Deep Bench Will Help Rockets Cover In Game 1 vs. Spurs

Lou Williams of the Rockets

Jake Walker

Saturday, April 29, 2017 5:49 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 29, 2017 5:49 PM UTC

The Rockets visit the Spurs in Game 1 of their best-of-seven second round series. San Antonio is favored by 5.5 points on the NBA odds board and the total has been set at 215.5.

The Rockets reached the second round of the NBA Playoffs after winning their series with the Thunder 4-1.

It was a high-scoring series with close games and the Rockets struggled containing Russell Westbrook but James Harden's playmaking ability and their strong bench made a difference.

Houston is averaging 112.8 points in five playoff games while giving up 104.2 points. James Harden leads the Rockets with 33.2 points and 7.0 in the playoffs while Lou Williams averages 18.8 points per game off the bench.

Nene Hilario also stepped up against the Thunder, adding 13.6 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds off the bench.

The Grizzlies were a complicated first round opponent for the Spurs because of their physical defense and overall talent but Kawhi Leonard stepped up, proving why he is considered the best two-way player in the league.

Leonard made clutch plays at both ends of the court and he found ways to get his teammates involved. 

The Spurs are averaging 104.7 points in six playoff games and their strong defense has allowed just 96.3 points.

Kawhi Leonard leads the Spurs with 31.2 points, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals in six playoff games, Tony Parker is averaging 16.3 points per game and LaMarcus Aldridge added 14.8 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds.


Betting Trends 

The Rockets are 11-4 ATS as an underdog, 26-16 ATS in road games and 4-1 ATS when playing with three or more days rest.

The Spurs are 22-22 ATS in home games, 9-13 ATS against division opponents and 8-13 ATS after a division game.


Final Analysis

The Spurs won the season series 3-1 but all four games were close, three were decided by just two points and one by six points.

The Houston bench averaged 50.0 points per game in the series against the Thunder and Lou Williams, Nene Hilario and Eric Gordon will help maintain that level of production and keep this game close. 

The Rockets are 5.5-point road underdogs on the NBA odds board and as good as Harden is, their perimeter shooting and depth is why I will add them to my NBA picks.

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