Times have been tough for the Rockets since James Harden forced his way out of Houston in 2020. The team has the worst overall record over the last three seasons, compiling just 59 wins compared to 177 losses. The Rockets’ odds to win this year’s NBA title are the third longest of any team, listed at +50000.
There is hope for Houston if even just a few of its high draft picks can evolve into legitimate NBA talent. Recent first-round selections Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason have all shown improvement at various times since coming to the league. This year’s draft class includes two more first-rounders in Amen Thompson (fourth overall) and Cam Whitmore (20th overall). Both showed tremendous upside in Vegas at Summer League, especially Whitmore, who won tournament MVP.
Houston Rockets odds
View Houston Rockets odds below, including moneyline, point spreads, and totals for their next game.
View Rockets NBA title odds below.
Additions: Dillon Brooks (signed), Jeff Green (signed), Aaron Holiday (signed), Jock Landale (signed), Amen Thompson (draft), Fred VanVleet (signed), Cam Whitmore (draft)
Subtractions: D.J. Augustin (free agent), Josh Christopher (traded), Frank Kaminsky (free agent), Boban Marjanovic (free agent), K.J. Martin (traded), Daishen Nix (free agent), TyTy Washington Jr. (traded)
Here is the Rockets’ current roster.
Rockets 2023-24 Schedule
The Rockets have opened the 203-24 regular season. Here is Houston’s complete schedule.
Who are the best players on the Rockets?
Jalen Green: Expectations were high for Green after Houston took him second overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. The 6’4” shooting guard was ranked second among high school players in 2020 and chose to play one season in the NBA’s G League instead of the college level.
Unfortunately, his first two seasons in the NBA will mostly be remembered for the instability of his team. Houston only won 20 games during Green’s Rookie season and has yet to offer any indication that the future will be much different.
Green did increase his counting stats in his second season, averaging more points, rebounds and assists than the year prior. He also got to the free throw line three more times per game. However, those increases are more attributable to his uptick in usage rate, going from 23% to 27% this past season.
Most concerning was his decrease in efficiency. In his first year in Houston, Green shot 42% from the field and 34% from deep. Nothing special, but still better than his 41%/32% splits in 2022-23.
Green has two years left on his Rookie contract with the Rockets.
Alperen Sengun: The Rockets drafted Sengun with the 16th overall pick in the same draft as Jalen Green. Coming out of Turkey, Sengun was touted for his rebounding and passing skills as a big man but hadn’t been scouted as much as his American peers.
He showed promise in his first season with nearly 10 points a night in just 20 minutes to go alongside 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Much like Jalen Green, however, Sengun struggled on both ends of the floor for an aimless Rockets team that won just 20 games.
In his second season in the league Sengun showed a lot of improvement. Once Houston dealt Christian Wood to the Mavericks in the offseason, Sengun was free to roam the paint and foul line areas with more space to work with. He improved both his scoring and rebounding by nearly 50% to 14.8 points per game and 9.0 boards.
He also had more opportunities to pass from the high post and flash the passing skills we had been promised and upped his assists to four per contest.
The Rockets had Sengun playing center for them most of this season. At 6’9” and 235 pounds, he was usually matched up with players at least a few inches taller and 30 pounds heavier. For Sengun to reach his full potential in the NBA, either he needs to gain a ton of muscle, or Houston’s front office needs to bring in a legitimate center.
The Odds Finder tool on TheLines.com allows you to easily search between Houston Rockets team and player props. To view all of the available props in one chart use the search bar below.
Rockets 2022-23 season Recap
Technically, the Houston Rockets took a step forward this season, improving upon their win totals the previous two. It’s hard to determine they actually got better though, after only cobbling together 22 wins all year. Especially when four of those wins came in the last five games of the season against teams either tanking or resting their starters for the playoffs.
There were a few bright spots along the way as a few of the team’s young players look like they have a solid future in the NBA. Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. struggled early on as many rookies do, but picked things up towards the end. Over the last two months of the regular season, Smith Jr. averaged one block per game on top of 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Second-year player Alperen Sengun also showed noticeable improvement, upping his totals from his first season in the league without forfeiting his efficiencies.
With a guaranteed lottery pick and the second-best odds to get the number one pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Rockets and their fans are clinging to the hope they can land Victor Wembanyama. Otherwise, they have an even longer road of rebuilding ahead in order to field a legitimate playoff team.
How to bet on the Rockets
Wagering on the moneyline is the simplest type of NBA bet, determinant upon a team winning or losing the game. Use the below example from a game between the Rockets and Atlanta Hawks.
The negative number on the Rockets odds (-140) indicates they are favored to win by oddsmakers. It would take a $140 wager to win $100 profit, plus the $140 originally posted for the bet. A $100 on the Hawks would net $175 in profit if they can pull off the upset.
Books will also set a point spread for NBA games, which considers the margin of victory rather than just the winner and loser. The below example considers the Rockets as underdogs against the Boston Celtics:
Rockets +4.5 (-115)
Celtics -4.5 (-115)
Here the oddsmaker has the Celtics favored by 4.5 points, indicated by the “-4.5.” They need to win by at least five points to cover the point spread and cash the bet. As underdogs, the Rockets can lose by up to four points or win the game for a bet on them to cash.
