We have finally hit one of the best stretches in sports and that is the end of the basketball season. With a handful of college games left, as well as NBA, we get to witness some of the best basketball as playoff contending teams step it up and make a late push to improve their seeding. The Golden State Warriors fit that mold as they are currently a play-in team, looking to keep themselves in playoff contention. They host the tanking Houston Rockets, making this a must win in Curry’s absence.
Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors Betting Odds
As for if they can pull it off, oddsmakers certainly think so as oddsmakers opened the Warriors as a -9.5 favorite. Bettors are also siding with the Curry-less Warriors, taking them up to -10.5 as of writing. This is an intriguing time of the year with the contrast of playoff contenders and those who are tanking for better odds in the NBA Draft lottery. This matchup perfectly exemplifies that as the Rockets are in a three-way battle for locking up the best odds for the number one pick.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 235.5. Bettors were quick to hammer the under, taking it down to as low as 231.5 in some shops. This is an instant stay away from me as the Warriors offense has taken a step back in the absence of Curry while the Rockets suffer from a lack of facilitation. With the under already going down a peg, as well as a refusal to take an over, I will be avoiding this total for now.
Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors Prediction
The Pick: Warriors Moneyline parlay piece
While I do believe the Warriors cruise to victory, I want to avoid a potential back door as the number has ticked a tad bit too high for my liking. To combat this, I will put the Warriors in a two team moneyline parlay piece. There are a lot of intriguing options to combine them with, but I will go with the New York Knicks as they are also in a must win situation and are going against the Wizards who may be without Bradley Beal.
The Warriors have majorly disappointed this season in what may be the last time we see Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all together. A big reason for that is their home and road splits, dominating home court while losing in curious ways on the road. Rest on back to backs on the road have played a role in this as Curry and Thompson have dealt with injuries throughout the course of the year.
Those worries are subsided as they return home and go against a hobbled Rockets unit. The Rockets have been in the midst of a free fall throughout the course of the year, firmly in the Victor sweepstakes. Without Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr, the defense takes a hit on the perimeter. This opens up holes for Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson to exploit, bringing back the patented Warriors offensive identity that has propelled them to success.
- Rockets are 2-5-1 ATS in the last eight meetings against each other
- Over is 5-1 in Warriors last six games following an ATS loss
Can the Warriors take advantage of the weak Rockets offense?
Rockets anemic offense vs Warriors perimeter defense
Back in the glory days for the Golden State Warriors, their defense was sneakily almost just as great as their offense as they ran as a complete unit on both ends. That side has drastically dropped in production, hovering around average to below average at best.
They benefit in this matchup against the worst offense in the league as the Rockets lack of facilitation has led to low quality possessions and prolonged scoring lulls. Couple that with their turnover woes and the Warriors will have limitless opportunities to turn their defense into offense with their ball hawkers at the perimeter.
With the spread climbing a bit too high for my liking, I will instead put the Warriors in a two team moneyline parlay with the Knicks as they are making a late season playoff push as well.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineups
Houston Rockets Injuries: Jalen Green (O), John Wall (O), Kevin Porter Jr (O)
Golden State Warriors Injuries: Andrew Wiggins (O), Stephen Curry (O), Gary Payton II (O)