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Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets - 4/16/16 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Houston Rockets (41-41) at Golden State Warriors (73-9)

NBA Basketball: Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm (Oracle Arena)

The Line: Golden State Warriors -13 -- Over/Under: 225 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets collide for Game 1 tonight at the Oracle Arena.

The Warriors have simply been the best team in the NBA for 2 seasons now and they'll be looking to repeat as NBA champions after finishing the regular season with an historic 73-9 overall record. Stephen Curry is a lock to repeat as the league MVP with averages of 30.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 6.7 apg, Klay Thompson averaged 22.1 ppg while Draymond Green was a nightly triple-double threat, averaging 14.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 7.4 apg but the true strength of the Warriors was the depth in their roster and their willingness to share the ball which made them the toughest team in the league to beat.

Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets - 4/16/16 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Rockets were inconsistent for most of the season, but a late surge saw them edge their way into the playoffs with a 41-41 overall record which is good for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. James Harden didn't quite have the MVP-calibre year that we saw from him last season, but he still averaged 29.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 7.5 apg which certainly sounds MVP-worthy, but most of his percentages were down and he averaged 4.6 turnovers compared to just 3.0 turnovers per game last season. Dwight Howard had a down year and averaged just 13.7 ppg and 11.8 rpg which are still respectable figures and Trevor Ariza averaged 12.7 ppg with 2.0 spg while missing just one game all season.

In ATS trends, the Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against a team above .600 and 8-1 ATS in their last nine games in the first round of the playoffs, while the Warriors are 5-2 ATS in their last seven against the Western Conference and 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games in the first round of the playoffs.

Head to head, the Rockets are 4-9 ATS in the last 13 meetings overall and the road team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings.

The Warriors and the Rockets met three times in the regular season and it was the Warriors who won each game by an average of 15.6 points and it's hard to think that the Rockets can turn their fortunes around and challenge the Warriors in this series. I have the Warriors sweeping the series in four games, winning each game by double digits, starting tonight.

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Golden State -13

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