The Western Conference Finals is one of the most anticipated matchups in years as the 65 win Rockets host the 58 win Warriors. Houston is a slight -1.5 favorite at home in the May 14th NBA Playoffs free pick but the total is just as interesting of a wager tonight. It’s the #1 Golden State scoring offense matched up against the #3 Rockets offense so as expected Monday night’s total is high at 225. Some people think that’s not nearly enough points even so – while contrarian bettors are looking at a defensive struggle. Which one wins out?
Is Taking the Offenses a No-Brainer?
As expected, the Warriors and Rockets have both been putting up some huge offensive numbers in getting to the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors have seven games of 110 points in their 10 postseason contests while Houston has 6 such games. Both squads are well rested having not played since May 8th so the scoring should continue. 225 is a pretty high number for the May 14th NBA playoffs free pick – can these talented teams pull it off?
it will be interesting to see how the pressure of the postseason effects these teams scoring prowess. They met up three times in the regular season that included a 122-121 Houston win in the season opener, a 124-114 Warriors win on January 4th, and a 116-108 Rockets win on January 20th. Two of those three games went ‘over’ the total but oddsmakers set the number as high as 237.5. Is there value on the under considering that it’s ‘dropped’ to 225.
Does the Pressure of the Finals Mean Ramped Up Defenses?
Yes both of these teams can score, but something that gets lost is that they have fairly decent defenses as well. The Warriors were 18th in points/game allowed but actually 3rd best in opponent’s field goal percentage (44.7%). The Rockets were 6th in the league in points allowed but perhaps most importantly were the 3rd best team in the NBA in 3-point shooting against (35.5%). Perimeter defense is going to be key not only in the May 14th NBA playoffs free pick, but the entire Western Conference Finals as a whole.
Star power is obviously going to be a major theme of this series. Steph Curry was held relatively in check by Houston during the regular season with 19, 29, and 22 points. James Harden missed one contest with an injury, but averaged 24.5 in the other two games against the Warriors. Kevin Durant missed a game too, but averaged 23 in the two games he did play. Chris Paul was a -13 +/- in one of the games so who really knows what to expect tonight?
May 14th NBA Playoffs Free Pick Betting
Three straight Golden State games have gone under as have 3 of 5 Rockets contests lately in these playoffs. The teams have had some time off, but that may play in the favor of the under – the offenses will be fresh, but so will the defenses. To some bettors, any number lower than 240 is worth a wager on the ‘over.’ The truth is, fans expecting huge offensive outputs may be disappointed – in Game 1 at least.
Free Pick: Golden State Warriors / Houston Rockets *Under* 225