NBA Western Conference Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to hold off the third seeded L.A. Clippers to claim the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Thunder hold a 2.5 game lead over the Clippers and will look to extend that lead with a win over Conference rival Houston. The Houston Rockets are situated fourth in the West and will be two point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers. The game will air on ESPN.
The Rockets are a wounded group. The team has lost its last three games, playing without Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverley and Greg Smith. The Raptors dispatched Kevin McHale’s team 107-103 on Wed (Apr 2) night despite 26 points from James Harden and another impressive night’s work on the glass from Omer Asik (15 rebounds).
The Rockets were not the deepest team in the Association before injuries hit, and now with four rotation players removed, the bench is reprehensible. It shot just 10-of-35 from the floor in the loss to the Nets on Apr 1st.
Howard is not going to be able to suit up for this, nor is Beverley, nor Smith. Terrence Jones should rejoin the team, as he was just battling personal illness. That’s good news, as Donatas Motiejunas has been entirely unbearable defensively for the Rockets. D-Mo picked up four fouls in eight minutes in the Nets contest, and even if he is a good floor spacer and talented offensively, Jones is a far more capable two-way player.
Oklahoma City offered what it hopes will be a preview of the Western Conference Finals by defeating the Spurs 106-94 last night. The fact that it has to play another tough Texas team the next night is just part of the schedule, and a big reason why NBA oddsmakers have chosen to give the edge to the Rockets in this affair. Kevin Durant has been near unstoppable, but coach Scott Brooks may choose to rest his starters some in this game.
Durant saw 39 minutes last night and Serge Ibaka played 40. Russell Westbrook may have fresher legs, but he did attempt 20 field goals in his 31 minutes of play. The Thunder will seek to establish the tone early, but with the season wrapping up health is the number one priority for both teams at this point, and the reason why we’re unlikely to see Brooks or McHale push their studs into 40-plus minute nights in attempt to secure a win that may or may not make any difference in the playoff standings.
OKC Trends: 0-2-2 ATS in lsat 4 Friday games; UNDER 5-0 in last 5 vs teams with winning SU records; 1-6 ATS in last 7 road games.
HOU Trends: UNDER 5-0 in last 5 Friday games; 0-4 ATS in last 4 vs teams with winning percentage above .600; UNDER 5-0 in last 5 vs teams with winning SU records.
Head-to-head: Thunder 4-0 ATS in last 4 meetings; UNDER 5-0 in last 5 meetings.