NBA Playoffs Betting: Warriors at Rockets

NBA Playoffs Betting: Warriors at Rockets

The Houston Rockets were competitive on the road in Games 1 and 2 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals, losing by a combined 5 points. James Harden was posting near triple-doubles, and a gimpy Dwight Howard was solid playing through pain. Then Game 3 in Houston happened. The Warriors absolutely destroyed behind Steph Curry’s 40 points on 12-19 shooting. The Rockets have had no answer for Curry, and despite underwhelming series from both Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, the top-seeded Warriors are one game away from their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1975, when the great Rick Barry was draining buckets from all over the floor. The situation for Houston is simple: win or enjoy the offseason. Here’s a preview of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.


Steph Curry is MVP for a reason. He is playing lights out clutch basketball when his team needs him most. The Warriors aren’t getting much of anything from Harrison Barnes, who posted a goose egg in Game 3, and Klay Thompson is hitting only 4-22 from beyond the arc. On the plus side, the inside duo of Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut have controlled the paint at both ends of the court; if they dominate the glass the way they did in Game 3 (25 rebounds), the Rockets are in big trouble. Golden State isn’t known for being physical, but when they do mix it up and get second-chance opportunities, they are almost impossible to beat. With Curry executing on another level, the supporting cast needs to be merely average for the Warriors to come out on top. Sweeping a team on the road is a challenge, so it’s important they don’t switch to cruise control too soon.

The Game 3 debacle was a total team collapse for Houston. The only Rockets to deliver decent performances were Josh Smith and Dwight Howard. Harden shot a miserable 3-16 from the field, which obviously won’t do if they want to extend the series to Game 5. The good news for the Rockets is they haven’t dropped back-to-back home tilts since mid December. Finding a strategy to slow Curry is imperative for head coach Kevin McHale. Allowing the recently anointed MVP to control the pace and pick and choose his shots is a recipe for losing. Of course stopping the league’s most lethal long range scorer is easier said than done. It goes against what they want to do, but slowing the tempo and playing more in the half court is what the Rockets need to do; this strategy almost secured them a victory in Game 2 and it remains their best chance to get back into this series.

Golden State is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings and 4-1 ATS at Houston. The Rockets are 5-1 ATS overall and 8-3 ATS in their last eleven at the Toyota Center. Houston looked DOA against the Clippers and still managed to win the series. A miraculous comeback is unlikely, but keeping this one close or even outright winning isn’t out of the question.

Bet Houston +5