Top Value ATS NBA Pick for Warriors vs. Rockets Game 3

Jason Lake

Friday, May 22, 2015 8:16 PM GMT

Friday, May. 22, 2015 8:16 PM GMT

After covering twice while losing in Oakland, the Houston Rockets should still be a solid basketball pick when they return home Saturday to host the Golden State Warriors.

Jason’s record as of May 21: 78-79-5 ATS, 17-19 Totals, plus-0.15 units ML, 6-2 Series (plus-4.0 units)

 

They must have some really good deer-antler spray in Oakland. Despite hurting his knee in the first game of the Western Conference Finals, Dwight Howard suited up for the Houston Rockets Thursday night in Game 2. Not only did Howard play, he logged 40 minutes had a fantastic game: 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, plus 17 rebounds – five of them on the offensive glass. Don't bogart that spray, Holmes.

Too bad Howard couldn't play the full 48 minutes. Despite his best efforts, the Rockets came up a bucket short against the Golden State Warriors, dropping a 99-98 decision to fall to 0-2 in this series. Too bad for them, but at least we got paid. The Warriors were laying 10 points at the official close; with Saturday's Game 3 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) shifting to Houston, the basketball odds have also shifted, making the Rockets 1.5-point underdogs at press time.

 

Stay the Course
Howard is listed as probable for Game 3, so we don't have to worry about splitting our NBA picks like we did for Game 2. In fact, we can probably stick with the game plan and ride the Rockets again. Our premise going into the Western final was that Houston was an undervalued commodity. We've seen plenty of evidence now that the Rockets, with all their Four Horsemen available, are capable of hanging with the chalky Warriors.

There is one thing that's causing some concern here at the home office. Have the NBA odds swung too far in the other direction? When Golden State went 2-0 SU and 0-2 ATS in the first round against the New Orleans Pelicans, the spread moved from –13 to –5.5 for Game 3 in the Big Easy. That's... let's see, carry the one... a 7.5-point shift, which is already pretty big in the new NBA where home-court advantage is worth maybe 2.25 points. We're looking at an 8.5-point shift this time around.

We're not going to worry about it too much. Every point counts, of course, but the Rockets covered the first two games with plenty of room to spare. And besides, it's conventional to assign the Warriors a larger home-court advantage than most teams. One other thing: Golden State beat the Pellies by seven points in Game 1 and 10 points in Game 2. They weren't blowouts, but they weren't epic close shaves like we saw Thursday night.

 

To Lose Is To Win
In the grand scheme of things, we'd rather have seen Houston win those two games – we did pick the Rockets (+600) to win this series, after all. But at least those two losses will help keep the Rox from draining too much of their betting value ATS. The famous/infamous zigzag theory doesn't really come to play in this situation. There are things the Warriors can do better in Game 3, like not committing 17 turnovers. But if there are larger adjustments to be made, the Dubs are still searching for them.

Aside from the shift in venue, we just don't see any other changes on the ground that should motivate us to go with the Warriors instead. Howard seems healthy enough. Nobody else got hurt for a change. Let's stick with what we've got and enjoy Game 3. Even with all those turnovers, this is some of the best basketball I've ever seen, in my humble opinion. And that's after the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs went at it in the first round. Fire up the Duesenberg, Jeeves, we need to go get some chips and dip for Saturday.


Free NBA Pick: Take the Rockets at GT Bets

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