They say a series doesn’t start until a road team wins, and if there’s any truth to that cliche then the playoff series between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets has yet to commence, as it stands tied with each team having held serve at home thus far.
Can the Warriors prevent this series from becoming another tortuous, drawn out, seven-game affair with a convincing win at Oracle on Wednesday night? Or should Dub Nation just accept that nothing’s gonna come easy this season?
Here we discuss the game five odds and analysis from a betting perspective.
When: Wednesday May 8th, 2019 at 7:30pm PST
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Line: Warriors -6, o/u 219.5
Injuries: Daniel House Jr. (toe) is questionable for the Rockets.
Andre Iguodala (knee) is probable, DeMarcus Cousins (quadricep) and Damian Jones (pectoral) are out for the Warriors.
P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela once again had their way on the offensive glass and Austin Rivers outscored and outrebounded everyone on the Warriors’ bench for the second straight game, helping the Houston Rockets secure the 112-108 victory at home to even the series at two games a piece.
PJ Tucker just pushing Steph under on a box out. Clean play. pic.twitter.com/bKugNjLp7e— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) May 7, 2019
The Rockets are led by James Harden with 31.3 points and 6.7 assists per game, Clint Capela with 9.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game and Chris Paul with 2.4 steals per game in the playoffs so far.
Houston is 46-42-1 against the spread (ATS), 39-46-6 to the over/under, 31-25-2 ATS after a win, 9-8 ATS as an away underdog, 27-26-3 ATS with one day off, 21-31-4 to the over/under with one day off, 23-30-5 to the over/under after a win and 6-11 to the over/under as an away underdog this season
The Rockets have an offensive rating of 111.0, defensive rating of 106.0, pace factor of 97.1 and are 6-3 ATS and 3-5-1 to the over/under in the playoffs overall, 3-1 ATS and 3-1 to the over/under in this series
Golden State Warriors
Golden State let the Rockets have their way during the second and third quarters and on the offensive glass in consecutive games, and reserving their shut down defense for the fourth quarter once again proved to be too little too late.
The Warriors are led by Kevin Durant with 35.4 points per game, Draymond Green with 8.9 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.5 blocks per game and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both with 1.3 steals per game in these playoffs.
The Dubs are 39-52-1 ATS, 45-47 to the over/under, 13-15 ATS after a loss, 18-26-1 ATS as a home favorite, 24-29 ATS with one day of rest, 19-26 to the over/under as a home favorite, 23-30 to the over/under on one day of rest and 11-17 to the over/under after a loss this season.
Golden State has an offensive rating of 118.5, defensive rating of 112.6, pace factor of 99.8 and are 4-6 ATS, 7-3 to the over/under in the playoffs so far, 1-3 ATS and 3-1 to the over/under in this series
Prior to the start of this season, two big question marks about this Warriors team were how the relatively thin and aging bench would perform and how they would replace the losses of David West, Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee on the inside, and the answer may be coming into focus four games into the second round of the playoffs.
While starting the Hampton’s Five has led to the Warriors taking a first quarter lead in every single game of this series, the drop-off in the second quarter has been precipitous and nearly insurmountable in the two games in Houston.
Important pocket of the game upcoming. Warriors were a -12 in first four minutes of second quarter in Game 3. Curry/Draymond on bench. It’s KD/Klay/McKinnie/Livingston/Looney.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 7, 2019
Warriors miss having a reliable 3pt shooter on the bench https://t.co/jDhlnsrIbE— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) May 7, 2019
In each second quarter of this series, the Warriors were outscored 25-34 in game one, tied 29-29 in game two, outscored 23-33 in game three and outscored 26-36 in game four, averaging 7.5 points less than the Rockets in the second quarter of this series. This deficit is a reflection of a lack of bench depth, which in turn may be putting more pressure on the starters.
With high stakes and a thin bench, Steve Kerr is taking a gamble and playing his stars huge minutes in series vs. Rockets. Will it catch up to them? https://t.co/kspHcOA20o— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) May 6, 2019
Another problematic trend in the Warriors’ losses this series is the lack of an inside presence, one that has exposed the void created by the losses of West, Pachulia, McGee and Cousins and has facilitated P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela throwing Warriors aside like ragdolls, easy layups for Eric Gordon and the Rockets having a significantly higher offensive rebound percentage than the Warriors in games three and four.
Will home cooking at Oracle help the Warriors adjust their mindset to improve their defensive effort on the glass and in the second quarter?
Draymond Green: “They’re doing whatever it takes to win and we’re rolling in like, ‘Ok, we’ll box.’ (Said nonchalantly) And they’re slamming us.” pic.twitter.com/pB5F2CELrV— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 7, 2019
While Draymond might be the one Warrior who is fighting with reckless abandon all game and could be correct in believing an attitude adjustment is necessary for the Warriors to win this series, the thin bench and lack of an inside presence are still vulnerabilities.
Each of the first four games of this series has been decided by six points or less, and based on the aforementioned concerns and the Warriors ATS record at home this season, we are staying off of a full game side in this contest.
Given that the most consistent trends we have observed in this series have been the Hampton’s Five crushing the first quarter and Kevin Durant’s unstoppable scoring, we see the best bet as Warriors first quarter ATS and have locked that in at -2.5. In each first quarter of this series, the Warriors outscored the Rockets 28-19 in game one, 29-20 in game two, 26-25 in game three and 28-25 in game four.
If Kevin Durant’s over/under for total points for game five is less than 30.5, we might also consider the over with KD’s point total but could also see Steph leading the scoring in game five, as he did in games three and four at Oracle during the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets in 2018.
Even though three of the first four games have gone over the total, two of those games barely went over, and as series tend to go on longer, the defensive intensity and tension can increase, which could lead to a slowing of pace and less scoring.
Back at home, we expect the Warriors to do a slightly better job on the defensive glass and in not letting the Rockets explode in the second quarter, and lean toward under 219.5 total points in game five.
What is your best bet for Warriors vs. Rockets on 5/8/19 in game 5?
This poll is closed