Oklahoma City Vs Houston Line, Pick & Betting PreviewNoah Williams
NBA betting enthusiasts and hoops fans everywhere will be treated to what promises to be an absolutely thrilling affair when the league’s top two MVP candidates, Russell Westbrook and James Harden take to the court to lead their respective teams to victory in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series on Sunday.
Westbrook and the sixth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder will look to steal game one and cover the spread as solid road dogs against Harden and the favored Houston Rockets. Now, let’s find out where the value in this intriguing matchup lies.
No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder Vs No. 3 Houston Rockets Line, Pick & Betting Preview
The Rockets are solid 6.5-point home favorites when they host Oklahoma City on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 9:00 PM ET, live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. This game airs live on TNT.
When: Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 9:00 PM ET
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Spread: Houston -6.5
Why Bet The Oklahoma City Thunder Odds at +6.5
The best reasons to bet on the Thunder in Game 1 is that they have the incomparable Russell Westbrook on their roster and a bit of momentum after winning four of their last six regular season games. Westbrook is the likely winner of this season’s MVP award after becoming the first player in over six decades to average a triple-double by putting up a jaw-dropping 31.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game this season.
Oklahoma City ranks a respectable 11th in scoring (106.6 ppg) but just 16th in points allowed (105.8 ppg). Shooting guard Victor Oladipo (15.9 ppg), and centers, Enes Kanter (14.3 ppg) and Steven Adams (11.3 ppg) also average double figures in scoring for the Thunder but that’s about where their offensive excellence ends.
Why Bet The Houston Rockets Odds at -6.5
There are a handful of great reasons to back the Houston Rockets in game 1 starting with the fact that they beat the Thunder in each of the last three regular season meetings against Oklahoma City after dropping their opening meeting while posting an identical 3-1 ATS mark along the way.
Houston also has its own unstoppable superstar in Harden who put up an eye-popping 29.1 points, league-leading 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game while leading the Rockets to a phenomenal 55-win season all after moving to point guard for the first time and playing under a new head coach in Mike D’Antoni.
Despite ranking a dismal 26th in points allowed (190.6 ppg), the Rockets beat their opponents because of their powerful, second-ranked offense (115.3 ppg) and plethora of quality role players surrounding Harden.
In addition to their resident superstar, the Rockets have an insane five other players averaging double figures in scoring in Eric Gordon (16.2 ppg), Lou Williams (14.9 ppg), Ryan Anderson (13.6 ppg), Clint Capela (12.6 ppg) and Trevor Ariza (11.7 ppg). In addition to all of that, Patrick Beverly, Nene and Montrezl Harrell all average over 9.0 points per contest.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
While Houston took three of four from Oklahoma City during the regular season, you should know that three of the four meetings were decided by three points or less, so this series could be even more entertaining than it looks, believe it or not.
Having said that, I’m going to urge you to back Harden and the Rockets to get the win and narrow ATS cover seeing as how they laid a 12-point smackdown on the Thunder on March 26 in the last meeting between these Western Conference title hopefuls.
Not only that but Oklahoma City has gone 1-9 ATS in their last 10 meetings against the Rockets and 1-5 ATS in their last six road games against Houston.
In the end, Harden and the Rockets have too much offensive firepower for the Thunder to keep up with, not only in Game 1, but likely, for the entire series. Back Harden and the Rockets to win and cover.
My final score prediction is Houston 111 Oklahoma City 104