The Golden State Warriors are at the Houston Rockets, looking to sweep the Western Conference finals. When facing a four-game sweep, teams are 19-27-3 to the number, obviously a major exception to the so-called zigzag theory. Entering today’s game, the blind zigzag is actually 458-421-12.
What is the zigzag and does it work? Grandmaster Handicapper Joe Duffy answered it years ago and the truth remain evident.
Golden State is a five-point road favorite with a total of 214.5. The spread is unchanged from the opener, though the total is trending downward from the 214.5 opener.
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A large majority of 67 percent expect the road favorites to cover, with 54 percent preferring the under. That being said, 53 percent of speculators believe Houston is the better risk/reward wager on the money line.
The Warriors are 52-39 against the spread, going under at a 52-39 rate. They are 24-21 on the highway in the wallet, under 28-19. Houston is 57-39 in the back pocket, over 50-47, 31-18 at home, but a slight under team by 26-23.
Golden State has the much better offense shooting 1.6 percent from the field more than their foes normally allow, while Houston is a negative .4. Golden State holds teams to 1.9 percentage points below their normal shooting average, Houston .7 below.
Golden State has best net rating in the postseason at 9.7, while Houston is a stunning -3.3. Net rating is the difference between offensive and defensive ratings points per 100 possessions.
A big change for Golden State is their pace. They have the six slowest of the 16 playoff teams getting 95.25 possessions per 48 minutes after easily leading the league in the regular season at 100.69.
Spread trends (all records against the spread): Golden State is 2-7 versus an opponent that allowed 100 or more points last game, while Houston is 13-3 off double-digit loss.
Over/under angles: Golden State has gone under 9-1 last 10 and under 43-18 to Southwest. Houston has gone over 11-4 at home.
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