The series we have all been waiting for all season long is finally here! The Houston Rockets host the Golden State Warriors tonight in game one of the best of seven games Western Conference Finals. The Warriors were able to dispatch the New Orleans Pelicans with relative ease, as they advanced to the Western Conference Finals by defeating the Pelicans in five games. The Rockets had a very similar series against the Utah Jazz, and sent the Jazz home in game five as well.
The Rockets are -1.5-point home favorites tonight for game one. The game total over-under is set at 225 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST from the Toyota Center in Houston.
What a great series this is going to be. These were the best two teams in the NBA by a wide margin this year. The winner of this series will be the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA title. I know that Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will likely have something to say about that, but whoever wins this series is taking home the title.
Not only are these two teams the best two teams in the association, they are both finally healthy. Houston has remained mostly healthy all season long. They started the year without Chris Paul, but since he has made it back onto the court, this team has not had to struggle through much adversity. They have had the best record in the NBA now for months and are ready to knock off the defending champs.
Golden State has been much the opposite this year. Steph Curry has missed significant time, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. Curry missed the entire first round playoff series against the Spurs and didn’t make an appearance against the Pelicans until game two. He is back now and looks healthy, his ability to be at his best could not be more important for the Warriors as they will have to win despite the Rockets having home court advantage.
The rest of the Warriors team also looks like they are finally healthy as well. The Dubs rested Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson at times in the second half of the year. Once the Warriors realized that they were unlikely to catch the Rockets for the top seed, and the home court advantage that comes along with it, they focused more on resting and getting healthy than they did on winning games.
That strategy led many people to believe this Warriors team might have lost a step as they finished seven games back of the Rockets for that coveted top spot. But the Warriors are the defending champs, and if you think they are going to just lay down in this series because they don’t have home-court advantage, you are crazy. They realized a couple years back when they won an NBA record 73 games in the regular season, only to come up short in the finals, that regular season wins mean nothing. They have been preparing for this showdown with Houston all year long, and it is finally here.
This number opened up at Rockets -1. It has shifted in early morning action to Rockets -1.5. That is understandable as the Rockets are playing at home and they held the best home record in the Western Conference this year. The number has adjusted even further, and it currently stands at Rockets -1.5 points at -115 rather than the standard -110. That means that this number is likely to jump even further. The books are trying to entice you to take Golden State by adjusting the juice, and if that doesn’t work, you will see this number go to -2, or possibly even higher by tipoff. The pubic loves to bet late and they love taking favorites, so expect this number to be on the move as tipoff approaches.
I like the Houston Rockets to win tonight at home. They have been elite at home all year long, and I would be very surprised if they didn’t play very well tonight in front of what should be a rowdy crowd. The -1.5 points just aren’t enough for me to take Golden State, even though I do expect a very close game. When the number is this small, you just have to back the team that you think is going to win the game outright.
And for me, that is the Houston Rockets. This game and this series should be a tight one where most of the games are competitive. If this number moves to -2.5 or more, I would have to reconsider my bet, this game should be that close. So, I will lock it in now at -1.5 before it moves and expect the Rockets to win and sneak past the cover in game one. Give me the Houston Rockets -1.5-points at -115 tonight in game one!