Can the Clippers close the series on their second attempt when they host the Rockets in game 6 tonight? Find out as we preview this game and serve up our NBA picks.
Rockets Live Another Day
The Rockets kept their NBA Playoffs hopes alive with a 124-103 win at home on Tuesday night as they drew within a game of the Clippers in the series. Now they'll attempt to level the series on the road as the massive underdogs on the NBA odds board. Can they accomplish the feat for a second game in a row?
Houston Rockets entered the NBA Playoffs as the Western Conference second seed behind a 56-26 SU regular season account. High hopes preceded the Rockets into the postseason, but two rounds in and their campaign hangs by a thread. If there were any criticism to be had, it's that they've been underwhelming and unimpressive so far.
Down 1-3 to the third seed Clippers going into game 5, the Rockets were faced with a must-win game at home if they were to stave off elimination. And contrary to their form in this series, they surprisingly answered the call in a big way, routing the Clippers 124-103 on Tuesday night before their delirious fans.
The Rockets hadn't lost three straight games this season, but the NBA odds were stacked against them nevertheless. NBA betting markets closed on the Rockets as the +130 home underdogs and the 3-point home pups against the spread. Not that the Rockets paid this ominous NBA outlook any mind obviously. Still, the job isn't done yet. They're still one foot out of the door and they'll need another heroic account in game 6 if they are to stand a chance of reaching the Western Conference finals. As it is, they are matched as the whopping +320 road underdogs and the 8.5-point road pups against the spread.
LA Clippers: Take 2
The first attempt to close the series failed miserably, you could say. Take 2 (so to speak) is at home tonight; arguably, it's their best shot to win this series. Will the Clippers triumph this time around?
The Clippers were flat, unfocused and unimpressive in their first really unconvincing account of the series. They came out of the gates with the intensity and ferocity of a slug and fell behind early in the game. After which they never really recovered, even though they did rally in the third quarter and cut the gap from 22 to 13 points.
Going into game 6, the Clippers are firmly installed as the runaway favourites to win outright. They are matched at -400 NBA odds to win outright and the 8.5-point home chalk on today's NBA betting card. Clearly, bookies aren't putting a whole lot of stock into game 5's defeat. Rather they are acknowledging the Clippers' lead in this series as well as home advantage. That and the fact that up until Tuesday night, they've played exceptionally well in the postseason, putting in one of the best accounts of all the teams in the NBA Playoffs.
NBA Betting Verdict
We'd predicted the Clippers to win game 5 and clinch the series and they let us down, obviously. We're still going to shade them on our NBA picks for game 6. Closing out a series is difficult and nowhere more so than on the road. Admittedly, expecting them to pull off the feat in game 5 may have been ambitious. However, doing it at home before their loyal fans is more than doable. It's the smart NBA pick in our opinion. Take the Clippers to win big at home as the 8.5-point home chalk.
NBA Picks: Clippers -8.5 at 5Dimes