This will be the final meeting between these two teams this season. The Lakers took the first two games of the season series by a combined 35 points. Los Angeles will be raising the championship banner and LeBron James will be making his return to the court. It seems like it could be a special night in L.A.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Rockets-Lakers odds.
NBA Odds: Rockets-Lakers Odds
Houston Rockets +13 (-110)
Los Angeles Lakers -13 (-110)
Over 224.5 Points (-110)
Under 224.5 Points (-110)
Why The Rockets Could Cover The Spread
The Rockets seem to be well on their way to receiving a top-three pick in this year’s NBA Draft. They’ve won a grand total of 16 games on the season and with their remaining schedule, that’s likely where they will end up. Houston has already clinched the worst record in the NBA this season. Why not play a little spoiler in Los Angeles?
We’ve seen over the past few games that this team is still competing hard, despite the clear lack of talent. They’ve been covering these double-digit spreads against upper-echelon teams pretty regularly. The Rockets are averaging 125.5 points per game over their last four, but they lost all of them because of their lack of competency on the defensive end of the floor. With so many injuries, the talented young guns are basically auditioning for playing time next season.
Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread
The Lakers are crawling out of the gutter with two huge wins in a row against the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks. LeBron has been out of action during the two-game winning streak, which has left Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma responsible for carrying the load. After missing five straight games following his attempted return from a 20-game absence, LeBron will give it another go against the Rockets.
AD is another Laker who has missed a large chunk of the season. Since his return, Davis has been nothing short of amazing. In the past four games that Davis played in without LeBron, he averaged 30 points and nine rebounds. Kuzma has been another hero for Los Angeles recently as he led the way with 23 points in the overtime win against the Knicks.
The motivation is clearly there for Los Angeles, too. Several Lakers have come out and voiced their displeasure with the play-in format. If they weren’t in this position, would they still be so vocal? Probably not. But they’re just a game back of the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks, and they’d love to move past one or both of those teams.
Final Rockets-Lakers Prediction & Pick
The Rockets make it very difficult to pick a side in this game. They undoubtedly deserve to be huge underdogs, but their recent play shows that they don’t play down to that. Houston is exciting in a strange, unexciting way. They scrap and stick around with the best of them. With LeBron back on the court, Los Angeles will only get better on both ends. The Lakers should and will win this game. I’m more confident that we will see a regression from the Rockets offensively, and the sample size is too small to say that the Lakers will score in bunches.
FINAL PICK: Under 224.5 Points (-110)