Rockets vs. Grizzlies NBA expert prediction and odds for Friday, Dec. 15

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Houston Rockets-Memphis Grizzlies matchup.
Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr.
Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies matchup for the third time this season on Friday, and this is the second time this week these teams have played. 

Houston won by 13 – at home – in the last meeting between these teams on Wednesday night, and they also won the first meeting by 20 points.

So, why is Friday’s game expected to be much closer in the eyes of oddsmakers with a 3.5-point spread? Well, Houston has been a much different team on the road, going just 1-8 straight up in nine games despite posting an 11-1 record at home. 

Can Ime Udoka’s group shake the road woes to beat the Grizzlies in what is an extremely winnable game on Friday? 

Here's a look at the odds and my best bet for this contest: 

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Rockets vs. Grizzlies odds, spread and total

Rockets vs. Grizzlies how to watch

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 15
  • Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: FedExForum
  • How to Watch (TV): AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports Southeast
  • Rockets Record: 12-9
  • Grizzlies Record: 6-17

Rockets vs. Grizzlies injury reports

Houston Rockets injury report

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

Memphis Grizzlies injury report

  • Steven Adams – out
  • Ja Morant – out
  • Marcus Smart – out
  • Brandon Clarke – out
  • Desmond Bane – questionable
  • GG Jackson – out
  • Luke Kennard – out

Rockets vs. Grizzlies key players to watch

Houston Rockets

Tari Eason: Over the last two games, Eason has been an absolute beast for the Rockets. He scored 25 points and added 14 rebounds in the matchup with the Grizzlies, and the game before he put up 18 points and 14 boards against San Antonio. The former first-round pick is a huge presence off the bench for Houston this season. 

Memphis Grizzlies 

Jaren Jackson Jr.: JJJ gave Houston fits on Wednesday, scoring 44 points (Memphis had just 104 as a team) in the 13-point loss. The Rockets benefited from Desmond Bane missing Wednesday’s game, but if he doesn’t play on Friday then JJJ could be in for another massive workload. 

Rockets vs. Grizzlies prediction and pick

The Rockets have not been good on the road this season, but they are 4-4-1 against the spread in their nine road tilts. 

Bane’s status is going to be massive in this game, as he gives Memphis another 20-point per game scorer that could really swing things. 

Still, I can’t get behind the Grizzlies at this shortened number. Memphis has been awful this season, ranking 24th in net rating and 29th in offensive rating. Houston, on the other hand, has the No. 2 defense in the league. 

That is a stylistic nightmare for the Grizzlies, who haven’t done well as home underdogs in the 2023-24 season. 

Memphis is just 2-5 against the spread in those matchups, losing by an average margin of 12.3 points per game. 

I’ll take Houston to cover the 3.5 and get a second road win on Friday. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.