James Harden and the Houston Rockets aim for a bounce-back win against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday evening. The Rockets, trailing 2-1 in the series, will be looking to even things in Game 4, while the Lakers seek a dominant 3-1 advantage with another victory. The Rockets list Robert Covington (head) as questionable to play in Game 4. The status of Houston’s Danuel House is uncertain going forward as the league is reportedly investigating an alleged violation of COVID-19 policy in the Orlando bubble. Anthony Davis (rib) and JaVale McGee (ankle) are listed as probable for the Lakers. Dion Waiters (groin) is doubtful to play for Los Angeles.

Tip-off in this 2020 NBA Playoffs matchup is 7 p.m. ET. The latest Lakers vs. Rockets odds from William Hill list Los Angeles as the 5.5-point favorite. The over-under for total points expected is 218, down 2.5 points from the opening line. Before making any Rockets vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It’s also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lakers vs. Rockets. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Rockets vs. Lakers:

  • Lakers vs. Rockets spread: Lakers -5.5
  • Lakers vs. Rockets over-under: 218 points
  • Lakers vs. Rockets money line: Lakers -220, Rockets +190
  • Los Angeles: The Lakers are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • Houston: The Rockets are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why the Lakers can cover

The Lakers are a strong two-way team, headlined by two of the best players in the NBA. James, averaging 27.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game in the playoffs, is a problem for any opposing team to deal with on both ends. Davis, averaging 29.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in the postseason, is a matchup nightmare for the Rockets, particularly when P.J. Tucker leaves the floor. As a team, the Lakers are No. 3 in offense during the postseason, scoring 1.146 points per possession, and Los Angeles leads all teams in the conference semifinals in offensive efficiency. 

The Lakers also rank No. 2 in offensive rebounding, No. 3 in effective field-goal percentage and No. 4 in true shooting percentage among playoff teams, illustrating their offensive balance and effectiveness. Defensively, Los Angeles is also stellar, allowing only 1.07 points per possession in the playoffs. The Rockets are an explosive offensive team, but Houston struggles to generate second- chance opportunities, allowing the Lakers to grab defensive rebounds at a high rate and create transition points.

Why the Rockets can cover

Houston is led by an all-world force in Harden, with the NBA’s leading scorer averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game in the postseason. Harden leads a Rockets attack that was one of the best in the league during the regular season, with top-10 marks in effective field-goal percentage, turnover avoidance and free-throw rate. 

Defensively, Houston has been tremendous in the playoffs, ranking third in the NBA in points allowed per possession at 1.05. The Rockets were a top-four team at creating turnovers during the regular season and, in this matchup, that could be an advantage against a Lakers team that turned the ball over on 15 percent of possessions this year. 

How to make Lakers vs. Rockets picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with the simulations projecting nine total players to score in double figures. It also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine. 

So who wins Lakers vs. Rockets? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Rockets vs. Lakers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.

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