Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#15521 New Orleans Pelicans vs.
#15522 Houston Rockets
Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 7:10pm EDT
Toyota Center, Houston
Written by Eric P.

This article covers a past game!

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The Houston Rockets play host to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday evening from the Toyota Center. This is a tale of two teams who have their seasons going in opposite directions, as the Rockets find themselves simply playing for pride, while the Pelicans are fighting for their playoff lives. With that said, the Rockets have been able to win three in a row, while New Orleans is the team limping into this one, as losers of back-to-back games. This will mark the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams and while New Orleans won the first two meetings, Houston won just on Friday night, so it'll be interesting to see how both teams bounce back.

Pelicans Searching For First Half Success

The Pelicans were one of the NBA's best teams in the first half of the season, even finding themselves near the top of the Western Conference at one point. Of late, this team has struggled for a number of reasons but anyway fans look at it, the playoffs now appear to be something they'll need to fight for. They've lost two in a row coming into this one and only have three wins in their last ten games. It won't help matters that they just lost in Houston on Friday night and having to spend a few extra days on the road as they await the rematch isn't going to be good for this group. On the road, they have an 11-24 record this season, which isn't going to get it done as the season draws to a close. Luckily, they return home after this one but will need a win on Sunday to get things trending back in the right direction.

Injuries haven't been the kindest to this group this season, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to see their struggles of late. Zion Williamson (hamstring) remains the most notable player injured, as he remains out through the end of the month. Additionally, Jose Alvarado (shin) joins him, as a key defensive piece that they continue to navigate life without.

On the offensive end, New Orleans sits middle of the road and will be looking for some help in this one. The good news is that Houston has been far from the elite on the defensive end and even with the injuries, the Pelicans should be able to find some scoring. CJ McCollum (21 ppg) has led the way of eligible scoring leaders, though having Brandon Ingram (23.2 ppg) back in the fold is crucial toward their success going forward. The more pressing concern is the defensive end and finding a way to not be exposed as much as they were on Friday night. They rank first in the league in three-point defense and will need to hit the glass hard as well. Squaring off against a surprisingly strong offensive-rebounding team, the Pelicans need to find a way to limit their second-chance opportunities.

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Rockets Going Through The Motions

The Rockets sit near the bottom of the Western Conference but continue to play hard, as shown by them having won three in a row coming into this one. They'll be happy to be able to stay at home as well, especially after taking down this same Pelicans team just a few days ago. The home record only sits at 12-24, which is one of the worst marks in the NBA, but it's clear they have found something working with their three-game winning streak at home heading into this one, including all three of those coming against likely playoff teams. Momentum and confidence are kings in the NBA and the way Houston is playing right now, they won't back down from anyone.

It certainly helps that Houston doesn't have any injuries to worry about heading into this one. With a full complement of players, they can continue to get their young stars going and build some consistency.

The Rockets overachieved on Friday night but will be looking to replicate that performance in this one. With offensive and defensive metrics that sit near the bottom of the league across most categories, they might be hard-pressed to keep not having a night off, though, with three impressive performances in a row, this time continues to surprise many across the league. Jalen Green (21.7 ppg) remains the leading scorer, while he has five others to help provide support as double-digit scorers. The x-factor remains Alperen Sengun (14.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 3.8 apg) and as one of the most well-rounded youngsters in the league, he has the ability to dictate how this one goes.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The Pelicans are primed for a bounceback after losing on Friday night on the road against Houston and with Ingram continuing to work his way back into the fold, he'll be ready to lead the way in scoring in this one. Houston ranks near the bottom of the league in most categories on both sides of the ball and while they have been playing better of late, they are bound to revert back to the mean as well. Rebounding is about the only advantage that Houston has and that won't be enough in the rematch. Additionally, according to, the Pelicans are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Sunday games and are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these two teams in Houston.

Prediction: Pelicans (-5)

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Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


This will be a lower-scoring affair and after allowing 114 points on Friday night, the Pelicans will be locked in on the defensive end and slowing own Houston in the rematch. On the offensive end, the Pelicans continue to be without Williamson, which hurts their offensive efficiency, and slowing this game down will be a top priority. Additionally, according to, for New Orleans, the under is 4-0 in their last four road games, while the under is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams.

Prediction: Under 227.5

Written By Eric Ploch , "Eric P."

Eric grew up surrounded by sports, whether it was spending the weekend catching games in person or on tv, or heading out to the fields to play whatever sport was in season. What started as a hobby, soon became a passion, as he became the sports editor of his high school newspaper, then wrote for his university newspaper during his undergrad years. After obtaining a degree in Sports Operations and Promotions, and spending 8 years deeply immersed in the sports world, Eric decided to take his love for analytics and predictions, and his experience, to online sports fans everywhere. James is now an integral part of our team here at StatSalt and has also been a very successful sports bettor over the years. Be sure and follow him daily.