Free 2018 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: Rockets vs Golden State Warriors Prediction (Conference Finals – Game 3)
The NBA’s Western Conference Finals get going again on Sunday night. The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors enter Game 3 in a 1-1 series tie. The game kicks off at 8:00 PM ET on TNT. My NBA pick for April 20th is below and the odds can be found at Sportsbetting – Don’t Miss 75% Up To $1000 Bonus.
Houston Rockets Vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions
The Houston Rockets finished the NBA as the leagues best team. The Rockets went 65-17 to end the season. Houston beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in five games in the first round. The Rockets met up against the Utah Jazz in the second round. Houston was able to skate by Utah in five games as well.
Golden State finished with a 58-24 record at the end of the regular season. The Warriors earned the second place seed in the Western Conference, which pitted them against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Golden State beat San Antonio in five games. The New Orleans Pelicans were the Warriors second round opponent. The Pelicans were knocked off in five games.
The Warriors knocked off the Rockets in Game 1 with a 119-106 victory. After being tied at halftime, the Warriors caught fire in the second half to help secure the win. James Harden and Chris Paul gave great performances in front of the home crowd, but it was not enough. Harden scored 41 points. Paul had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Durant scored 37 points, Klay Thompson scored 28 and Stephen Curry dropped 18 as the Warriors coasted to the win.
Game 2 stayed in Houston and the Rockets gave their fans something to cheer about. The Warriors kept in close in the first period, but the Rockets began to pull away in the second. Many of the Warriors stars put up forgettable performances in Game 2. Klay Thompson only scored 8 points, while Stephen Curry scored 16 points with 1 of 8 shooting from behind the arc. Kevin Durant dropped 38, but it was not enough. James Harden and Eric Gordan each scored 27 points. P.J. Tucker dropped an impressive 22 points in route to the Rockets 127-105 win.
Houston Rockets +7 (-107) Vs. Golden State Warriors -7 (-113)
The Warriors have Patrick McCaw and Chris Boucher on their injury list. Neither one of those players are making a huge impact with their absences. Houston has no player listed on their injury report, which means unless a player is put on the list right before game time, the Rockets will be able to put out any lineup they want.
This game is shifting back to Golden State and the line is largely in their favor. The Warriors are listed at a -335 money line, which suggests they win this game 77 percent of the time. I believe that these two teams have closely resembled each other all season and that the number one overall team should not be this big of an underdog. Golden State is laying seven points, which is a lot in a playoff game. Even when getting seven points with the Rockets, you are still getting the better payout at -107.
I believe the Warriors are likely going to win this game, but if the Rockets continue to exploit mismatches on Stephen Curry like they did last game, then this game will be close. Houston’s stars have come to play as well, and they are not going away without a fight. I do not think it is impossible that the Rockets pull off the upset. If Houston can continue to spread the ball like they did in Game 2, I believe that they have a chance in this matchup. Everyone is so focused on the fact that Golden State has gone to three straight finals, that they are dismissing the Rockets. Houston is a legitimate team. I am picking Houston with the points.