Golden State Warriors (66-26) at Houston Rockets (73-19)
|Date & Time||Monday May 14, 2018, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Rockets -2 -- Over/Under: 225.5
The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets meet Monday in game one of the NBA Western Conference Finals at the Toyota Center.
The Golden State Warriors are fresh off a five-game series with the New Orleans Pelicans and are in their fourth straight conference finals. The Golden State Warriors are averaging 110.3 points on 46.9 percent shooting and allowing 101.6 points on 43 percent shooting. Kevin Durant is averaging 28 points and eight rebounds while Stephen Curry is averaging 24.5 points and 3.5 assists. Klay Thompson is the third double-digit scorer and Draymond Green is grabbing 11.5 rebounds. The Golden State Warriors are shooting 32.9 percent from beyond the arc and 81.6 percent from the free throw line. The Golden State Warriors are allowing 32 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 48.4 rebounds per game. The Golden State Warriors have split their last eight road games.
The Houston Rockets are coming off a five-game series with the Utah Jazz and are in their second conference finals in the last three years. The Houston Rockets are averaging 109.5 points on 44.6 percent shooting and allowing 100.1 points on 45.9 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 28.5 points and 7.4 assists while Chris Paul is averaging 21.8 points and 6.4 assists. Clint Capela is the third double-digit scorer and Eric Gordon is grabbing 2.5 rebounds. The Houston Rockets are shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and 79.5 percent from the free throw line. The Houston Rockets are allowing 38.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.8 rebounds per game. The Houston Rockets have won 15 of their last 17 home games.
The Warriors are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Conference Finals games, 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 Monday games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Rockets are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games playing on 3 or more days rest, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. NBA Pacific and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Warriors are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Houston, 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings and the under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
We made it to what will basically be the NBA Finals, as nobody in the East has a chance against either of these clubs in the big dance. The Golden State Warriors come into this series playing pretty well and have their big three clicking on the offensive end. However, it's going to be interesting to see how they defend a team that doesn't rely on just one guy to carry the load. The Rockets aren't the Pelicans and Spurs, two teams that are limited in terms of shooters and guys who scare you offensively. The Houston Rockets are 2-1 SU against the Golden State Warriors this season, and that one loss was when Harden didn't play. The Rockets are also 8-2 SU in these playoffs and have yet to play to their full potential. The Rockets are capable of shooting much better from the field and Harden can be much more consistent. The Rockets are 25-2 SU in their last 27 home games when favored by at least two points, which is key considering you're basically saying the Warriors win here if taking just two points. The Warriors are just 2-6 SU in their last eight games when an underdog.
Bottom line is you can make a case for either side in this series, but the Rockets seem to have gained that edge at the right time, have home court and have the x-factor in Capela, who can dominate the paint and be the difference in this series. I'm going to lay the bucket with the Rockets.