Thunder vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for Sunday, Feb. 25 (Can Houston cover?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Oklahoma City Thunder-Houston Rockets matchup on Sunday, Feb. 25.
Houston Rockets guard Fred VanVleet (5) celebrates.
Houston Rockets guard Fred VanVleet (5) celebrates. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are right where they want to be on Sunday – at home – for a key matchup with the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder. 

OKC sits in the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference, just half a game back of the Minnesota Timberwolves entering Sunday’s action. Houston, on the other hand, is 12th in the West and outside of the playoff picture. 

The Rockets have been dreadful on the road (5-22) this season, but the team is one of the best home teams in the NBA. Even with the Rockets set as underdogs at Toyota Center tonight, can they be a valuable team to bet on? 

If you’re looking to bet on any game in the NBA tonight, FanDuel Sportsbook has an amazing promotional offer. New users who sign up with the link below and wager $5 will receive $150 in bonus bets -- if their bet wins.

Sign up for FanDuel now!

Let’s dive into the latest odds, and my best bet, for this matchup: 

Thunder vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Thunder vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, Feb. 25
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Oklahoma, AT&T SportsNet Southwest
  • Thunder record: 39-17
  • Rockets record: 25-31

Thunder vs. Rockets injury reports

Thunder injury report

  • Adam Flagler – out
  • Ousmane Dieng – out
  • Keyontae Johnson – out

Rockets injury report

  • Steven Admas – out
  • Tari Eason – out
  • Jermaine Samuels Jr. – out
  • Nate Hinton – out

Thunder vs. Rockets key players to watch

Oklahoma City Thunder

Jalen Williams: After missing three games due to injury, Williams has been great for the Thunder in his last six, posting multiple 30-point games over that stretch. He’s shooting the lights out (54.5 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from 3) on the season. OKC’s offensive success depends on a lot of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s play, but Williams is clearly No. 2 in line in this offense. 

Houston Rockets

Fred VanVleet: After missing five games, FVV returned to the lineup on Feb. 22, but he struggled scoring just seven points. However, the game after he dropped 23 in an upset win over the Phoenix Suns. Houston is just 1-6 when FVV doesn’t play, so it’s clear the veteran point guard is a difference maker for this young Houston team. 

Thunder vs. Rockets prediction and pick

If there is one weakness with this OKC team from a betting perspective (the Thunder are one of the best teams in the league against the spread) it comes as a road favorite. 

The Thunder are just 8-8 ATS in that spot, and now they take on one of the best teams in the NBA at home – especially as home underdogs – in Houston. 

The Rockets come into this game with the second-best ATS mark as a home dog in the league, going 10-4 in 14 games. The team is also 20-9 straight up at home, a shocking mark since it has just five road wins all season. 

I’ve written about this before, but the key for Houston is the team’s defense at home. When at Toyota Center, the Rockets rank No. 2 in the NBA in defensive rating (108.4). On the road, the Rockets rank 18th in defensive rating (117.4). That’s nearly a 10-point difference per 100 possessions.  

It may seem like a simple handicap, but Houston’s improved defense, and the return of FVV, should keep the team in this one at home. Until the Thunder start covering more as road favorites (they have some bad outright losses, including on to Detroit in this spot), I’ll take the points. 

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.