NBA Pick on Warriors, Rockets to go ‘under’ Again in Game 3

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, May 23, 2015 3:39 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 23, 2015 3:39 PM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Saturday.


In what has been a surprising series to many so far, look for a third straight ‘under’ Saturday night when the team with the best record in the NBA the Golden State Warriors (77-17, 32-14 away) this time pay a visit to the second seeded Houston Rockets (64-32, 36-12 home) for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX at 9:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN, with the Warriors leading the series 2-0.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 214½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

Two Close Warriors’ Wins…
Although the Warriors were the best team in the league during the regular season and it took a collapse by the Los Angeles Clippers for the Rockets to get here despite playing practically no defense during the post season, the first two games of this series have been closer than expected with Golden State winning both but failing to cover the spread in either contest while winning by just four points and one point respectively!

That has seemingly made the Rockets popular NBA picks for this Game 3 returning home to Houston after playing the Warriors tight twice in Oakland, where Golden State is now 45-3 straight up this season combining the regular season and playoffs. We are not so sure about that though as the Warriors could very well finally show their superiority by taking a 3-0 stranglehold of this series. However, we have more of on interest in the total in this game.

…And Two ‘unders’ Too
That is because the first two games of this series both went ‘under’, and yet the oddsmakers continue to hang high posted totals on these games, which could continue giving value to the ‘under’ until the books adjust. Granted Game 1 was high-scoring by normal standards with the Warriors winning 110-106, but that was still not enough to eclipse the 219½-point total. Then Game 2 was not even close to the total with the 99-98 final.

Now nobody should be surprised by the Warriors playing defense. After all, the only reason that they finished 15th in the league in point against at 99.9 per game during the regular season was because they led the league in pace rating with 100.7 possessions per game. The reality is that Golden State led the NBA in both defensive efficiency and field goal percentage allowed at 42.8 percent.

The Warriors have actually been involved in slower-paced games during these playoffs averaging 94.6 possessions per game and that has made their fine defense more obvious as they are third in points against this post-season at 95.5 points per contest.

Will the Houston Defense Hold Up?
The surprise has been the play of the Rockets, who have continuously had their defense chastised and deservedly so. With that said, the Houston defense is actually doing some good things in this series, which is a major surprise after allowing 112.6 points per game over the seven games vs. the Clippers and still currently ranking 15th out of the 16 playoffs teams in points against this post-season at 110.5 per game.

But believe it or not, the Rockets quietly led the NBA in three-point defense during the regular season at 32.2 percent, something that they have maintained by limiting opponents to 32.3 percent from beyond the arc during these playoffs and the Warriors to 8-for-24 shooting from three-point land in Game 2.

Naturally that means that the Rockets’ two-point defense has been atrocious, but one reason why they have been competitive in this series is because Golden State is primarily a perimeter shooting team. Do not expect the Warriors to change their stripes here, so as long as they continue shooting a lot of threes, the Rockets will continue to look better defensively than they probably really are.

Surprising ‘under’ Head-to-Head Series
And perhaps most surprisingly of all, it has been a pronounced ‘under’ head-to-head between these two teams both more renowned for their offenses. The first two ‘unders’ in this series leave it at 8-3 in the last 11 meetings overall, and it is also an identical 8-3 in the last 11 meetings here in Houston.

Thus look for that ‘under’ pattern to continue for at least one more game when the series between Golden State and Houston shifts to the Lone Star State on Saturday.

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NBA Pick: Warriors, Rockets ‘under’ 214½ (-105)

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