Bet Thunder To Keep Game 1 Against Rockets Close

Russell Westbrook of the Thunder

Jake Walker

Friday, April 14, 2017 2:42 AM GMT

Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 2:42 AM GMT

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder visit James Harden and the Rockets in Game 1 of their first round playoff series. The Rockets are favored by 7.5 points on the NBA odds board and the total has been set at 228.5.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder finished the season with wins in two of their last three games, but they lost their final contest 111-105 at home against the Denver Nuggets, with Russell Westbrook playing only the first half.

The Thunder scored 106.6 points per game (11th in the league) in the regular season and they gave up 105.8 points per game (16th in the NBA). Russell Westbrook led the team with 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists and 1.6 steals, Victor Oladipo averaged 15.9 points per game and Enes Kanter added 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.

 

Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets won two of their last three games of the regular season. Houston beat Minnesota 123-118 on Wednesday behind James Harden's 22nd triple-double (27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists).

The Rockets finished the season with the second-best offense in the league, averaging 115.3 points per game but they allowed 109.6 points per game (26th in the NBA). James Harden led Houston with 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 11.2 assists, Eric Gordon averaged 16.2 points per game and Lou Williams added 14.9 points per game.

 

Betting Trends

The Thunder are 19-14 ATS in the second half of the season, 11-4 ATS after a division game and 19-14 ATS revenging a loss against an opponent.

The Rockets are 18-23 ATS in home games, 0-6 ATS in April and 14-19 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

 

Final Analysis

The Rockets went 3-1 SU and ATS in the season series against the Thunder. Two of the games went 'Over' and the other two went 'under" the total. Oklahoma City won the first meeting on November 16 but Houston won the next three games, including a convincing 137-125 home victory on March 26.

The Rockets space the floor well and the Thunder could have trouble matching them shot-for-shot unless someone steps up besides Westbrook but defenders like Andre Roberson, Steven Adams and Taj Gibson can frustrate their top scorers and that, along with Westbrook's motivation to prove his doubters wrong will help the Thunder stay in the game and cover +7.5 on the NBA odds. I'm adding the Thunder as one of my NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Thunder +7.5 (-109)
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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