The (-115) odds listed next to each team’s point spread show the return on a correct bet in American odds. Both teams have the same -115 odds so a $115 bet on the winning team pays the bettor $100, plus the $115 wagered. A $100 bet on the would earn the bettor $86.96 plus the initial wager if it hits.
Point Total (Over/Under)
A wager on the total is a bet on whether the combined points scored by each team will be more or less than the number set by the oddsmaker. For example, if the point total in a game between the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs is set at 235 points and ends with a final score of 121-110, a bet on the under would cash out, whereas a final score that combined for more than 235 points would not.
Parlays and Teasers
Parlay and Teaser bets combine multiple different bets together for an increased payout as long as 100% of your selected bets are successful.
A parlay is slightly more straightforward than a teaser. For example, the Houston moneyline (-140) against the Miami Heat seems like a good play, as well as the Golden State Warriors (-200 on the moneyline) to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers. You can parlay both of those outcomes together and wager, increasing the odds on your return to +157.
A teaser allows bettors to move multiple point spreads or totals in their preferred direction. Let’s say you like the Rockets (-4.5) in their matchup with the Denver Nuggets as much as you do the Minnesota Timberwolves (-5.5 favorites) in their game with the Utah Jazz. You can tease both lines by four points (most books offer anywhere from four-to-six point teases) to shift the lines to Houston (-0.5) / Minnesota (-1.5). Now, both teams need to win by four fewer points than the original lines for your bet to cash.
Future bets are placed on props in the longer-term future. Team win totals, award winners, and player performances are common future bets.
Betting on games while they’re in-play is known as live betting, which can be a fruitful strategy for those who prepare ahead of time. Take a game that has the Rockets (-250 on the moneyline) as favorites in their matchup with the Detroit Pistons (+200 on the moneyline). A $100 bet on the Rockets before the game starts would only make a $40 profit. You also know that the Rockets often start slowly when they play at home and there’s a good chance the Pistons are able to keep this close early in the game. Using that info, you could hold on to your bet until the game is in motion to see if the odds on the Rockets moneyline shift in your favor.
If the Pistons come out firing and claim an early lead, oddsmakers will move the lines to reflect the current score, increasing the value of a bet on the Rockets to win, upping your profits on a correctly (and well-timed) bet.
Live betting is also where “hedging” your bets can come into play, a tactic by bettors where they make one bet before the game starts and then an opposing bet while the game is live as a way to recoup their potential losses. Let’s say you bet on Houston (+180 underdogs) to win a game against the Dallas Mavericks (-200 favorites), but at halftime the Rockets are down by 10 points. The live odds for a moneyline bet on the Mavs now only pays you back one-third of your money, or -300. By giving up on the Rockets and betting on the Mavericks moneyline at -300 during halftime, you’re hedging your initial bet on the Rockets in an attempt to recover some money from a seemingly lost cause.
The San Diego Rockets joined the NBA in 1967 before moving to Houston in 1971. Led by Moses Malone, Houston made its first trip to the Finals in 1981 where it lost to Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics.
Hakeem Olajuwon arrived in Houston in 1984 when the Rockets selected him first overall out of Houston University. “The Dream” is still the best player in franchise history. He leads the Rockets in literally every traditional stat over the course of his career outside of three-point shooting, which belongs to James Harden.
Olajuwon also led Houston to its only two championships in 1994 and ‘95 while Michael Jordan played single-A baseball for a few years.
The Rockets were a middling team in the league after the Olajuwon years. There were some fun teams in Houston with players like Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady from 2003-2006, but could never get further than the Western Conference semifinals before breaking up.
Shortly after James Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder lost in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat in 2012, the Rockets acquired him via a trade. The young star wasn’t happy with his limited role in OKC behind stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and Houston General Manager Daryl Morey was happy to take him off the Thunder’s hands.
Harden was the first and most important block to the offensive empire Morey would build in Houston. It was easy to fill in the pieces around Harden and his style of play. On offense, Harden was trying to achieve one of two outcomes: shoot a three off the dribble, or drive to the basket and initiate contact with the defender in hopes of earning a trip to the foul line.
It worked well enough, but Harden’s Rockets were never able to get past Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors to reach the NBA Finals. The Warriors knocked the Rockets out of the playoffs in 2015, ‘16, ‘18 and ‘19.
There aren’t any available Rockets odds to win the championship, since the franchise was eliminated from playoff contention.
Based on their current () odds, Houston is considered one of the biggest longshots on the board.
Looking at their projected regular season win total of (), the over would be considered a slight improvement over last season’s 22-60 record.
Looking at the NBA Rookie of the Year odds, Amen Thompson () is considered a heavy underdog to win the award. Spurs No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembenyama () is considered the heavy favorite with odds.
Tilman Fertitta is the owner of the Houston Rockets. He also owns the Golden Nugget Hotel Casinos and Landry’s – a restaurant and entertainment company based out of Texas. Morton’s, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Dos Cominos, and Rainforest Cafe are just some of the brands.