Bulls vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, March 21 (Rockets stay dominant at home)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Bulls-Rockets.

Mar 19, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) makes a drive to the rim against Washington.
Mar 19, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) makes a drive to the rim against Washington. / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Here comes Houston? 

No one told the Rockets to pack it in for the NBA Draft. Houston has played its way into the NBA Play-In Tournament conversation after a six-game winning streak (8-1 in its last nine contests). The Rockets are still three games back of the No. 10 Warriors for the final play-in spot. Can they keep that momentum as a small favorite against the Bulls? 

Despite a sub–.500 record, Chicago is currently in the Play-In at the No. 9 spot in the top-heavy Eastern Conference. The Bulls still have a 3.5-game lead over Atlanta for that position and have won three of their last four following a Monday’s home win over the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Here’s the betting breakdown of the matchup with a best bet recommendation. 

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Bulls vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Bulls vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 21 
  • Game time: 8 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Bulls record: 34-35
  • Rockets record: 33-35

Bulls vs. Rockets injury report

Chicago Bulls

  • Coby White (hip): questionable
  • Alex Caruso (ankle): questionable
  • Julian Phillips (foot): out

Houston Rockets

  • Cam Whitmore (knee): out
  • Alperen Sengun (ankle): out

Bulls vs. Rockets key players to watch

Chicago Bulls

Ayo Dosunmu: The former second-round pick is averaging 11.4 points per game but has put up 16.3 points per game in 10 games this month. Dosunmu is coming off two of his best performances of the season, pouring in 34 points and 9 assists in Saturday’s win over Washington and a 23-point, 10-assist double-double in Monday’s victory over Portland. 

Houston Rockets

Jalen Green: Speaking of big-time scoring, Green is averaging 26.6 points per game in March and has helped fuel Houston’s current winning streak. Over the last three games, Green has scored 105 points on 36-of-64 shooting and is coming off back-to-back double-doubles. He’s made 18 three-pointers in that span, as well. 

Bulls vs. Rockets prediction and pick

Chicago beat up on a pair of bad teams over its last two games (Washington and Portland), but a step up in class is bad news for Thursday night’s tilt inside the Toyota Center. 

Houston stays hot in this spot, using its defense to suffocate a Chicago offense that is No. 24 in effective field goal percentage and plays at the second-slowest tempo in the NBA. With possessions at a premium, Chicago has to rely on knocking down shots, something it’s struggled to do this season and will face a Houston defense that is No. 4 in opposing shooting percentage (45.3%) at home this season

The Rockets have been excellent in this spot, too. Houston is 11-5-1 ATS as a home favorite this season and is 12-5-1 ATS with a rest disadvantage. Houston’s defense is No. 1 in the NBA in fast-break points allowed and top-10 in both points in the paint and second-chance points allowed. They can set the tone while its offense pulls away as a small favorite. Back the Rockets at home. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.