LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers take on James Harden and the Houston Rockets in Game 3 on Tuesday night in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The teams split the first two games in the best-of-seven clash, with the Lakers aiming to build on their Game 2 victory. James (groin) and Anthony Davis (finger) are listed as probable for the Lakers, with JaVale McGee (ankle) listed as questionable and Dion Waiters (groin) listed as doubtful. The Rockets do not list any injuries.
Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists Los Angeles as a five-point favorite in the Lakers vs. Rockets odds. The over-under is set at 223.5. 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
- Lakers vs. Rockets over-under: 223.5 points
- Lakers vs. Rockets money line: Lakers -200, Rockets +170
- LAL: The Lakers are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
- HOU: The Rockets are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Lakers can cover
The Lakers are a tremendous defensive team, ranking No. 3 in the regular season in allowing only 106.7 points per 100 possessions. Los Angeles continues that elite play in the playoffs, giving up 106.6 points per 100 possessions, and the Lakers have been potent against Houston’s explosive attack through two games.
The Lakers have a significant size advantage and, with that as the backdrop, Los Angeles is also the third-best offensive rebounding team in the playoffs. James and Davis provide the firepower for Los Angeles, with each averaging 26.4 points or more in the postseason, and the team’s role players, headlined by Markieff Morris, connected on an impressive clip from 3-point range in Game 2.
Why the Rockets can cover
Even after a hiccup in Game 2, the Rockets own the third-best defensive rating in the NBA Playoffs 2020. Houston’s small-ball approach is often billed as offense-first, but the Rockets have been notably better on defense than offense in the bubble. Much of that can be attributed to P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington, both of whom create havoc for the opposition.
Offensively, everything runs through Harden, with the NBA’s leading scorer averaging 31.5 points per game in the first two contests. The Rockets will need more from Russell Westbrook, who is currently struggling on the offensive end, but Houston is still the most prolific 3-point shooting team remaining in the playoffs. That is the ultimate equalizer in a small sample size, and Houston is capable of an onslaught as a result.
How to make Lakers vs. Rockets picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with Davis and Jeff Green projected to exceed their regular-season scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Rockets vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Rockets 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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