The Houston Rockets (15-42) visit Crypto.com Arena Thursday to take on the Los Angeles Clippers (29-31). Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Rockets vs. Clippers odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Rockets are coming off a 124-121 loss to the Phoenix Suns Wednesday, easily covering the spread as 16.5-point road underdogs. It was Houston’s first cover in its last 6 games.
The Rockets are last in the Western Conference, and surprisingly were not sellers at the trade deadline. C Christian Wood leads the Rockets in scoring and rebound with 17.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, respectively.
The Rockets are 23-33-1 against the spread (ATS), while the Clippers are 29-31 ATS.
Los Angeles is also 17-13 straight up at home. While the Clippers have covered 3 straight games, most recently losing 103-96 but covering as 12-point underdogs at Phoenix Tuesday, they’re just 5-5 ATS over their last 10 outings.
Rockets at Clippers 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 5 p.m. ET.
Money line: Rockets +470 (bet $100 to win $470) | Clippers -700 (bet $700 to win $100)
Against the spread: Rockets +10.5 (-105) | Clippers -10.5 (-120)
Over/Under (O/U): 227.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
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Rockets at Clippers key injuries
SG Eric Gordon (groin) out
SG Kevin Porter Jr. (illness) doubtful
SF Norman Powell (foot) out
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Rockets at Clippers odds, lines, picks and predictions
Clippers 113, Rockets 108
The Rockets are just 7-24 on the road, while the Clippers are 17-13 at home. The only playable side is Houston (+470) as the Clippers (-700) are just far too expensive.
Against the spread
BET the ROCKETS +10.5 (-105).
I like the Clippers, but I don’t see this being a double-figure game most of the time. Recently trading for the injured Powell, the Clippers will be down a key scorer.
On top of that, the Clippers two key defenders are SF Marcus Morris and PF Robert Covington. For Houston, its four top scorers are either guards or Wood, who players center.
The Clippers’ covering success as of late has been because they haven’t been getting crushed, more than 5-point underdogs in all 3 games which they’ve covered. They’re 0-2 ATS as favorites over their last 10.
The Clippers sit 19th in net rating with the Rockets 29th. Lastly, the Rockets’ main issues come from their inability to defend, ranking last in defensive rating.
Los Angeles, which is 26th in offensive rating, won’t be able to abuse that weakness. In turn, that should keep this game close.
Both teams have hit the Over in 7 of their last 10. However, I don’t see the Rockets playing their style of basketball in this game. The Rockets rank 2nd in pace.
If the Clippers control the pace, the Under should be the better play, but there’s no guarantee their defense will be able to limit a team that loves to play in transition.
I’d stick to Houston and that wide spread in this one.
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