Rockets vs. Sixers odds, line: MLK Day NBA picks, predictions from model on 7-2 run

One of the top games of the 11-game slate for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day takes place in the City of Brotherly Love, as the Philadelphia 76ers host the Houston Rockets at 8 p.m. ET in a showdown of superstars. It’s the third-best team in the East in the Sixes (10-7) against the No. 5 team in the West in the Rockets (26-19) The latest Rockets vs. 76ers odds have Philadelphia favored by 3.5 points, while the over-under, or total points Vegas thinks will be scored, is set at 234. Injuries could be a concern on both sides of the court — with so many factors to be considered before locking in any Rockets vs. 76ers picks and NBA predictions for MLK Day, you’ll want to first see what the SportsLine Projection Model is saying about the game.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks this season. It entered Week 14 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 159-118 record on all top-rated picks, returning well over $3,000 to anybody following them. And it was particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA against the spread picks in Week 13, going a blistering 7-2. Anybody following it is up huge.

Now, it has analyzed all relevant data and crunched the numbers for Rockets vs. 76ers. We can tell you it’s leaning under, but it has also generated a strong against the spread pick that hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. That pick is only available at SportsLine.

Few teams have been as dominant at in their own building the last few weeks than the 76ers, who are 19-5 at home on the season — their last nine home victories have been by an average of 20.6 ppg. And the Sixers have had Houston’s number lately, especially in Philly where they’ve are on a 6-1 ATS streak against the Rockets.

Joel Embiid (27 ppg, 13.2 rpg) is considered questionable (back). But that was his status leading into Saturday’s game against Oklahoma City — the All-Star center registered 22 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks in 35 minutes. Jimmy Butler (wrist), meanwhile, has been ruled out for Monday evening.

But just because Philadelphia has been playing so well at home, doesn’t mean it will cover the Rockets vs. 76ers spread.

The model also knows that no player is hotter right now than James Harden. He is averaging an insane 44.4 points in nine January games. Add to that 8.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists he’s also averaging and it’s shaping up to be one of the most dominant individual streaks in NBA history.

Since Dec. 13, Harden’s worst scoring output was 32 points, twice — in one of those he had a triple-double and the other he had 13 rebounds. And both ended in Rockets wins.

Harden isn’t known for his defense, but overall the Rockets have stepped up on that side of the court lately. In the past 15 games that ended in regulation, the Rockets’ defense has allowed an average of 107.6 points, well under their season average and better than average on the NBA as a whole.

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