2024 NBA picks, Jan. 15 best bets by proven model

The Houston Rockets travel to Wells Fargo Center to meet the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday afternoon. The matchup is the first game of a full slate across the NBA on MLK Day. Houston is 19-19 overall, with Philadelphia entering at 24-13 overall and 14-6 at home. Joel Embiid (knee) is available for Philadelphia after being listed as questionable earlier in the day, with De’Anthony Melton (back) and Robert Covington (knee) ruled out and Mo Bamba (knee) listed as doubtful. Tari Eason (lower leg) is out for Houston.

SportsLine consensus lists Philadelphia as the 8.5-point favorite for this 1 p.m. ET tipoff. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 228 in the latest Rockets vs. 76ers odds. Before making any 76ers vs. Rockets picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.

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 13 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 42-23 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Sixers vs. Rockets and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Rockets vs. Sixers:

76ers vs. Rockets spread: 76ers -8.5
76ers vs. Rockets over/under: 228 points
76ers vs. Rockets money line: 76ers -346, Rockets +274
HOU: The Rockets are 6-10-1 against the spread in road games
PHI: The 76ers are 14-6 against the spread in home games
76ers vs. Rockets picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Rockets can cover
The Rockets have a tremendous offensive fulcrum in Alperen Sengun. The young center is averaging 21.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, and Sengun is shooting 54.1% from the field. In the last 13 games, Sengun has upped his production, averaging 25.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest. While Sengun anchors an offense that also ranks in the top 10 of the NBA in turnover prevention, Houston’s defense is top-notch.

The Rockets are allowing only 112.1 points per 100 possessions this season, ranking in the top quartile of the league. Houston leads the NBA in fast break points allowed (10.0 per game), and the Rockets are in the top five in opponent field goal percentage (45.6%) and opponent 3-point percentage (34.0%). The Rockets also rank in the top five in assists allowed (24.3 per game) and points allowed in the paint (46.2 per game), with Houston securing 72.7% of available defensive rebounds in 2023-24. See which team to pick here.

Why the 76ers can cover
Philadelphia has high-end scorers in Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. Maxey has scored 20 points or more in eight straight games, and he is averaging 26.1 points and 6.6 assists per game. Harris put up 37 points on 14-25 in Philadelphia’s most recent game, and he is averaging 23.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in January. The Sixers also have a meaningful home-court advantage, with Philadelphia entering this game at 14-6 overall with a +10.2 net rating at Wells Fargo Center. Houston is just 4-13 away from home with a -6.9 net rating, swinging things toward Philadelphia.

The 76ers are also elite across the board on offense, including a top-six mark in the NBA in offensive efficiency, scoring 119.1 points per 100 possessions. Philadelphia is in the top tier of the league in turnover avoidance, fast-break points, points in the paint, offensive rebound rate and second-chance points, but the free throw line is the top centerpiece for the 76ers. Nick Nurse’s team leads the NBA in free throw accuracy (84%) and free throw creation (26.9 attempts per game) this season. See which team to pick here.

How to make Rockets vs. 76ers picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Under on the total, projecting 222 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in nearly 70% of simulations. You can only see the model’s picks at SportsLine.

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