NBA Playoffs Betting: Rockets at Warriors

NBA Playoffs Betting: Rockets at Warriors

The Western Conference Finals tip on Tuesday night when the top-seeded Golden State Warriors host the second-seeded Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the best of 7 series. The Warriors swept the regular season series 4-0, winning by an average of 15.2 points. Unsurprisingly, Seth Curry was an especially large thorn in the Rockets’ side, averaging 25.2 points, 8.2 assists, and 6.5 rebounds per game. Dwight Howard did miss two of the losses with flu-like symptoms, and a strained right knee, which might explain some of Houston’s issues, but it’s not as if he was fantastic in the two games he did suit up. James Harden was excellent, but he didn’t receive much assistance from his teammates. If Houston is going to advance to its first Finals since 1995, they must find a way to outscore the league’s most potent attack. Here’s a preview of Game 1 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals.


The Rockets finished the Western Semifinals with three consecutive impressive performances against the Clippers. They shot for a high percentage, owned the boards, and actually played inspired defense after falling behind 3-1 in the series. Harden and Howard were superb when the pressure mounted, but it was mid-season acquisition Josh Smith and journeyman Corey Brewer who proved to be the difference. The duo totaled 64 points in Games 6 and 7 as each knocked down clutch shots in big moments. They will both need to carry that same momentum into this matchup to counter Golden State’s powerhouse offense. Point guard Patrick Beverly will once again be sidelined with a surgically-repaired left wrist, meaning the bulk of the responsibilities in guarding MVP Steph Curry falls on veteran Jason Terry, backup Pablo Prigioni, and in some instances, Harden. Crashing the glass will be vital to Houston’s efforts in order to prevent and in turn increase second-chance opportunities. Allowing the Warriors to control the pace will end their season sooner than later.

The media will paint this as Curry vs. Harden, but it really comes down to the Warriors’ supporting cast against Houston’s. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes must play their roles to the fullest, especially Green, who is the team’s best rebounder and low post weapon. Andrew Bogut flashes on occasion, but he’s chipped beef to Dwight Howard’s filet mignon. Because Curry and Thompson do a credible job on the boards, Golden State has managed to handle bigger, more physical opponents. Head coach Steve Kerr wants to run Houston into submission by sending his charges at them in waves. Three-point shots and fast-break buckets are what fuels the Warriors’ barrage, so containing one or the other makes them much more vulnerable. One player to watch is Andre Iguodala; Iggy does everything well and could be asked to check Harden, and possibly Josh Smith.  Golden State isn’t known for its defense, but when they do apply the clamps, they are virtually unbeatable.

Houston is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings. The Warriors are 2-6 ATS in their last eight at home. Extra rest could be a blessing or a hindrance for the home team. Look for the Rockets to finally keep the margin below double-digits.

Bet Houston +10