Warriors vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction, pick and odds for Thursday, April 4 (Back Houston as a home underdog)

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

Apr 2, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Houston Rockets forward Jeff Green (32) rebounds against the Timberwolves.
Apr 2, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Houston Rockets forward Jeff Green (32) rebounds against the Timberwolves. / Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

A late-season surge might not be enough for Houston to rally and make the NBA playoffs. The Rockets still have an outside shot at the play-in tournament, but Thursday is a must-win game at home. Houston trails Golden State by three games for the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference and the two will square off Thursday at Toyota Center. 

Less than a week ago, Houston had won 11 straight games but has dropped two tough games to playoff squads since, falling to Dallas on Sunday and Minnesota on Tuesday. Golden State, meanwhile, is coming off a solid victory over the Mavericks for its fifth consecutive win. Can Golden State pull away as a road favorite on Thursday? Here’s the betting preview for the matchup with a best bet. 

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Warriors vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Warriors vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, April 4 
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Warriors record: 41-34
  • Rockets record: 38-37

Warriors vs. Rockets injury report

Golden State Warriors

  • Jonathan Kuminga (knee): questionable
  • Gary Payton II (ankle): probable
  • Dario Saric (knee): out 

Houston Rockets

  • Steven Adams (knee): out
  • Tari Eason (tibia): out
  • Alperen Sengun (ankle): out 

Warriors vs. Rockets key players to watch

Golden State Warriors

Andrew Wiggins: Golden State’s offense didn’t have its best performance in the win over Dallas as the Splash Brothers combined to shoot 10-of-32 from the floor. Wiggins picked up the slack, though, finishing with a team-high 23 points on 8-of-16 performance with a trio of 3-pointers. Wiggins has now scored 20-plus in three of his last four outings. He’s averaging 13 points per game this season. 

Houston Rockets

Jabari Smith Jr.: The former No. 3 overall pick is averaging close to a double-double per game this season (13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds) while shooting 45.4% from the field. Smith turned in 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting against an elite Minnesota defense on Tuesday. He’s combined for 46 points on 16-of-28 shooting over the last two games. 

Warriors vs. Rockets prediction and pick

Houston’s 11-game winning streak brought to light a great turnaround season for the Rockets under first-year Ime Udoka. Houston averaged just 19.6 wins per year between 2021-2023 but is now playing meaningful basketball in April for the first time since the final season of the Mike D’Antoni era. 

Houston, which had a preseason win total (over/under) of 31.5, is now desperate to keep that momentum following back-to-back losses. Golden State has been great in this spot, going 13-5 ATS as a road favorite. However, Houston’s dominance at home this season is too much to ignore. The Rockets are an NBA-best 26-11-1 ATS at home this season. They have a pair of close losses under their belt against the Warriors this season, but you’re likely getting the underdog Rockets at a discount after two losses and Golden State’s big win over Dallas. 

Houston is a top-10 scoring defense in the NBA this season and No. 6 in home scoring, permitting just 110 points a night. The Rockets excel on the perimeter as the No. 2 defense against triples, which matches up well against a Golden State offense that shoots the third-most 3-pointers per game in the NBA (39.1). Houston is the more desperate team as it clings to hopes of getting into the play-in tournament. Back the Rockets at home. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.