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Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors - Game 3 - 5/20/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Houston Rockets (74-20) at Golden State Warriors (67-27)

NBA Basketball: Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Oracle Arena)

The Line: Golden State Warriors -7 -- Over/Under: 224.5 See the Latest Odds

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The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors duke it out in a pivotal Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at the Oracle Arena on Sunday night.

The Houston Rockets were blown off the floor in Game 1 but they bounced back in fine fashion in a 127-105 win in Game 2. James Harden didn’t have his best shooting night, but still led the team with 27 points on nine of 24 shooting while Chris Paul looked great on his way to 16 points and six assists. However, the biggest difference in Game 2 was that the Rockets’ supporting cast showed up big time as Eric Gordon scored 27 points off the bench, PJ Tucker added 22 points on eight of nine shooting after scoring just one point in Game 1 while Trevor Ariza chipped in with 19 points. As a team, the Rockets shot 51 percent from the field and 16 of 42 from the three-point line and it really wasn’t the Harden show we’re used to seeing. In fact, the Rockets were actually more effective with Harden on the bench as they went away from their isolation offense which made them tougher to guard.

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Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors - Game 3 - 5/20/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors looked almost unbeatable in the series opener but maybe they were a little too confident because they didn’t start Game 2 with the right level of urgency and it meant they were playing from behind the entire game. Kevin Durant did his best to shoulder the scoring burden as he finished with 38 points on 13 of 22 shooting, while Stephen Curry chipped in with 16 points and seven assists, but no other player scored more than eight points. As a team, the Warriors offense didn’t look nearly good at all as they shot 45 percent from the field and nine of 30 from the three-point line. Klay Thompson scored just eight points on three of 11 shooting after scoring 28 points in Game 1 while Draymond Green managed just six points.

Looking at the betting trends, the Rockets are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games playing on three or more days rest, 6-2 ATS in their last eight Sunday games and 13-5 ATS in their last 18 road games against a team with a winning home record. The Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last five Conference Finals games, 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games and 9-22 ATS in their last 31 games against a team with a winning record.

It’s amazing how much better the Rockets looked in Game 2 compared to Game 1 as they came out with the right level of desperation and it paid off. The Rockets went away from their iso ball and took a page out of the Warriors’ playbook which worked well at home as the role players stepped up, but repeating that performance on the road is going to be tough. Curry will look to bounce back after making just one of eight three-point attempts in Game 2 while the rest of the role players will step up at home so I’m expecting a much closer contest. With that being said, I think the Warriors take back momentum with a win at home, but I think the value is with the Rockets and the points in this one.

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