25 Feb

2024 NBA picks for Feb. 23 from proven model

The Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets look to rebound from double-digit road losses on Thursday as they go head-to-head on Friday night. The Suns (33-23) fell to the Mavericks, 123-113, while the Rockets (24-31) lost to the Pelicans, 127-105. Phoenix won the teams’ only game against one another this season, 129-113 in December. The Suns are 24-31-1 against the spread, while the Rockets are 27-26-2 ATS in 2023-24.

Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET at the Toyota Center in Houston. Phoenix is favored by 3.5 points in the latest Suns vs. Rockets odds, per SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 233.5 points. Before entering any Rockets vs. Suns picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 18 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 60-36 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,300. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Phoenix vs. Houston. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Suns vs. Rockets:

Rockets vs. Suns spread: Suns -3.5
Rockets vs. Suns over/under: 233.5 points
Rockets vs. Suns money line: Suns -169, Rockets +143
Rockets vs. Suns picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Suns can cover
Playing without star guard Bradley Beal in the team’s first game following the All-Star Break, Phoenix fell in Dallas last night and likely won’t have Beal’s services against the Rockets either. Devin Booker’s 35 points, eight assists, and five rebounds weren’t enough for the Suns to open this crucial stretch of their season on a winning note. Booker is now averaging 27.7 points, 7.0 assists, and 4.6 rebounds, and along with Kevin Durant, must lead the Suns in scoring most nights for the team to have an optimal chance at success.

Durant had a slow Thursday, hitting 9 of 22 shots for only 23 points, below his season average of 28.1 points per game. Forward Royce O’Neale, acquired at the trade deadline, played 30 minutes and added 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench against Dallas. Former Rockets guard Eric Gordon, now thrust in the starting lineup with Beal out, scored 27 points against his old team in this matchup earlier this season and will be relied on heavily again tonight. See which team to pick here.

Why the Rockets can cover
Houston was thoroughly outplayed by New Orleans on Thursday and got its second half of the season off on the wrong foot in a 22-point loss. The Rockets were led in scoring by rookie Amen Thompson, who scored 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting off the bench. Houston’s emerging star, center Alperen Sengun, scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the loss. Sengun has taken his game to another level this season, averaging 21.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 5.0 assists nightly.

The Rockets’ second leading scorer, guard Jalen Green, failed to produce against the Pelicans, scoring 10 points on a poor 3 of 14 shooting. Averaging 17.9 PPG, Green will be expected to carry a heavier load in what should be another high-scoring game against Phoenix. Point guard Fred VanVleet, who averages 16.3 points and 8.1 assists, only had seven points and six assists last night, and will also need to make a more significant impact if Houston is to pull the slight home upset. See which team to pick here.

How to make Suns vs. Rockets picks
The model has simulated Phoenix vs. Houston 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Under, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick where one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

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