Wizards vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, March 14 (Can Wiz cover?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Washington Wizards-Houston Rockets matchup in the NBA on Thursday.
Washington Wizardsforward Kyle Kuzma.
Washington Wizardsforward Kyle Kuzma. / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are still fighting for a chance to make the plato-in tournament in the Western Conference, but they’re certainly on the outside looking in entering a winnable game against the Washington Wizards.

Washington snapped a 16-game losing streak recently, but the team still has just 11 wins on the season. The Wizards dropped their last game against the Memphis Grizzlies, a tough loss considering that the Grizz were without Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. 

Houston has been one of the best home teams in the NBA this season, going 21-11 straight up and covering the spread in 10 of 16 games as a home favorite.

Can the team make that happen on Thursday even with Alperen Sengun sidelined? 

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

Wizards vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Wizards vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 14
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to watch (TV): Monumental Sports Network, AT&T SportsNet Southwest
  • Wizards record: 11-54
  • Rockets record: 30-35

Wizards vs. Rockets injury reports

Wizards injury report

  • Marvin Bagley III – out
  • Richaun Holmes – questionable
  • Isaiah Livers – out
  • Landry Shamet – out

Rockets injury report

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

Wizards vs. Rockets key players to watch

Washington Wizards

Kyle Kuzma: The Wizards forward has scored 20 or more points in nine straight games, averaging 26.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game over that stretch. The Wizards don't have much to be excited about, but Kuzma is clearly a building block – or trade chip – as we advance. 

Houston Rockets

Jabari Smith Jr.: With Sengun out, the Rockets went with Jabari Smith Jr. at the de-facto center spot, and he responded with 15 points and nine rebounds in a win over the San Antonio Spurs. This could be a favorable spot for Smith Jr. against a Wizards team that moved its starting big man – Daniel Gafford – at the trade deadline. 

Wizards vs. Rockets prediction and pick

Houston had a tough time with the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, and I’m worried about this team with Sengun and Whitmore out of the lineup. 

The Rockets have been elite as home favorites, going 10-5-1 against the spread, but I don’t want to discount what Washington has done as a road underdog. 

The Wizards are 20-13-1 against the spread as road dogs, and they won outright as 11-point underdogs against the Miami Heat on Sunday. While Washington’s long losing streak made the team hard to test in this spot, I think this matchup lines up well for the Wizards. 

Washington has had very little inside presence – especially on defense – since moving Gafford, and with Bagley out, that is limited even more. However, the Rockets showed against the Spurs that they’re willing to play small-ball with Sengun out, making this matchup a little easier to stomach for Wizards bettors. 

Kuzma has also been playing some of his best basketball of the season, which may allow the Wizards to hang around longer than we’d expect. 

Houston’s defense is a top-five unit in the NBA at home, which is concerning, but I’m worried about the team’s scoring with Sengun out. The Rockets had just 103 points in their win over the Spurs. If they are in that range again, Washington should be able to hang around. 

Pick: Wizards +7.5 (-105)

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.