Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers – NBA, September 4, 2020
The Houston Rockets have barely made it through Round 1 of the NBA playoffs after eliminating the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games. They didn’t have a lot of time to recover and prepare for the opening game against the Los Angeles Lakers, who are the favorites to take a 1-0 lead on Friday. The Game 1 tip-off is set at 9 PM ET.
These conference foes have met on three occasions this season, including once here in the Orlando bubble, and the Rockets are leading the series 2-1. Have a look at my Rockets vs. Lakers betting prediction.
Rockets vs. Lakers Odds
|Rockets to win||+229|
|Lakers to win||-250|
According to the top betting sites in the US, the Lakers are -6 favorites to start this Western Conference Round 2 with a victory.
Perhaps this spread would be lower if the Rockets didn’t play a game on Wednesday, while the Lakers had enough time to prepare for this game, which will be discussed later when I give the prediction. The total is set at 225.5, and you might consider betting on Over, as two of three H2Hs in this campaign went Over.
Houston prevailed in the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, interestingly, it wasn’t the Rockets’ high-flying offense that gets them through. It was their defense, or Oklahoma’s poor execution in the dying seconds of Game 7, depends on the angle of view. The Rockets were 2-point up after Danilo Gallinari hit only one of two free-throws, with the ball in the Thunder’s possession. However, the Rockets’ D didn’t let Shai Gilgeous-Alexander find a player with an inbound pass, and that moment decided the series.
Mike D’Antoni’s side was terrible from the floor, shooting only 39.8%, but they scored 17 triples opposite 18 2-point shots. On the defensive end, Houston surprisingly excelled; the Rockets committed 12 turnovers compared to Oklahoma’s 21 and recorded six more steals (11-5).
Robert Covington led the Rockets with a double-double of 21 points and team-high ten rebounds, along with three steals, and game-high four blocks. Eric Gordon scored 21, Russell Westbrook added 20 points and nine boards, while James Harden impressed with one of his best defensive displays of the season.
Interestingly, the Beard ended the game as the 4th scorer on his team, but he dished out nine assists and contributed defensively with three rejections and two thefts.
Los Angeles lost the opening game of the Round 1 series against the Portland Trail Blazers but controlled it since and won four consecutive games to advance to the Western Conference Semis.
Anthony Davis and LeBron James dominated in Game 4 with combined 79 points. James posted a triple-double of 36 points, ten rebounds, and ten assists, while Davis had 43 points and nine boards. The Lakers clearly sent a message to the Rockets and showed them what they will have to deal with.
Prediction and Pick
Now, let’s continue with the story I mentioned in the odds section. Houston lost a lot of energy in Game 7 victory over the Thunder, and the Rockets are also emotionally drained. The Lakers, on the other hand, had more than enough time to prepare for this clash, physically, mentally, and tactically.
I believe the Rockets will still be under the impression of their latest game, and that’s why I am backing the Lakers to win and cover the spread here.
Los Angeles Lakers -6-110
Hopefully, my Rockets vs. Lakers betting prediction helped you in making your pick, and you can check out more of them on our daily NBA picks page.