Underdog Rockets Look to Extend NBA Western Conference Final
Facing elimination for a fifth time during this spring’s Playoffs, Houston Rockets will try once again to extend their Western Conference final series with Golden State when they battle the Warriors on Wednesday night as heavy 10.5-point underdogs in NBA betting at Coral.
Houston avoided the four-game sweep on Monday night, scoring 45 first-quarter points en route to a 128-115 win over the Warriors, picking up the outright victory as 4.5-point home underdogs. The win also moved the Rockets to an impressive 7-2 SU in their last nine when facing elimination, but the club still has a mountain to climb in their bid to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since their last championship season in 1995.
To get back to the Finals, Houston will have to become the first team in NBA history to rebound from a 3-0 deficit to win the series, and hand Golden State a pair of losses on their home court, where they are an incredible 45-3 SU this season, including a 6-1 SU record during the post-season.
Golden State received a scare in Game 4 when MVP Stephen Curry left the game after hitting his head on the hardwood in a heavy fall under the Warriors’ basket. Curry would later return, after passing an evaluation for a concussion, leading a Warriors’ fourth-quarter rally that proved too little, too late.
MVP finalist James Harden was dominant for Houston in Game 4, tallying 45 points including seven three-pointers, to reverse his fortunes after a dismal Game 3 performance in which he picked up just 17 points.
Harden will look to build on those numbers in Game 5 at Oracle Arena, where he has averaged just over 33 points per game in four contests this season, including a 38-point, 10-rebound performance in Game 2.
But despite gaining momentum with their Game 4 win and Harden’s historical success on the road against GSW, the Rockets will need halt a five-game SU losing streak on the road against the Warriors. To achieve that, Houston must find a way to shut down Golden State’s offense, which has averaged 110 points per game in their last four at home.
Not surprisingly, the Rockets’ NBA Championship odds remain in freefall in basketball betting at Coral.
Houston take the court on Wednesday as distant 80/1 long shots, well back from the Warriors, who remain firm odds-on 2/5 favourites, Cleveland Cavaliers, now improved to 15/8 after completing the sweep of Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference final on Tuesday night, with a crushing 118-88 victory.
The Cavs now enjoy a lengthy break while they await the winner of the Warriors/Rockets series, and the start of the NBA Finals on Thursday of next week.