Thunder vs. Rockets Game 1 Pick
The last Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs may be the most anticipated as the Houston Rockets host the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at 9PM ET.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Houston is favored at home, as the Rockets are getting odds of -7 points against the Thunder. The over/under total for the game is listed at 227.5 points. Houston won and covered the spread in three of four meetings with the Thunder this season.
Houston won four of its last six games this season to finish at 55-27 overall and earn the third seed in the West. The Rockets were also 42-40 against the spread while putting up a 30-11 mark at home. For the season, Houston averaged 115.3 points per game on offense while allowing 109.6 on defense. At home, the Rockets put up 117.2 points per game while allowing 108.3. James Harden led the team with 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game this year while Eric Gordon added 16.2 points per contest.
Oklahoma City also won four of its last six games to end up at 47-35 on the season. The Thunder were 45-36-1 against the spread while going just 19-22 in road games. On the season, the Thunder averaged 106.6 points per game on offense while allowing 105.8 on defense. On the road, OKC averaged only 103.7 on offense while giving up 108.1 on defense. Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double of 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game this season. Victor Oladipo was the next leading scorer at 15.9 points per game.
This game features the top two MVP candidates and both should be eager to prove they are the best. I like Harden’s supporting cast more than Westbrook’s though, as Houston is a dynamic offensive team, especially at home. Westbrook has to do most of the work for OKC, which he has proven he can do, but sometimes he is forced to press and that leads to road struggles. I am going to go with Houston at home tonight, as the Rockets should be able to set an offensive pace that the Thunder won’t match.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: CHICAGO BULLS +7.5