The Houston Rockets play at the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Golden State is (-10.5) with a total of 220.5. The total has risen 1.5 points, the side just a half-point, though the juice opened at -115 for the favorite and is now -108 in some books.
As of seven hours before game time, the betting public barely leans to Golden State by a 51 percent to 49 margin according to Vegas and offshore sportsbook data. Despite the high total, 66 percent of gamblers are wagering on the over.
Golden State has a playoff net rating of 8.6 compared to Houston at -0.9. Net rating is the difference between offensive and defensive ratings points per 100 possessions. The Warriors have the second best postseason offense getting 107.4 points per 100 possessions. In both categories, they are second only to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Houston gets 105.9 points per 100 possessions. Check out Joe Duffy explaining how the top sports handicappers have used Billy Walters knowledge.
The high total in in part to the fact the teams do not rank quite as well on defense as No. 5 for Golden State and 12th for Houston. Remember this includes just the 16 postseason teams.
Houston leads all teams in possessions per 48 minutes at 104.82. In quite the change from the regular season, Golden State has the third slowest pace at just 94.26.
Golden State is third in the NBA in playoffs and regular season combined in terms of margin of cover (sweat barometer to some), going 52-39-1 by an average of 1.8. Houston is 55-39 yet by just 0.2. Nevertheless lately it has been the opposite as each team enters on a three-game spread winning streak. Houston’s though is by an average 20 points per game, Golden State’s a dominating yet more modest 10.5 points per game. Again this is margin of cover, not straight up victory.
Houston has gone over 14-4 the last 18, though the last six by single-digits. Golden State has gone under 6-of-7. The last five unders were by 8.5 or more, three by 10.5 or more.
Spread trends (all records against the spread): Houston is 17-8 on one day rest. Golden State is 6-1 with more than three days rest. However, they have dropped 6-of-8 at home. Golden State has covered five straight series meetings.
Over/under angles: Golden State has gone under 40-18 to Southwest. Houston has exceeded the total at a 25-9 rate with one day rest.
Tonight’s best sports handicapper picks is from Joe Duffy’s Picks. The first two sentences of the analysis read: This is one of our combination and compilation picks. It is not so much that one of our proven metrics screams a side, but yet they all point one way. Get the Rockets-Warriors side.
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