NBA Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers VS Houston Rockets Pick and Predictions 03/15/2023

by James Q

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023

NBA Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers VS Houston Rockets Pick and Predictions 03/15/2023

Game: 8:10 PM ET,  Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston Texas
TV:  NBA League Pass
Season Record
Lakers: 34-35, 10th place Western Conference
Rockets: 16-52, 15th place Western Conference

Opening NBA odds at USA Sportsbooks

BetMGM:  Point Spread: Lakers -3.5, O/U 230.5
PointsBet: Point Spread: Lakers -3, O/U 230.5
Fanduel: Point Spread:  Lakers -3.5, O/U 231

Starting Five:

Lakers: PG D’Angelo Russell, SG Malik Beasley, SF Troy Brown JR, PF Jarred vanderbilt, C Anthony Davis

Rockets: PG Kevin Porter JR, SG Jalen Green, SF Kenyon Martin JR, PF Jabari Smith JR, C Alperen Sengun

A Western Conference tickle fight at best.  The Houston Rockets are the worst team in the league depending on how badly the Pistons are doing on any given day.  They are that way by design.  They start 5 players of incredible inexperience and have no solid players coming off the bench to give them rest.  The entire team is a developmental project that is currently suffering on defense when they are not suffering on offense.  That is on purpose… That way they can land a few more ping pong balls in order to “luck out” in the draft lottery.  They will only improve the team if and when they have the right young superstar to build around… The recent high draft picks of PF Jabari Smith JR and SG Jalen Green… aren’t that guy.  Actually if the tea leaves are read properly BOTH those guys are available in draft day trades for MORE picks if the Rockets win the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. So they will not be competitive in any game the rest of the year.  The Los Angeles Lakers are in a different boat entirely.  They struggled all year long until the rest of the league bailed them out at the trade deadline by giving them “actual role players” for busted, used up, former superstar Russell Westbrook and a couple of useless future draft picks (3 second and 1 first).  Since the deadline the 13th place Lakers have risen to 9th place and won 8 of 11 games… even after team and league Superstar LeBron James went down with injury and most likely will not return unless the team is playoff bound.  The great betting opportunity here is knowing that the Lakers will get a FREE win in this game and then comparing the spread to that likelihood.

The Los Angeles Lakers have won 7 of their last 10 games.  They have been on a tear since the trade deadline.  They went 7-3 ATS during that stretch.  They won their last game against the New Orleans Pelicans (who are chronically without Zion Williamson) 123-108. In that game the Lakers got 35 points & 17 rebounds from C Anthony Davis, 24 points from SG Malik Beasley, and 17 points from PG D’Angelo Russell.  The Lakers also doubly destroyed the Pelicans since the Pelicans have the right to swap picks with the Lakers this year… but the Lakers have passed them in the standings.. Which renders that swap useless.

The Houston Rockets have won 3 of their last 10 games.  They got a magical win over the Boston Celtics in their last game… as Boston bungled a -13 point spread… to lose the game outright!  The Rockets got 28 points from SG Jalen Green and 24 points & 11 rebounds from PF Jabari Smith Jr… This very bad team found an ability to hit shots and it took the Celtics by surprise.  The Rockets have the athleticism and basketball is a sport of athleticism.. So when the shots fall… anything can happen.

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Los Angeles Lakers VS Houston Rockets Prediction

Our prediction for Wednesday, March 15th is…. Lakers 118 - Rockets 99

Bet on the Lakers.  The Lakers can rely on the fact that the Rockets have not had back to back good games in about 3 seasons. The kids got lucky against the Celtics… but the Lakers are the #1 defense in the NBA ever since the trade deadline and the Rockets will not be able to handle that type of effort on display.

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NBA Betting Trends

The Lakers are 3-1 ATS versus the Rockets the last 3 seasons.
THe Lakers are 4-1 ATS as a road favorite this season.
The Rockets are 76-112 as a home underdog the last 3 seasons.

Players To Watch

Lakers:  C Anthony Davis.  While Lebron is not playing everything falls on Anthony Davis’s big shoulders.  It should have all fallen there at the beginning of last season, but Anthony came into last season out of shape and quickly got hurt.  This season he has been up and down.  It was firmly LeBron’s plan to “give” the team to Davis.  It is time for AD to live up to those expectations.

Rockets:  PF Jabiri Smith JR.  A very young, very recent high lottery draft pick.  Jabari has the athleticism and size to become something special in this league.  But he has to remember “baby steps”... It should not be about trying to ball out every game… He needs to improve his defensive positioning, effort, and focus.  He needs to learn to make the right plays at the right time. He needs to learn how to play NBA ball… and not AAU ball.


Knicks: Tom “Tubby” Thibodeau
Blazers: Chauncey “ripped and cool” Billups

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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