Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.
Look for the team with the best record in basketball to put an emphatic end to the Western Conference Finals Wednesday night when the second seeded Houston Rockets (65-33, 27-20 away) this time pay a visit to those Golden State Warriors (78-18, 45-3 home) for Game 5 from Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA at 9:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN, with the Warriors leading the series 3-1.
Take a Page from Cavaliers’ Book?
As if the Warriors did not have enough motivation with a chance to end this series at home tonight, they just watched the Cavaliers end the Eastern Conference Finals in emphatic fashion at home last night, and Golden State may now want to follow suit as the last thing it wants to do is see this series get extended any further and give Cleveland a big edge in the rest department before the NBA Finals begin next Thursday.
The Rockets managed to stave off elimination and avoid getting swept by being the winning NBA picks 128-115 in Game 4 by shooting 56.6 percent (43-for-76) from the field including putting up 45 points in the first quarter, bouncing back nicely after shooting 32.3 percent in Game 3. James Harden was part of that resurgence, as he went from 17 points and 3-for-16 shooting in Game 3 to 45 points thanks to shooting 7-for-11 beyond the arc on Monday.
Warriors Now 45-3 in Oakland
The Rockets won by 13 points Monday despite getting off 21 less field goal attempts than the Warriors, as Golden State had 97 attempts with the help of 17 Houston turnovers and 10 offensive rebounds, and made 44 of them for 45.4 percent from the field. Furthermore, the Warriors became the first team in NBA Playoff history to make at least 20 three-point field goals and lose the game, as they went 20-for-46 beyond the arc!
Although the Warriors are still up 3-1 in this series, it is the Rockets who are actually 3-1 ATS after covering the first two games here in Oakland while losing by four points and one point respectively. However, the Warriors remain 45-3 straight up in this arena overall this year including the playoffs, and after seeing what the Cavaliers did last night, we get the sense that this game may more closely resemble the 115-80 Golden State blowout in Houston in Game 3.
Remember also that the Warriors wrapped up each of their first two series this year on the road, first at New Orleans and then at Memphis. Thus the Game 4 loss may be a blessing in disguise as the Warriors now get a chance to end a series in front of their supportive home fans, and do not be surprised if they are not bashful about running up the score in the process.
Rockets Prolonged the Inevitable
Sure the Rockets have played well in three of the first four games, and similar to the Clippers’ series before this one, Houston displayed great will by not giving up when faced with adversity with a double-digit win of its own in Game 4 after getting destroyed by 35 in Game 3.
With that being said, the Warriors are not the underachieving Clippers, a team that has still yet to advance beyond the second round of the playoffs in franchise history, so it would seem highly unlikely and downright silly to expect another series comeback here, especially given that no team in NBA history has come back to win a series after being down 0-3. So in that sense, the win on Monday only prolonged the inevitable, which is Golden State going to the NBA Finals.
And the Rockets are not going to shoot 56.6 percent from the field again tonight in hostile territory, whereas allowing 115 point like they did in victory in Game 4 has become way too common for a Houston team that has played virtually no defense this entire post-season.
Responding to Losses
Finally, the Warriors have obviously not had many losses this year, but they have generally responded well to them going 23-11 ATS in their last 34 games following a straight up loss.
Given all that is at stake here, look for that trend to continue with Golden State ending this series with an authoritative double-digit blowout win at home over Houston in Game 5 from Oakland on Wednesday.
NBA Pick: Warriors -10 (-107)