The Houston Rockets (15-43) and Orlando Magic (13-47) begin the second half of their seasons Friday night. Tip-off is 7 p.m. ET at Amway Center. Below, we look at the Rockets vs. Magic odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Rockets, in last place in the Western Conference, lost their final seven games and 11 of their final 12 before the All-Star Break. At 7-25, only two teams in the league have a worse record on the road.
The Magic, in last place in the Eastern Conference, lost four straight games and six of seven games before the break. They have the league’s worst home record at 5-21.
Rockets at Magic 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 8:10 a.m. ET.
Money line: Rockets +145 (bet $100 to win $145) | Magic -180 (bet $180 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Rockets +4.5 (-115) | Magic -4.5 (-107)
Over/Under (O/U): 228.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)
Rockets at Magic key injuries
F Usman Garuba (wrist) out
F Bol Bol (foot) out
G Markelle Fultz (knee) out
F Jonathan Isaac (knee) out
F Moritz Wagner (rib) out
Exclusive USA TODAY Network offer: Deposit $10 or more, get $200 in instant bet credits at Tipico Sportsbook! New customer offer in CO and NJ. 21+, see Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. Place your legal, online sports bets at Tipico. Let’s make this interesting. Bet now!
Rockets at Magic odds, lines, picks and predictions
Rockets 118, Magic 114
The Rockets won the first matchup between the two teams in Houston 118-116 Dec. 3. They have lost six straight road games. They are 8-15 against the Eastern Conference this season.
The Magic have five of their 13 wins this season in their last 13 games but have not won a game at home since Jan. 30, but have only had three home games since then.
Neither team is a reliable play, so I look for the potential value here, leaning ROCKETS (+145).
PLAY: Free, daily sports pick’em contests. Play now!
Against the spread
The Rockets, while they are 23-34-1 ATS on the season, they are 15-16-1 on the road. They have covered the spread in only two of their last 10 games.
The Magic are, in contrast, only 7-19 ATS at home this season, compared to 26-34 ATS overall. They have covered the spread four times in their last 10 contests. This is only the third game all season the Magic have been favored in a game. They are 1-1 ATS in the previous two games.
The matter play is to go with the ROCKETS +4.5 (-112).
This will be an interesting pick because the Rockets allowed the most points in the league, but the Magic score the fewest.
In their first matchup this season, they combined for 234 points.
The Rockets’ final four games before the break, and the Magic’s final three, all finished with totals higher than tonight’s projection.
Take OVER 228.5 (-107).
Bet legally online with a trusted partner: Tipico Sportsbook, Sportsbook Wire’s official sportsbook partner in CO, NJ and soon IA. Bet now!
If you’re looking for more sports betting picks and tips, access all of our content at SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please gamble responsibly.
Follow Jess Root on Twitter. Follow SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Additional NBA sports coverage:
HoopsHype | Celtics Wire | LeBron Wire | Lonzo Wire | Nets Wire | Rockets Wire | Sixers Wire | Thunder Wire | Warriors Wire | Rookie Wire | List Wire
Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).