Rockets at Warriors Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 3/8/2013
For the second time this week we’re looking at a Golden State game. That’s not the most original choice, but this game is where the action is this week. With the Lakers heating up and playing an outmatched Toronto team at home on Friday, this game is crucial for both these teams as they try to maintain their playoff position in the four-team race for the last three playoff spots. The Warriors have more of a cushion, but if the Rockets lose and L.A. wins they would just be a game ahead with 19 more games left to play. On the other hand, a Rockets win would move them just a game behind Golden State for sixth.
Both these teams are just 5-5 in their last 10 games — though Golden State has won their last two, while Houston is coming off a loss — so neither team is riding a wave of momentum right now. They can’t afford to lose here if they wish to continue their forward progress down the stretch. That makes this game far more important than many played early in March.
Rockets at Warriors Betting Storylines
The big story here is going to be the tempo of the game. The Rockets like to run from start to finish without rest. Their 107 points per game is the best in the league by almost a full basket. Golden State isn’t nearly as fast and explosive, but their 99 points a game are still better than 20 of the 29 other teams in the league. Given that the Rockets also give up the second most points per game in the league and Golden State is giving up half a point more than they are scoring, there is a good chance that this one could be an offensive barnburner as opposed to a game that high school coaches will show their teams to teach how to play defense. The 223 total for this game is by far the highest of the day in the league and is tied for the highest total the Warriors have faced all year. Be warned, though — the other game with the high total was Wednesday against Sacramento, and the two teams combined for just 170 points to go under the total by an incredible 54.5. Surprisingly, this is also the highest total the explosive Rockets have faced all year.
Golden State is seeking their fifth straight win at home, but to do so they will have to rediscover the shooting touch that failed them so badly on Wednesday. At home against the Kings — the worst defensive team in the league — Golden State shot just 36 percent from the field. That’s the worst performance by the team since February of 2003, and there have been a lot of bad Golden State teams between then and now. Stephen Curry has established himself as the best shooter in the league this year, but he actually dragged the average down, shooting just 27 percent.
Houston has won both meetings this year — one in each city. That’s not that surprising — Houston has won 16 of the last 18 meetings between the squads — a remarkable streak of domination. Of all those wins, the most impressive by far was the first this year. On Feb. 5 Houston won 140-109 at home and tied an NBA record with 23 made three-pointers.
While Houston obviously has a clear edge over the course of the series, they would be much happier if they were playing at home. The team has lost 12 of their last 18 on the road. They even found a way to lose at lowly Washington three road games back.
Rockets at Warriors NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games against teams with home records of .600 or better. The Warriors are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 against teams with a winning record. The “over” is 16-4-1 the last 21 times these teams have played in Golden State.
Rockets at Warriors Picks and Betting Predictions
Taking the Rockets and the points is attractive here. The Warriors are not in a good place despite the two straight wins. Those only came against Toronto and Sacramento, and both were harder than they should have been. The offense is far from balanced right now, and that’s a concern when the game is likely to devolve into a shootout. Houston is not a good road team, but they have won three of their last six on the road, including a nice win at Brooklyn.
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