Rockets vs. Lakers Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Will Houston’s Lack of Size Be Its Strength?

Rockets vs. Lakers Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Will Houston’s Lack of Size Be Its Strength? article feature image
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Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden (13) and Russell Westbrook (0) of the Houston Rockets.

  • The Lakers and Rockets are set for battle in a Western Conference showdown on Thursday night in L.A.
  • Are the Lakers set for an offensive explosion? Or should you gamble on James Harden and the Rockets?

Rockets at Lakers Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: Lakers -6.5
  • Over/Under: 238.5
  • Time: TBD p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TBD

Odds as of Thursday and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


It was a busy trade season for the Houston Rockets, not so much for the Los Angeles Lakers. LA stood pat at the deadline and will continue its quest for a championship with the current roster in tact, while Houston will look to push its spacing to the limits after trading its starting center.

Which of these two teams should you be betting tonight? Our NBA experts break the matchup and their favorite bets below.

Betting Trend to Know

The Lakers have been dominant all season, but the Rockets have actually played up to their competition pretty well in their own right.

Against teams with a win percentage of .600 or above, the Rockets are 10-6 against the spread and the second-most profitable team in the NBA. When facing those teams as underdogs, the Rockets are 4-2 ATS this season.

Brandon Anderson: Too Much Everything From LA

I almost choked when I saw the Lakers line this low, and I’m certain it will be higher by game time. You know that LeBron meme with the cigarettes?

Lakers -6.5, Lakers -7.5, Lakers -9, Lakers all day, don’t even care.

I wrote about the Rockets yesterday in our piece analyzing the four-team trade in which Houston replaced Clint Capela with Robert Covington. I actually like the idea of this version Rockets as an intriguing futures bet on a championship run, but I am fading them in the regular season — and I noted that I’m especially fading them against teams with elite big men. (Oh hello, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James, for that matter.)

Sorry, but the Rockets have no answer for either of those guys, and sometimes it really is that simple. Frankly, I don’t expect this game to even be close. Get ready for a fully Friday of Stephen A. Smith yelling “SMALL BALL JUST CAN’T WORK AGAINST THE BEST TEAMS, MAX!!”

Matt Moore: Don’t Expect an Offensive Explosion From the Lakers

Can you switch everything vs. this Lakers team? That’s the question. I think you can. If you switch, they’re going to want to feed Anthony Davis in the post and if they’re feeding Davis in the post ,they’re not running any of their way-more-efficient options offensively.

Houston is currently set up to shoot an even higher volume of 3’s than normal. That’s going to give the Rockets a fighting chance, but then you’re hinging your luck on the team that’s 23rd in catch-and-shoot efficiency this season.

Instead, a counter-proposal. The Lakers’ team total is set at 123. That’s crazy high. I don’t love the Covington move for a number of reasons, especially getting rid of Capela. But I do like the idea of switching everything vs. this Lakers team and making them play one-on-one. So I’m staying away from the side and the total, and playing the under on the Lakers’ total at 123.


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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