Clippers vs. Rockets odds, line, spread: 2020 NBA picks, March 5 predictions from proven model on 49-31 run

The Los Angeles Clippers (42-19) and the Houston Rockets (39-21) will square off in a potential Western Conference playoff preview on Thursday evening. The Clippers are venturing into a hostile environment and attempting to keep a five-game winning streak alive. DeMarre Carroll (illness) is questionable for the Rockets. 

Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET at Toyota Center. Sportsbooks list Houston as a one-point home favorite, unchanged from the opening line, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 236.5 in the latest Clippers vs. Rockets odds. Before making any Rockets vs. Clippers picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned almost $4,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season. It also entered Week 20 a blistering 49-31 on all top-rated NBA spread picks this season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Clippers vs. Rockets. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and trends for Rockets vs. Clippers:

  • Clippers vs. Rockets spread: Rockets -1
  • Clippers vs. Rockets over-under: 236.5 points
  • Clippers vs. Rockets money line: Rockets -112, Clippers -107
  • LAC: The Clippers are 4-1 against the spread in the last five games
  • HOU: The Rockets are 4-2-1 against the spread in the last seven games

Why the Clippers can cover

The model knows that the Clippers are a tremendous team on both ends of the floor. Los Angeles is an elite offensive squad, ranking near the top of the league in free-throw rate and offensive rebounding. Houston’s lack of size could prove to be a vulnerability against the Clippers’ attacking style and Los Angeles should be able to maintain efficiency near the rim. 

Defensively, the Clippers are a top-five team in points allowed per possession and they are tremendous in limiting opponent shooting efficiency. Doc Rivers’ team is also very good on the defensive glass and, against a Houston team that does not crash the boards hard on the offensive side, the Clippers should be able to end possessions when they force misses from the Rockets.

Why the Rockets can cover

Even so, Los Angeles isn’t a lock to cover the Clippers vs. Rockets spread. The model has also considered that Houston is perhaps the best offensive team in the NBA currently. The Rockets rank in the top three of the league in offensive efficiency for the full season but, since buying in to their small-ball approach, Houston has been virtually unstoppable.  

James Harden, averaging 34.9 points and 7.4 assists per game, is the engine and Russell Westbrook, averaging 27.5 points per game on increasing efficiency, brings another dynamic to Houston’s offense. On the defensive side, the Rockets are more vulnerable, but they do create turnovers at a tremendous rate and Houston is adept at preventing their opponents from getting to the free-throw line with regularity.

How to make Clippers vs. Rockets picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with Kawhi Leonard and Harden projected to fall short of their scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations.

So who wins Clippers vs. Rockets? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Rockets vs. Clippers spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.  

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