Rumors going into the 2019 NBA playoffs we that the Houston Rockets were going to surprise the world by knocking off the juggernaut, Golden State Warriors. Well, they didn’t get Game 1 in the Oracle Arena. And they were not able to take one of the Warriors in Oakland in Game 2 either. Heck, they couldn’t even cover the point spread as 5-point dogs. Harden and Houston missed the number by one.
Game 3 plays on Saturday evening and the Rockets finally get to show us what they are made of in the Toyota Center. So after that meeting, maybe we’ll have a little more data to work with as to whether or not this Rockets prophecy will come true. Whether you are betting on March Madness or the NBA playoffs, basketball is an unpredictable sport and the Rockets certainly have the fire power to stage a comeback in this series.
Let’s break down the matchup for Game 3.
Warriors @ Rockets | May 4th, 8:30 PM
The media has been critical of James Harden’s style of play lately. They have been wondering if he has found a loop-hole in the rules. But former teammate, Kevin Durant backed him up, saying that he finds ways to get his shots, just like any other player. That said, just because KD supports Harden, does not mean that he isn’t going to go into the Toyota Center on Saturday and try to put the proverbial foot on Houston’s neck by sending them to Game 4 down 3-1.
But now the roles are reversed. The Houston Rockets are 4-point favorites at home. But does that mean that we should jump all over Houston to win and cover the point spread? Let’s look at some basic stats.
- The Rockets Home Offense Scores 116.55 Points Per Game.
- The Golden State Warriors Away Offense Scores 117.73 Points Per Game.
- The Rockets Home Defense Allows 108.57.
- The Warriors Road Defense Allows 110.64.
Just looking at the situational averages, we can see that the Houston Rockets have about a 1-point advantage. So, when we compare that against a 4-point spread and find that there is not instant value in hopping on the Houston Rockets to cover ATS.
More so than the minuscule point margin differential what I find troubling is the fact that Golden State out-classes the Rockets in every category, even while considering the Home vs. Away stats.
- The Warriors on the road, still sink a higher percentage of shots from the field than the Rockets do at home, 49.11% – 45.31%.
- Golden State has a higher 3-point percentage on the road than the Rockets do in Houston, 39.13% – 36.26%
- The Warriors snag more rebounds while away than the Rocket do at home, 46.45 – 42.80
- Golden State even shoots a smidge better from the line, 80.56 – 79.13.
That said emotion and electricity will come into play at the Rockets first home playoff game against the Warriors. So, I wouldn’t bet on the Warriors to win. That said, the Warriors are all around a better team, despite what media gossip and rumors might say.
If the Houston Rockets do win, it most likely won’t be a blowout. On top of this, the Warriors are pretty good at covering the spread as underdogs. I wouldn’t back them as favorites, because their percentage is poor. But as away -dogs the Warriors are 66.7% and as underdogs, in general, they are 57.1% against the spread.
Take the Warriors +4 or +4.5 before the line moves down to +3.5 or +3.