Pelicans vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play

Are the Rockets undervalued at home against the shorthanded Pelicans?
Houston Rockets guard Fred VanVleet (5) reacts with guard Jalen Green.
Houston Rockets guard Fred VanVleet (5) reacts with guard Jalen Green. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have won four straight games heading into their first NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play matchup of the season against the New Orleans Pelicans.

New Orleans is already without CJ McCollum and could be without Zion Williamson (questionable) in this game. 

That has led Houston to be favored by oddsmakers, especially after the team blew out the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. 

Are the Rockets starting to show that they can contend for a playoff spot this season? It’s quite possible as they rank No. 5 in the league in net rating through their first seven games. 

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Pelicans vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Pelicans vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Friday, Nov. 10
  • Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to Watch (TV): AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports New Orleans
  • New Orleans Pelicans Record: 4-4
  • Houston Rockets Record: 4-3

Pelicans vs. Rockets injury reports

Pelicans injury report

  • Jose Alvarado – out
  • Herb Jones – questionable
  • E.J. Liddell – out
  • Naji Marshall – doubtful
  • Zion Williamson – questionable
  • CJ McCollum – out
  • Trey Murphy III – out

Rockets injury report

  • Amen Thompson – out
  • Cam Whitmore – out
  • Jermaine Samuels Jr. – out
  • Alperen Sengun – questionable
  • Nate Hinton – out
  • Victor Oladipo – out

Pelicans vs. Rockets key players to watch

New Orleans Pelicans

Jordan Hawkins: Hawkins, the rookie out of UConn, has taken on a bigger scoring load for the Pels with Williamson, McCollum and Murphy III sidelined. He scored 31 points against Denver before dropping 11 in his last game. 

Brandon Ingram: Ingram could be in line for another heavy workload with the Pelicans listing several rotation players on their injury report. BI had 24 points on 11-of-25 shooting against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the team’s last game. 

Houston Rockets

Jalen Green: Jalen Green is coming off a season-high 28 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, and he’s scoring efficiently this season, shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. 

Dillon Brooks: Brooks will likely draw the assignment on Ingram, and he could make things tough on the Pelicans star – especially with the lack of healthy weapons for NOLA. Brooks is having a solid start to the season on both sides of the ball, averaging 14.7 points per game while shooting 53.8 percent from 3. 

Pelicans vs. Rockets prediction and pick

Houston has won four straight games, and the team is an impressive 4-1 at home this season. 

Even if Williamson returns for this game, I like the Rockets to win and cover the spread against this New Orleans team. 

The Rockets come into this game with the No. 5 net rating in the NBA, and they covered in their lone game as a favorite this season. 

Meanwhile, the Pelicans are just 2-2 ATS as underdogs and are down a ton of offense with McCollum already out. 

Houston has been extremely impressive compared to the rest of the NBA this season, and young players like Green may be taking a jump. 

I like the Rockets in this game – especially if Williamson is ruled out. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.