The Rockets look to keep their momentum going when they host the Thunder in Game 2 of their best-of-seven series. Houston is favored by 7.5 points on the NBA odds board and the total has been set at 224.
The Thunder lost Game 1 in Houston 118-87, with James Harden also coming on top
in the head-to-head matchup between the two MVP candidates. Harden led the Rockets with 37 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and three steals while Westbrook had one of his worst games of the season, shooting just 6-for-23, including 3-for-11 from behind the arc and scoring just 22 points with nine turnovers.
Oklahoma City struggled on both ends of the court, particularly in the second half, when they were outscored 59-33. Houston outrebounded them 56 to 41, giving OKC their worst rebound differential in a game all year. The Rockets finished with a season-high 31 second-chance points and they were 12-for-14 on second-chance possessions.
It also didn't help that Victor Oladipo had a poor playoff debut. Oladipo is expected to take some pressure off of Westbrook but he made just 1 of 12 shots (he missed his six 3-point attempts) to finish with six points.
Steven Adams also had a tough night. Adams has to dominate the frontcourt in
order to give the Thunder a chance in this series. I expected him to do that in Game 1, but he was outplayed by Clint Capela (14 points and seven rebounds) and Nene Hilario (15 points and five rebounds).
Adams finished with just six points and five rebounds. OKC won't get far unless he's the best big man on the court. Even Patrick Beverley (10 rebounds) outrebounded him, so it's clear that he has to step up on Wednesday.
The total has gone under in Oklahoma City's last five games, in three of Houston's last five games and in 50 of 93 games in this series. The 'Under' is 25-23 in 48 games played in Houston and 6-6 in the last 12 games between these two teams.
The Rockets have way more scoring options than the Thunder and if Westbrook play as bad as he did in Game 1, they have no chance to make this a competitive series.
The Thunder struggled on the glass in the series opener. Rebounding was supposed to be one of their strenghts, so this is definitely a red flag. The Rockets have too much depth and the NBA odds reflect that, as they're favored by 7.5 points again. The Thunder will play better than in Game 1 but my NBA pick will focus on the total. This is a high number, considering how poor the Thunder offense performed in Game 1. The betting trends also support taking the Under.