Houston Rockets vs LA Lakers Game 1 Predictions, Odds & Picks

  • The Houston Rockets are coming off of a seven-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • The last time the Los Angeles Lakers played was on August 29th.
  • The Lakers and the Rockets have met eight times previously in NBA Playoffs history.

Rockets vs Lakers Odds

Team Point Spread Total Money Line
Houston Rockets +6.5 -110 O 225 -112 +205
Los Angeles Lakers -6.5 -110 U 225 -109 -250

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Rockets vs Lakers Predictions and Picks

Coming off of a seven-game series with only one day of rest since, the Houston Rockets look to be at a decided disadvantage against the Los Angeles Lakers. We expect the Lakers to come out of the gate fast.


Los Angeles Lakers def. Houston Rockets -250

How to Watch Rockets vs Lakers

Rockets vs Lakers Information
What Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers
Where ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL
When Friday, September 4th, 2020; 9:00 PM EST
How to Watch/Listen Watch on ESPN+ here!

Head-to-Head: Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers

Houston Rockets Head-to-Head Los Angeles Lakers
Mike D’Antoni Head Coach Frank Vogel
44-28 (4th in West, 8th Overall) Standing 52-19 (1st in West, 3rd Overall)
W-L-W-L Form W-W-W-W
112.9 (6th of 30) Off Rtg 112.0 (11th of 30)
110.1 (14th of 30) Def Rtg 106.3 (3rd of 30)
103.7 (3rd of 30) Pace 100.9 (11th of 30)

Playoff Leaders (Per Game)

J. Harden (29.7) PPG A. Davis (29.8)
P. Tucker (7.7) RPG L. James (10.2)
J. Harden (8.0) APG L. James (10.2)
R. Covington (2.4) SPG A. Caruso (1.6)
R. Covington (1.6) BPG A. Davis (1.6)
J. Green (.507)/J. Harden (9.4) FG%/FGM J. McGee (.714)/A. Davis (10.2)
R. Covington (.500)/J. Harden (3.6) 3P%/3PM Q. Cook (.500)/T-Caldwell-Pope, James (2.6)

Can Houston’s Pace Outdo the Lakers?

The Houston Rockets had a difficult matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. Young, capable, and full of intent, the Thunder were able to keep up with Houston’s deadly pace and pushed them to seven games. Against the Lakers, the Rockets will have to contend with an even more talented group.

Already small on the inside, the Rockets will have to deal with two of the league’s most dangerous inside presences in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While the Thunder big men weren’t particularly adept offensively, Los Angeles poses a particularly difficult match at the rim.

While the defense is key, mounting an all-out offensive against the Lakers will be crucial for the Rockets. They shot just 35.9% from three, despite converting on about 18 three-point field goals per game. Getting off to a strong start will be the best way for the Rockets to stave off the Lakers.

Can the Lakers’ Defence Contain the Rockets?

You can almost feel bad for the Los Angeles Lakers’ backcourt. After playing Portland and their dynamic scoring backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, they’ll now have to contend with the Rockets’ MVP pair of James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers did a solid job against the Trail Blazers in the first round, holding their opponents to 42.6% from the field and 37.9% from three. While Los Angeles still has a lot to work on, they can expect a similar barrage three from the Houston Rockets.

Contending with Houston’s small-ball lineup will be crucial to the Lakers’ success. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will likely dominate the paint no matter what, but how the likes of Javale McGee and Dwight Howard handle Houston’s small-ball lineup may decide the series.

Rockets Key Player: (G) Russell Westbrook

Former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook only debuted in the 2020 Playoffs in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round, but he slowly improved his production and efficiency as the series wore on.

In three playoff games, Westbrook averaged 14.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 41.7% shooting from the field. In a closeout Game 7 against the Thunder, Westbrook had his best match with 20 points and nine rebounds on 9-20 shooting from the field.

Westbrook can be the break starter that Houston sorely needed against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Considering the Lakers’ advantage in the half-court, Westbrook’s ability to push the pace will be incredibly valuable.

Lakers Key Player: (G) Danny Green

Two-time NBA Champion Danny Green has been receiving a significant amount of criticism as of late. While his defensive effort stand, his contributions on the offensive end of the court have been far too inconsistent.

In his first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Danny Green shot an average of 22.3% from three in Games 1, 2, and 5. In Games 3 and 4, Green was more efficient by shooting a combined five of nine from deep.

Green’s defensive prowess on Harden and Westbrook will be key. But with the attention that Davis and James create, Green must make an impact on the offensive end.

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Cesar Hernandez

Expert on Soccer

Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]