Conference Finals NBA Picks: Game 1 of Rockets vs. Warriors

David Lawrence

Monday, May 18, 2015 11:48 AM GMT

NBA betting lines are favoring the Golden State Warriors by 10 points when they face the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Conference Finals of the 2015 Playoffs on Tuesday.

The Houston Rockets Can Win Because…
They have been able to maintain a sense of urgency over the past few games. There’s something professional athletes crave and come to rely upon, and that’s the rhythm of playing every other day or something close to that. The Rockets, by playing a seven-game series, will remain locked into that every-other-game rhythm by going from a Sunday game to a Tuesday game here in Game 1. They have had to win three straight elimination games against a good team, one that beat the San Antonio Spurs in round one of the playoffs. By gaining that mentality of having to be great just to stay alive in the playoffs, the Rockets have played their way into a state of much greater urgency. They have lived on the edge and have been able to pull through in some very tough situations. Golden State hasn’t trailed in a series since May 9 against Memphis. Ever since tying that series at 2-2, the Warriors have been in control of their fate. They haven’t played an elimination game in these playoffs and have therefore not gone through what Houston has had to endure. The Rockets should be stronger as a result of their experiences, and this reality is what peoples placing NBA picks need to consider when evaluating Game 1. Golden State might show more urgency as this series goes along, but the Rockets figure to be the team that will come out swinging in Game 1 and show more determination in the first half. If Golden State doesn’t respond properly, things can get out of hand in ways that will benefit Houston a lot.

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The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
They should be loving the rest they’ve gained over the weekend, plus the chance to stay at home. Golden State has home court in this game and in this series. The Warriors lost only three times at home this season, and only once in the playoffs. Memphis beat Golden State in the playoffs because of a defense that was able to limit the Warriors to only 90 points, in Game 2 of that now-finished series. The Grizzlies had Tony Allen and Mike Conley in the backcourt, two players who could shut off passing lanes, driving lanes, and not allow Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson to feel comfortable on the court. Houston does not have defenders like that. The Rockets were badly outplayed by the Los Angeles Clippers for the majority of six games before their late rally in Game 6. Houston got run off the court in multiple games because its defense was badly out of position. Golden State should exploit this over and over as large favorites in NBA betting odds, and that should be more than enough for the Warriors on Tuesday night.

 

Outlook
The Warriors are a far better team and they’re playing at home. Beyond that, the Rockets are fresh off a grueling seven-game series that took everything out of them. Take the Warriors with your NBA picks in this one.

NBA Pick: Golden State -10 at Bovada