The New Orleans Pelicans (20-32) wrap up a four-game road trip Sunday with the first of two straight games against the Houston Rockets (15-37). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET at Toyota Center. Below, we look at the Pelicans vs. Rockets odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Pelicans are 2-1 on their road trip and have picked up wins in their last two games, beating the Detroit Pistons 111-101 Tuesday and the Denver Nuggets 113-105 Friday. They had previously lost four straight outings but have split their last 12 games overall.
The Rockets are coming off a 131-106 blowout road loss to the San Antonio Spurs Friday. Houston has lost five of its last six games and its eight home wins on the season (8-16) are tied for the second-fewest in the NBA.
Pelicans at Rockets odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 10:55 a.m. ET.
Money line: Pelicans -220 (bet $220 to win $100) | Rockets +175 (bet $175 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Pelicans -5.5 (-107) | Rockets +5.5 (-115)
Over/Under (O/U): 230.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
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Pelicans at Rockets key injuries
F Josh Hart (knee) questionable
C Willie Hernangomez (health and safety protocols) out
G Kira Lewis (knee) out
F Didi Louzada (health and safety protocols) out
G Garrett Temple (health and safety protocols) out
F Zion Williamson (foot) out
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Pelicans at Rockets odds, lines, picks and predictions
Rockets 117, Pelicans 111
The Rockets beat the Pelicans at home 118-108 Dec. 5 in their first meeting this season. F Brandon Ingram scored 40 for the Pelicans, but G Eric Gordon and C Christian Wood each scored 23 for the Rockets who had six players score 10 or more points.
The Rockets are 8-16 at home and the Pelicans are 9-19 on the road, including two straight road wins.
The Rockets’ 115-104 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday snapped an 11-game home losing skid.
The Pelicans aren’t likely to keep up this pace on the road when you look at the entirety of the season and, while Houston is bad at home, they are likely to pick up a win here against a team that struggles away from home and against a team they have already beaten.
I like the value of the money line for Houston here. Take the ROCKETS (+175).
Against the spread
Both teams have covered the spread five times in their last 10 games. The Rockets are 8-16 ATS at home and the Pelicans are 12-16 ATS on the road.
Houston is 3-8 ATS at home against sub-.500 teams and New Orleans is 2-5 ATS on the road against teams under .500.
I am going to stick with the idea that the Rockets win outright since neither team is a clear bet. The money line is the best bet but if you want to hedge with some insurance take the ROCKETS +5.5 (-115).
The Rockets allow the most points in the league at 117.0 points per game. The Pelicans allow 109.4.
Four of the Rockets’ last five games have finished with more than 230 total points, but only one of the last 11 games for the Pelicans has gone over that number.
This projected total is too high.
Take UNDER 230.5 (-107).
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