Warriors vs Rockets – NBA Pick for May 16th

by Rick Rockwell
on May 16, 2018

Minute Read

In Game 1, the Golden State Warriors came out and smashed Houston right in the mouth with an impressive 119 to 106 road win. As predicted, Houston doesn’t have anyone that can stop or cancel out Kevin Durant who finished with 37 points. Prior to this series, all of the talk was about how the Rockets were built to dethrone the Warriors. Well, after 1 game, it’s clear who the better team is.

Say all you want about Houston’s great season, it’s going to come crashing down this series. Golden State has been waiting for a worthy opponent and, now that they have one, the Warriors will rise to the occasion and show the NBA who the best team is.

In Game 1, the Warriors outshot Houston from the floor at 52.5% to 45.9%, outshot them from beyond the arc at 39.4% to 35.1%, and forced 16 turnovers compared to just 9. Golden State’s starting 5 combined for 99 of the team’s 119 points. In addition to Durant’s big game, Klay Thomspon had a solid performance with 28 points on 9 of 18 shooting.

Houston’s starting 5 combined for 85 of their 106 total points. However, 64 of those 85 points came from Chris Paul and James Harden who shot 54% from the field. The rest of the team had 42 points on 39% shooting. The Rockets need more balance if they’re going to have any chance at winning Game 2. As predicted, the Rockets backcourt outplayed Golden State’s backcourt. Unfortunately, the frontcourt had no answer for the Warriors.

Another area where Houston struggled was at the free throw line, shooting only 71.4%. If they can improve on their FG% of 45.9% and their FT%, they will have a decent shot. But, it’s all going to come down to their defense, which really struggled. The 119 points allowed, was the second highest total allowed in the playoffs. In Round 1, they gave up 121 to the Timberwolves. It’s no surprise that the Rockets lost both of these games.

For Houston to win this game, they will need to play at their style and pace, not the Warriors. And, that’s exactly what happened in Game 1. Folks, this is the series right here. If Houston loses, there’s no way they can come back and take 4 of 5 games against the Warriors. But, if they can win, Houston will give themselves a boost of confidence and just might make this a competitive series.

We took the Under in Game 1 and should’ve nailed that bet. Unfortunately, the Rockets decided to foul Golden State down by 11 with about 12 seconds left in the game. So, the Warriors made two free throws and we pushed. I don’t see that happening again in Game 2. In fact, for Houston to win, they will need to slow down the pace some and not get into a shootout with the Warriors. I believe that’s great for the Under in Game 2.

Also, despite the spread being -2 points, it’s unclear if Houston will actually show up and play today. Let’s not forget that the Warriors have had two losses on the road in these playoffs as well. Those were the only two losses they had all postseason. Go with the Under!

For us, the Under was a push, which means that it has gone 10-1-1 in the Rockets last 12 games against the Pacific. When avenging a home loss, the Under has gone 8-4 for the Rockets.

Additionally, the Under has gone 5-2-1 in the Warriors last 7 overall games and 4-1-1 in their last 5 road games. As an underdog, the Under is 5-2 for the Warriors. Between these two teams, the Under is 7-3-1 in their last 11 meetings and 5-1-1 when playing in Houston.

After factoring in the Game 1 scoring, the Warriors are averaging 111.1 ppg in the playoffs and 114.2 ppg over their last 5 postseason games. The Rockets are averaging 109.2 ppg in the playoffs and 107.8 ppg over their last 5.

Bet: Under 224.5 total points (-110)

Pick: Under 224.5

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