Rockets lose three quarters, but all we need is one big quarter with lots of threes falling. I’ll play Houston here to +130.

The Pick: Rockets to have highest scoring quarter (+150)

[Bet now at bet365. NJ only.]

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