Tue, May 15, 4:42pm by Staff Writer
The Golden State Warriors took a 1-0 lead in their Western Conference finals series against the Houston Rockets after a 119-106 victory on Tuesday morning.
The Warriors used a third quarter scoring outburst and a 35-point game from Kevin Durant to snatch home court from the Rockets.
The Warriors are now heavy favourites for the series at $1.22 at Sportsbet ahead of the Rockets who are now $4.20 outsiders.
Houston possessed the best regular season record in the NBA this season at 65-17, but as Toronto displayed in the Eastern Conference semi finals, regular season records count for little more than home court advantage in the playoffs, which the Rockets have now surrendered.
An opening round series win against San Antonio by a 4-1 scoreline without Steph Curry, followed by the same series score against a challenging New Orleans outfit has prepared the Warriors well for their best test in some time against the Rockets.
Houston have been a perennial playoff team under James Harden, but the post-season acquisition of point guard Chris Paul has elevated the Rockets to the best iteration of this franchise in over 20 years since their most recent title.
The Rockets brushed aside Minnesota before a series with Utah which threatening to prove difficult after the Jazz stole game two and home court advantage a fortnight ago.
Houston met the challenge of the Jazz and won both games in Salt Lake City, something which teams have struggled to do all season in the NBA.
The season series went Houston’s way during the regular season as the Rockets won two games to the Warriors one, including an early-season surprise win in Oakland.
Houston will need to hold home court in this series as the raucous Golden State crowd will make life difficult for Houston.
Much of the Rockets success hinges upon the play of Harden and Paul, but the Houston bench underperforms compared to that of the Warriors and could well be a point of difference in this series.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has not been afraid of playing his star players 40+ minutes per night and he may need to do that in this series.
Both Houston and Golden State enter this series well rested and having not played to their limits during the playoffs thus far.
In the series total games market, the most popular number is six games at $2.87.
A seven game series is next best at $3.75 with five games also at the same price.
In the correct score market, the Warriors to win 4-2 is paying $3.50.
A Warriors series 4-0 sweep is paying $4.20.
NBA Western Conference Finals Odds – Sportsbet
Golden State $1.22 Houston $4.20
Golden State $2.10 Houston $1.77
Series Total Games
4 games $4.20
5 games $3.75
6 games $2.87
7 games $3.75
Series Correct Score
Golden State 4-0 $4.20
Golden State 4-1 $4.30
Golden State 4-2 $3.50
Golden State 4-3 $7.50
Houston 4-1 $23
Houston 4-2 $13.50
Houston 4-3 $6.55
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