How have the top and bottom seeds fared in the first round of the NBA playoffs in recent years, and what might be the best MLB pick to make? Find out here.
Prior to the tip off of the 2015-16 NBA playoffs, we at SBR NBA picks wanted to explore a few key postseason series trends in some of the first-round matchups. In this installment, we'll take a look at the two featuring the Western Conference favorites: the Warriors vs. Rockets
No. 8 Houston Rockets vs. No. 1 Golden State Warriors
What are the odds of a team that set the NBA's regular-season win total record beating one sneaking into the postseason with a .500 record in a seven-game series? According to bookmakers, roughly -8000 (1/80). That's the price, give or take, a bettor is required to lay backing Golden State to advance to the second-round over Houston.
The Warriors present huge matchup problems for the Rockets. Dating back to January 2014, the reigning champs have taken 12 of 13 meetings, going 9-4 against the NBA odds boards. The only blemish came in last year's playoffs when Houston nabbed their one and only victory, 128-115, in the Western Conference Finals. Let's not forget, James Harden and company were the No. 2 seed last year, going 56-26 in the regular season.
Don't bet on the Rockets taking one in Northern California this season. Over the last 13 years, home playoff teams with a points differential greater than seven points to the good are 45-4 SU (26-23 ATS), tipping off at an average line of -10.8. Golden State enter the postseason with the NBA's best average scoring margin at 10.8 points per game; Houston 0.2, 15th in the league.
Miracles can happen though. Five No. 8 seeds have upset the No. 1 in NBA history; three of these have occurred since 2002: the Warriors topped the Mavericks in 2006-07; the Grizzlies surprised the Spurs in 2010-11, and the 76ers shocked the Bulls in 2011-12.
For those gambling on the over-under 5.5 Golden State playoff losses prop books are dangling, 14 of the last 26 one-eight matchups have gone five games or less to the victor.
Bettors will likely be looking at double-digit spreads, making plays against the number tough to stomach if on the chalk. Keep your eye out for any series props that may appear, and maybe take a gamble for a 4-0 sweep, if available. Make sure the price is right, though.