Trail Blazers vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, March 25 (Trust Houston)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Houston Rockets-Portland Trail Blazers matchup in the NBA on Monday night.
Houston Rockets guard Fred VanVleet.
Houston Rockets guard Fred VanVleet. / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have won eight straight games and nine of their last 10, storming back into the conversation for a play-in spot in the process.

Houston is just one game back of the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament standings entering Monday night’s matchup with the lowly Portland Trail Blazers. 

Portland has dropped six games in a row, and the team is certainly more focused about its positioning in the NBA’s draft lottery than it is about making the playoffs at this point in the season.

With the Rockets thriving – even with Alperen Sengun out – should we bet on them as massive favorites on Monday night? 

Remember, the Rockets won’t have Jabari Smith Jr. either on Monday after he was suspended for his altercation with Kris Dunn in the team's win over the Utah Jazz. 

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Here’s a look at the odds and my best bet for this matchup in the Western Conference: 

Trail Blazers vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Trail Blazers vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Monday, March 25
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to watch (TV): Root Sports Northwest, AT&T SportsNet Southwest
  • Blazers record: 19-52
  • Rockets record: 35-35

Trail Blazers vs. Rockets injury reports

Blazers injury report

  • Deandre Ayton – questionable
  • Malcolm Brogdon – out
  • Jerami Grant – doubtful 
  • Justin Minaya – questionable
  • Shaedon Sharpe – out
  • Anfernee Simons – questionable
  • Matisse Thybulle – questionable
  • Robert Williams III – out

Rockets injury report

  • Steven Adams – out
  • Nate Hinton – out
  • Jermaine Samuels Jr. – out
  • Tari Eason – out
  • Cam Whitmore – out
  • Alperen Sengun – out
  • Jabari Smith Jr. – out

Trail Blazers vs. Rockets key players to watch

Portland Trail Blazers

Scoot Henderson: The No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft had a big game against Denver his last time out, scoring 22 points and dishing out six dimes, his second straight games with 20 or more points. Is Henderson finally finding his footing in the NBA? He’s averaging 14.3 points and 5.6 assists per game this month, although he’s still shooting just 38.2 percent from the field. 

Houston Rockets

Fred VanVleet: Want a crazy stat? The Houston Rockets are 34-29 with Fred VanVleet in the lineup this season and 1-6 without him. FVV has made a major impact in his first season in Houston, averaging 16.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game while shooting 39.0 percent from 3. 

Trail Blazers vs. Rockets prediction and pick

I’m all in on Houston on this winning streak for several reasons, starting with the team’s defense. 

Ime Udoka has done a masterful job turning around this Rockets team – which was one of the worst defenses in the NBA last season – posting the No. 9 defensive rating in the league, which jumps to No. 5 in the league when at home.

That’s going to be an issue for a Portland team that could be down Ayton, Simons and Grant in this game, all three veteran players that the team relies on to carry the offense. Even if they play, the Rockets still should have the advantage at home. 

Houston has been elite at Toyota Center, going 25-11 straight up and covering the spread in 13 of 19 games as a home favorite (13-5-1) this season. 

Even though Portland is 18-15 against the spread as a road underdog, I’m laying the points with the Rockets tonight. 

Pick: Rockets -12.5 (-110)

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.