San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets Prediction: Wemby and Sengun Clash in Battle of Young Centers

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 5, 2024
5 min read

The San Antonio Spurs (13-48) will make the three-hour trip across Texas to take on the Houston Rockets (26-34) in a showcase between two of the league’s best young centers on Tuesday.

San Antonio is just 6-27 away from home but recorded back-to-back wins against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers, two quality teams that were playing well leading up to tip-off.

Houston, as has been the case nearly all year, can hang around the top teams but struggle to pull out wins late in games. They won just three of their last 12 games but they were victorious against the Phoenix Suns their last time on the court.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Spurs vs. Rockets matchup.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets Prediction

Spurs vs. Rockets Betting Odds for Monday, March 5

The Spurs are 30-31 (49.2%) against the spread and 15-17 (46.9%) ATS as a road underdog, though they covered in five of their last six games.

The Rockets are 30-28-2 (51.7%) ATS and 9-5-1 (64.3%) ATS as a home favorite, yet they only covered in five of their last 12 outings.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
San Antonio Spurs +7.5 (-110) +240 Over 228.5 (-110)
Houston Rockets  -7.5 (-110) -300 Under 228.5 (-110)
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Spurs vs. Rockets Prediction

San Antonio Spurs Preview

The Spurs were terrible for the majority of the season, but their performances are trending slightly upward. They ranked 21st in net rating over their last 10 games, and while that’s still below average, it’s better than the spot they’re used to occupying.

Although San Antonio’s offense is terrible, the defense can cause problems for opponents. They allow just 112.1 points per 100 possessions when Victor Wembanyama is on the court, which would rank sixth if applied to the team and the season as a whole.

Despite that, the team gives up the third-most points in the paint per game. They also surrendered more points off turnovers than any other team, largely because they’re just 23rd in turnover percentage.

No team shoots the three worse than the Spurs do (34.7%). However, they went 29-64 (45.3%) from long range in their last two games, which is a major reason why they are one win away from their longest win streak of the season.

The Spurs’ average point differential per 100 possessions (-7.8) falls to -9.8 when they are on the road. They played the Rockets twice already, winning 126-122 at home in the second game of the season and falling 93-82 on the road in December.

While there are plenty of players and points of discussion that could be used to paint the picture of the Spurs, they largely go as Wemby goes. The 20-year-old rookie has averaged 23 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 3.7 blocks on 37.7% three-point shooting since the turn of the year. Even more impressively, he reached those numbers while playing just 27.9 minutes per night, meaning that he is on a per-36 pace hardly accomplished by any player in league history.

Houston Rockets Preview

The Rockets were built around a high floor but have repeatedly crashed into their low ceiling—kind of like Shaquille O’Neal would inside a regular-sized house.

Houston’s net rating of -0.3 is 18th in the league and just won points off of the league average—but despite that, they are eight games below .500 and are likely to miss the Play-In Tournament.

There are a few culprits in the team’s inability to win games. Poor three-point shooting (34.8% - 28th), a lack of rim protection (21st in points in the paint allowed per game), and a significant drop-off in defense in clutch situations (21st in points per possession) are all equally responsible.

What the Rockets do well is apply pressure on the perimeter and disrupt offenses early in possession. But despite ranking fourth in fastbreak points, they’re only 20th in points off turnovers.

Houston’s net rating jumps to +5.6 (ninth) when they play at home, where they’re 20-10 straight-up. 

In their home win against the Spurs, they held their opponent to 35.6% shooting from the field and 12.2% from beyond the arc. Their shooting splits were also unimpressive but they were enough to get them over the finish line.

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Spurs vs. Rockets Betting Pick

Wembanyama is questionable to play in this game with shoulder discomfort, and all bets are off if he does not play.

Houston allows the third-lowest three-point percentage (34.8%) which will put San Antonio’s recent hot shooting to the test. But while Alperen Sengun is a talented young player, he’s not much of a deterrent at the rim and will have a tough time slowing down Wemby and the Spurs’ guards on their drives.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Houston won, but we like the Spurs with the points in what figures to be a low-scoring slugfest.

How to Watch Spurs vs. Rockets on 3/5/24

When: Tuesday, 7:00/8:00 p.m. CT/ET

Where: Toyota Center, Houston, TX

TV: NBA League Pass

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Grant Mitchell

Sports Betting Analyst & On-Air Host

Expertise:
NBA
NCAAB
NCAAF
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Online Sports Betting
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field. In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Sports Media and Analytics
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
Experience:
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