Rockets Had A Chance To Steal Game One, Was That Their Best Shot In The Series?

As you watched Game One of the NBA’s Western Conference Championship series matching the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets this past Tuesday night, you got the sense that Houston had better steal a game before the Warriors went to their extra gear. So much of the series opener felt like Golden State’s half-speed efforts vs. New Orleans (parts of G2, most of G2 and G3) and Memphis (the losses in G2 and G3). Houston better win before the beast wakes up!

Golden State woke up enough in the second half to secure a 110-106 victory. But, the boxscore shows that this was far from peak Warrior. Let’s run those numbers…

GAME ONE STATS
Golden State 110, Houston 106
Shooting Pct: Houston 47%, Golden State 47%
Three-Pointers: Houston 8/22, Golden State 10/29
Free Throws: Houston 18/28, Golden State 14/22
Rebounds: Houston 47, Golden State 43
Turnovers: Houston 15, Golden State 12
Vegas Line: Golden State by 10.5, total of 220

Golden State crushed Memphis when it was “clobberin’ time” with a combination of great defense and sharp three-point shooting. Here, the Warriors let Houston shoot 47% from the floor (including 50% from inside the arc), and were a disappointing 10 of 29 on treys (compared to 14 of 33, 14 of 30, and 15 of 32 in their prior three games).

Yet…the Warriors weren’t ever really “in trouble” in the second half. Heck, they were in position to top the tall Vegas pointspread until Houston strung together some late buckets to lock in the underdog cover.

In sum…Golden State can coast past Houston in this series…and could conceivably coast to a sweep! If the Warriors go into that extra gear that really emphasizes shut down defense and going for the jugular on treys…then we’re going to have an ugly blowout or two….and it’s hard to see the eventual Eastern championship doing much to get in their way when the Finals arrive in June.

The market seemed to read it that way. Even though Houston hung close and got the cover…and even though Houston is the “bounce back” team in terms of suffering the straight up loss (for zig-zag betting theorists), the opening line for Game Two went UP! It opened at Warriors -11 before setting where it is at publication time…

Thursday’s Vegas Line: Golden State by 10.5, total of 220

Sharps who liked the dog in this series couldn’t believe the opener of +11 and immediately jumped in. The public may push that line back higher before Thursday night’s tip-off. We’ll see what game day brings. For now, be aware that many respected market influences watched Houston cover the Game One spread but STILL didn’t believe that games at Golden State should have a single digit pointspread!

How should YOU play the rematch? What seems clear is that the market is pricing Golden State as a champion. When the Warriors are coasting…that’s just too high. We’ve seen that repeatedly in each round. In fact, the Warriors are now below .500 ATS for the postseason with a 5-6 mark. Yet, when they have their game face on…the market lines are too low! Golden State…when clicking…may be the best basketball team of the past several seasons because of their ability to run up the score from long range while shutting opponents down defensively. All five of their covers were double digit straight up victories. 

JIM HURLEY will work very closely with his on-site sources to get a read on Golden State’s mindset. This spread should either be -5 or -15 based on that single element.  INFORMATION is the key to everything in Game Two!

You can purchase the final word right here at the website with your credit card (this rematch along with the best from Major League Baseball). If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours Thursday. Try to call early because there are several afternoon baseball battles. And, remember to check on combination packages that include the upcoming Belmont Stakes in horse racing’s Triple crown.

Our daily Conference Championship previews continue Friday and through Memorial Day Weekend. Here’s what’s on tap through the holiday…

Friday: Game Two Preview…Cleveland at Atlanta
Saturday: Game Three Preview…Golden State at Houston
Sunday: Game Three Preview…Atlanta at Cleveland
Monday: Game Four Preview…Golden State at Houston
Tuesday: Game Four Preview…Atlanta at Cleveland

Obviously each series will go a minimum of four games. We’ll preview every single encounter right here in the NOTEBOK. Let’s hope for entertainment and Las Vegas betting reasons that we don’t have a pair of sweeps!

You’ll always get important handicapping information here in the NOTEBOOK…and BIG, JUICY WINNERS here at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

Be sure to follow:
Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

 

22
Nov
23
Nov

Today’s Hot Plays