Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets | NBA Playoffs Predictions and Betting Tips
Fans were certainly hoping for a competitive series between the Rockets and Warriors. While the games have been good, Houston has yet to put their best foot forward. If they are going to take Game Three, James Harden will need his vision to clear up and regain the dominant form that he has become known for.
Spread: Rockets by 3.5
Money Line: Rockets -165; Warriors +145
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have not played their best game, but they have played well enough since they do have a two-game lead as the series moves to Houston. However, they should consider themselves a little lucky to be in the position they are in. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry entered the series banged up and have played like it. They have done an admirable job of playing through the pain, but they are not producing. They combined for 31 points in Game One and 41 in Game Two. Between the two games, they have gone 11-37 from three-point range. Luckily, Kevin Durant has been on fire, but Durant will eventually go cold. If the ‘Splash Brothers’ can’t produce when that happens, the Warriors are going to lose. If/when James Harden finally starts sinking shots, without one of them shooting better than they have, they will lose.
When you live and die by the three as Houston does, you are in trouble when you struggle to make shots—as Houston has been. Slow starts in both games made the already difficult task of defeating the Warriors almost impossible. Defensively, they have kept the Warriors from being able to score at will and have kept them from putting either game out of reach. They have allowed a team known for three-point shooting to make only 31.8 and 3.6 percent of their attempts. Golden State averaged 38.5 percent during the regular season, and 13.3 made threes a game. In Games One and Two, they have made just 18. But as good as their defense has been, if the offense doesn’t start hitting some shots, they are going to get swept. The 14 three-pointers they hit in Game One is typically considered a great night—but not when it took 47 attempts. It certainly doesn’t help that the Warriors are killing them on the glass (83-67). Houston has to find a way to get the offense on target faster whether it is James Harden doing what he does or someone else. They have to start scoring some points.
Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets Head-to-Head
The Rockets won the regular season series between the two, three games to one. From a historical perspective, the Rockets have a commanding lead in the all-time regular-season series with 124 wins to 93 for Golden State. But the Warriors have owned their postseason matchups. This is the fourth time they have met in the playoffs. Golden State won the previous three series and has won. Golden State has won 14 of the 19 playoff games against the Rockets and lead the current series 2-0.
Odds and Predictions
Houston is going to play a better game in front of a home crowd, but how much better is going to depend on James Harden. Doctors saw no damage to his corneas from the eye injury he suffered in Game Two that made it hard for him to see. His vision is expected to be just fine come game time. Then again, Houston may want his vision to be a little blurry. He had his highest field goal percentage of the playoffs in Game Two (47.4 percent). Playing at home is going to do for the Rockets what it should. It is going to energize the team, help them focus, and give them the edge they need to get one over on a good Golden State team. Houston will take command of this game early and not let go.
Expert Betting Tip
Take the Rockets to win (-165), straight up and against the spread (-3.5). As for the over/under (219.5), these have been dormant long enough. Expect at least one of them to wake up. Take the over.