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Warriors have not been bettor-friendly as underdogs

In what is being dubbed as the de facto NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors face the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference final tonight. It seems like experts and fans have been waiting for this moment to come to fruition all year to see if the mighty Warriors can be slain by their biggest challenge yet during their four-year run of supremacy. The Dubs are 7-3 SU in their last 10 trips to Houston but opened as 2-point dogs to get the victory in Game 1.

  • The Warriors are 24-3 SU in their last 27 games in the playoffs.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Warriors’ last three games on the road.
  • The Rockets are 39-6 SU in their last 45 games.

From the outside looking in, the offense would seem to be the key factor for how this game and series will be dictated but it’s actually the defensive side of the ball that has been both teams’ calling card in this playoff run. Golden State and Houston are No. 1 and 2 in defensive efficiency in the postseason and the Warriors have the edge on the perimeter, allowing only 32 percent from three-point range while Houston’s balloons to 38 percent.

If the Rockets want any chance to neutralize arguably the greatest three-point shooting team of all time, it will need to funnel the Warriors offense to the paint where center Clint Capela has been a beast, averaging 3.6 blocks per game in the Utah series. The “three-pointer or layup attempts only” philosophy of the Rockets carried them to the NBA’s best record this season and at home, they were nearly unstoppable, winning 25 of their last 27 games at the Toyota Center and averaging an outstanding 40 percent from deep on 39.9 attempts in six home games in the postseason.

While Golden State has historically crushed the Rockets (20-5 SU in the last 25 games in this matchup), their road performances in this postseason are not as convincing as in years past. Averaging 29 percent from three-point range on the road (on 31 attempts), this mark is the lowest in four playoff runs for the Warriors as they typically hover around 39 percent in that metric. Another factor that should be troubling for bettors is Golden State is 1-5 SU in six games as an underdog this season, losing by double digits in each loss at an average of 20.2 points.

The total opened at 224.5 and although these are two of the most prolific offenses of all time, the UNDER has been the winning wager when these teams clash. The UNDER has hit in seven of the last 10 games in this matchup with an average combined score of 222.7 points per game.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The visiting Golden State Warriors opened this morning as 2-point underdogs in this one at most sportsbooks tracked at OddsShark (including Bovada), while the total was hovering around 225 at BetOnline and other betting odds shops.

A 112-102 result in favor of the Rockets is the prediction by the OddsShark handicapping pick engine. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NBA matchups here.

Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Houston battles the Golden State Warriors, currently with a 66-26 mark (39-52-1 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, important for totals betting, are 38-53-1 for the Houston Rockets and 44-47-1 for the Golden State Warriors. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Houston vs Golden State injuries news.

The power rankings show a disparity between these teams with the Rockets rated this week at No. 3 and the Warriors sitting at No. 22.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Houston's No. 2-ranked offense averaging 112.04 PPG, against a Golden State defense that ranks No. 17 at 106.85 PPG. The Rockets' field-goal percentage has averaged 45.83% so far, less than the Warriors shooters have achieved on the year, 49.92% per game.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Betting Trends
  • Golden State is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Golden State is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Golden State's last 7 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Golden State's last 5 games on the road
  • Houston is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Houston's last 18 games
  • Houston is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Golden State at Houston, Wednesday, May 16