NBA Picks: Sharps Still Question Stephen Curry's Presence In Sunday's Warriors vs. Rockets Game 4

Jay Pryce

Saturday, April 23, 2016 11:10 PM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016 11:10 PM GMT

The Rockets played more physical and took advantage of the Steph Curry-less Warriors on Thursday, winning on a last-second shot. Join us in analyzing the NBA Odds For the game.

Golden State Warriors (75-10 SU, 44-37-4 ATS)
Curry is listed as questionable for Sunday officially, but the reigning MVP is expecting to play. He practiced in 3-on-3 drills Friday and is slated to partake in full practice on Saturday. Follow his status; it's imperative if placing any wager on the game.

The NBA Odds had the opening line at -6.5 in favor of the Warriors, books adjusting to -8.5 points 24 hours out from the contest. The money suggests Curry will suit up.

How much is the NBA's leading scorer worth to the Warriors? It's hard to place a definite number on it, but it's at least 10 points or more. Since Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Curry emerged as the core-three at the start of last season, he's only missed seven games total. Golden State is 3-4 SU and 1-6 ATS. The key number here is the points differential, though. When out, the Warriors average scoring margin is -3.4 points, opposed to 10.7 when Curry suits up. Green and Thompson played in all but one contest.

Although Thompson, Curry's fellow Splash Brother, was expected to pick up the scoring void, Marreese Speights surprised all, coming off the bench for 22 points to lead the team. This isn't necessarily a good sign for Golden State backers and fans of high-scoring contests. The Warriors are 4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS and the UNDER 4-2 when the big guy leads all scorers.


 

Houston Rockets (42-43 SU, 37-46-2 ATS)
James Harden must produce for the Rockets to win, and he did so with 35 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in Game 3. Most importantly, he committed just four turnovers and found the charity stripe 14 times; two key areas for the four-time All Star. The Rockets are now 15-5 SU and 13-6-1 ATS when Harden nets 35 points or more, winning eight of 11 outright as the underdogs.

The Rockets may have benefited from a little home-cooking Thursday night. The NBA admonished game officials for poor refereeing in the final two minutes, pointing out five missed calls to close out the contest. None more important than Harden's game-winning jumper with 2.7 seconds to play. Replays showed he pushed off Andre Igudala to clear space; officials swallowed their whistles. A harsher flagrant penalty should have been called on Draymond Green's takedown of Michael Beasley on the game's final in-bound play, too. Bettors should expect more calls in the crunch tonight with the league in full-scrutiny mode.

The Rockets dominated the boards in the win. Big men Dwight Howard and Donatas Motiejunas collected 13 rebounds a piece. Golden State is 12-6 SU and 8-9-1 ATS away from Oracle Arena when outrebounded on the night, suffering over half of their season's defeats. Another strong performance on the glass is needed for Houston to even up the series.

 

Final Analysis
Last game, we liked the Over if Curry played, but advised to back the Rockets plus the points if he sat out. With the sharpshooter vowing to test the ankle in Game 4, we'll target the Warriors ATS tonight. Houston should carry over some momentum, but after last game can't see it stringing together four quarters of 25 points or more to push the total over. Like last time, scrap the NBA pick and back Houston ATS if the MVP sits out.  He's that big of a difference.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011059, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,169,999996,180,139], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NBA Pick:  Rockets Over 217 -105
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

comment here