Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets | NBA Playoffs Predictions and Betting Tips
If the most anticipated series of the postseason was going to have any hope of living up to the hype, the Houston Rockets had to win Game Three Saturday night. But if Houston is really going to have a shot at doing so, Houston is going to need to beat the Golden State Warriors in Game Four and tie the series up before it heads back to Oakland.
Spread: Rockets by 1.5
Money Line: Rockets -130; Warriors +110
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
Golden State Warriors
Warriors fans have to be a little encouraged by how the series has gone with the Rockets so far. They are leading it 2-1, had a shot at making it 3-0, and have yet to come close to playing their best game. Neither Klay Thompson nor Steph Curry has had an explosive game yet. So far, they have had to rely on the heroics of Kevin Durant. Luckily, they have been enough. Curry’s struggles hit a low in Game Three when he hit just seven of 23 shots for 17 points. He is 18-52 from the floor in the series and only eight of 32 from three-point range. But the team is not concerned about his slump. “He’s just really, really competitive and he gets locked in, and he gets a little bit angry,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said about Curry, via ESPN. “And he comes out with a lot of focus and a lot of fight, so that’s what we’re expecting [Monday].” If the Rockets have finally found their offense, the Warriors could certainly use a significant contribution from someone other than Durant.
The Rockets came close in Games One and Two, but they struggled just to get shots off in both, let alone make them. While they had an additional five minutes of game time Saturday night, they attempted more shots than they did in either previous game (93). They shot a little better in Game Three, but the difference came from the volume of shots attempted. The Rockets will undoubtedly try to do the same in Game Four. James Harden didn’t appear bothered by his eye injury from Game Two. While his 41 points led the way for Houston in Game Three, what really made a difference was Eric Gordon hitting a playoff career-best 30 points. “It’s all about bringing something to the table, offensively, defensively every single night to give yourself a chance to win,” he said after Game Three. Houston will have to keep up the defensive pressure on Curry and Thompson in Game Four. If they can do so and get on track early offensively, they will have a good shot at winning Monday night.
Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors 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 2-1.
Odds and Predictions
Game Three was more of what was expected of this series, high-scoring and hard-fought. Game Four will likely be more of the same. Durant will once again be the catalyst for the Warriors while the Rockets do their best to make it rain from behind the arc. If Steph Curry or Klay Thompson can wake up, this game could be over early. But with Curry’s injury issues, it is not likely that he will. Houston’s defense will make sure it isn’t Thompson. While that opens the door for Durant to have another big night, the more he tries to do, the fewer opportunities Curry and Thompson have. Like Game Three, this game is going to come down to the final moments of the fourth quarter. But Durant is not going to be enough now that the Rockets offense has woken up. Take the Rockets to win (-120), straight up and against the spread (-1.5). As for the over/under.
Expert Betting Tip
Two of the best offenses in the NBA are alive and well. Take the over (221).