NBA Playoffs Pick: Clippers vs. Rockets Game 2

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 11:35 AM GMT

Wednesday, May. 6, 2015 11:35 AM GMT

L.A. Clippers look to make it 2 upsets in a row over the Rockets tonight and take a 2-0 lead in the series back to LA. Can they pull off the feat? Join us as we serve up our NBA betting verdict.

Los Angeles Clippers
No Chris Paul. No problem. The Los Angeles Clippers win game 1 of the series with the Houston Rockets to take the 1-0 edge on the road. Now, they'll look to take a comprehensive 2-0 lead back home to the Sunshine State when the pair resume hostilities on Wednesday night.

The Clippers didn't just upset the hosts, they crushed them in a 117-101 win on Monday night. So much for being so-called "shorthanded." (The Cavs should take a page from this series.) Blake Griffin posted 26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists, marking his second straight triple double-digit account. And the team as a whole elevated their level to make up for Paul's absence.

With less than ten minutes left in the game and just a point-difference on the scoreboard, the Clippers, all of a sudden, kicked it up into high gear and went on a 12-0 run that saw them pull away from the Rockets 101-88 with 3 minutes left.  After that they simply closed out the game in confident fashion.

After the Clippers stunned the Spurs in game 7 on Saturday, few were holding out much hope for them in game 1 of their second round series with the Houston Rockets. After all, the Rockets were fresh as daisies, well rested after a six-day layoff in the playoffs. While the Clippers were still wiping Spurs' sweat off their brows having barely 48 hours turnaround.  

The NBA odds were stacked heavily against the Clippers in game 1. They were matched as the whopping +300 underdogs at closing doors and the 7.5-point road underdogs against the spread. A dramatic increase from their earlier NBA odds of -235 to win outright and 6.5-points. Tale told, they came through on both scores and handed their backers a nice payday at the sports betting exchange.

For game 2, the Clippers are at the disadvantage (no surprise, really) once again. They enter as the +245 underdogs to win outright and the 7-point road dogs.

 

Houston Rockets Look To Bounce Back
After a sluggish start to their series, the Rockets will be looking to bounce back at home and give their fans something to cheer about. As it is, the NBA betting outlook is favourable in that regard, with the Rockets matched as the whopping -305 faves to win game 2 and the 7-point home chalk.

Clearly, bookies aren't putting much stock in game 1. Expecting a much better performance by the Rockets all around as they settle into the swing of things and the series.

 Rust was clearly a factor on the night. Dwight Howard and James Harden combined for 42 points in game 1, but the latter committed nine of the team's 23 costly turnovers. Indeed, those turnovers were their undoing. On the positive note, they can be encouraged by Howard and Hardens offensive deposits in game 1 and look for more of the same in game 2 as they tidy up their game.

 

NBA Betting Verdict:
The Houston Rockets will have something to prove tonight when they resume their series with the Clippers. Perhaps, they were guilty of underestimating the Clippers. Buying into the talk of fatigue and the disadvantage of a quick turnaround between round 1 and 2 for the Clippers.

In any event, they can't be doing so anymore. They've been served notice in the Western Conference semi-finals. And if they hope to make a fist of it, they'll need to come out firing at all cylinders and maintain the momentum throughout. We think they'll in fact deliver on these favourable NBA betting expectations and win tonight.

Whichever way you slice it, here's our two cents on the NBA betting markets for this game before we serve up our final NBA pick.

Houston's hefty money line odds of -305 are best left alone unless you have silly money to throw around. For one, those NBA odds are too high for a team that is essentially down 0-1 in the series. By that same token,  they are not really worth the return on your stake. Another reason is – let's face it – it's not really a lock NBA pick. Is it? Consider the Clippers have defied the NBA odds, time and time again, and are 4-0 SU on the road in this postseason, money line afficionados have a strong case to consider the underdog bet as the value NBA pick at +245 odds .

In any event, that's our word on money line bets for this game. So, for our money, we're just banking on the 7-point spread on our NBA picks for this game. Like we said, we think Houston bounces back in a big way. Therefore, take the Rockets at 7-points (-110) at Bet365.

NBA Pick: Rockets -7.0 (-110)

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