Rockets vs. Trail Blazers NBA expert prediction and odds for Friday, March 8 (Back Portland as an underdog)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Rockets-Trail Blazers.
Mar 2, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Jabari Walker (34) and guard Anfernee Simons (1) celebrate against the Grizzlies.
Mar 2, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Jabari Walker (34) and guard Anfernee Simons (1) celebrate against the Grizzlies. / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the worst teams in the Western Conference will meet in Portland Friday night. Both the Rockets and Trail Blazers are on the outside looking into the NBA playoff picture as soon both franchises will be all-in on the 2024 NBA Draft.

Houston is just eight games under .500, but still faces a six-game deficit for the final spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament. Houston had won back-to-back games for the first time since January before falling to the Clippers at home on Wednesday. Portland went all of February without a win, but turned that around with back-to-back victories against the lowly Grizzlies. Portland is coming off two straight losses to two of the top teams in the conference. Can they hang around against the Rockets?

Here’s the betting breakdown of the matchup with a best bet. 

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Rockets vs. Trail Blazers odds, spread and total

Rockets vs. Trail Blazers how to watch

  • Date: Friday, March 8
  • Game time: 10 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Moda Center 
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Rockets record: 27-35 
  • Trail Blazers record: 17-44

Rockets vs. Trail Blazers injury report

Houston Rockets

  • Jeff Green (knee): questionable
  • Tari Eason (leg): out

Portland Trail Blazers

  • Shaedon Sharpe (abdomen): out
  • Malcolm Brogdon (elbow): out
  • Toumani Camara (illness): questionable
  • Jabari Walker (hip): questionable
  • Jerami Grant (hamstring): questionable
  • Scoot Henderson (thigh): doubtful
  • Deandre Ayton (hand): doubtful

Rockets vs. Trail Blazers key players to watch


Alperen Sengun: The 7-foot center had 45 points in Tuesday’s win over San Antonio and kept rolling in Wednesday’s loss to the Clippers, turning in a triple-double with 23 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists. Sengun has notched three consecutive double-doubles and has scored 20-plus points in four of the last five games. 

Trail Blazers

Anfernee Simons: The former first-round pick has to carry the load offensively given Portland’s offense. Over the last three games, Simons has scored 93 points on 33-of-58 shooting with 14 three-pointers, 26 assists and 15 rebounds. 

Rockets vs. Trail Blazers prediction and pick

Houston has been good as a favorite this season, but it hasn’t translated on the road, though. Houston is a road favorite for just the sixth time this season, going 2-3 ATS in its previous five tries.

The Rockets are 24th in the NBA in road scoring, putting in just 110.5 points per game, which is 4.5 points lower than their average scoring output at home. Overall, Houston is 28th in the NBA in shooting percentage (45.6%) and 24th in offensive rating. 

Portland might have had a lengthy losing streak in February, but the spread might be catching up to backers hoping to capitalize on a bottom-feeder team nearing the basement of the Western Conference. Portland has covered in four straight games and, despite a long injury report, are coming off back-to-back covers against the top-two teams in the Western Conference in Minnesota and Oklahoma City. 

It’s tough to lay points on the road with a bad team with little to play for. Take the points with Portland to stay hot from an ATS standpoint.

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.