WCF Game 1: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Prop Betting

Stephen Curry has hit at least two threes in every postseason game thus far.
Stephen Curry has hit at least two threes in every postseason game thus far.

Game 1 of the Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors will air at 9 PM EST on ESPN, and there are some interesting prop bets given that this series should be a high scoring battle.

The point total at Bovada was set at 224, so the likelihood that one of the stars in this game erupts is very real. That said, the point props for both James Harden and Stephen Curry are very high on the high end totals. Can either surmount the total set by NBA oddsmakers?

Will James Harden score more than 38.5 points?
Yes +700; No -1400

This series is going to be very much about Stephen Curry and James Harden. Harden has been getting to the line over 10 times per game, which nearly gives him an automatic 10 points, but he’s still only scoring 26.8 per game in the postseason. What makes it unlikely that Harden scores over 39 points in this game is that Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes will be able to take turns defending him, essentially putting a fresh defender on Harden to keep him working the entire game. Thompson will force Harden to work defensively, too, as the 2-guard is averaging 20.5 points per game in the playoffs. NO (-1400), Harden does not score more than 38.5 points.

Will Dwight Howard score more than 28.5 points?
Yes +800; No -1600

Again, the Warriors defense is going to make this very hard for Dwight Howard. For all that Andrew Bogut has declined, he’s still a very good and strong defender, and combined with the weak side help of both Barnes and Draymond Green, Bogut will be able to counter a lot of Howard’s go to moves. The sweeping hook is Howard’s bread and butter against more formidable defenses, but without being able to consistently establish deep position, can Howard score 29 points or more in this game? Another NO, which is again part of why the Warriors are double-digit favorites in this game (-10).

Will Dwight Howard record a double-double?
Yes -350; No +275

YES. Howard may not erupt for a huge scoring game, but he should have no problem getting into double figures. Dwight has averaged 13.8 rebounds per game in the postseason and he’s had a double-double in nine of his 12 postseason games in 2015. There’s a reason why YES is set at -350, but it is still favorable odds given that Howard averaged 18.7 points and 17 rebounds per game over the final three games in the series against the L.A. Clippers.

Howard’s last failure to record was Game 4, which saw him foul out in 18 minutes of play. Naturally, the biggest impediment to Howard achieving this double-double is if the Warriors can penetrate and get No. 12 into foul trouble.

Will Stephen Curry score more than 36.5 points?
Yes +650; No -1200

This is a tempting yes, given how Curry has played this season, but it’s also fools gold: 38.5 points is a lot of scoring and the Houston Rockets are No. 8 in defensive rating in 2014-15. The Rockets are No. 2 in pace and the Warriors are No. 1 in pace, so this game will be a high scoring battle, and that gives Curry an outside chance.

Even so, Curry hasn’t scored 38 or more since Game 3 of the Memphis series, and he’s only done it that one time (45 points) in the entire postseason. This is just a long-shot, even if Chef Curry does get cooking.  NO, he does not score 37 points or more.

James Harden 27.5 total points
Over -125; Under -105

OVER. Harden is going to be forcing the issue with Golden State’s defense, and he should be able to continue to get to the line. He averages 26.8 points per game this postseason and this game is going to be a high scoring affair, even if the Warriors do start to run away with the game.

What could keep Harden from eclipsing this total is if the Warriors get too far ahead and Kevin McHale shuts down Beard for the night. It doesn’t seem likely that Houston falls behind by 25 or more, but the Warriors are the NBA’s best home team and Oracle is going to get the Dubs amped up for this Game 1.

James Harden 1.5 total three-pointers
Over -400; Under +300

OVER. Harden has hit 2 or more threes in eight of his 12 postseason games this year, and he hit a pair of triples in Games 5 and 6 of the Grizzlies series. He’s averaging 2.6 threes per game in the playoffs and this should be a chance to get out in transition and knock down some easy ones.

Given Harden’s 13 attempted threes in the last two games, he’s going to likely get the attempts up to do it. He’s attempted six or more threes in all but three games in the postseason.

Stephen Curry 26.5 points
Over -130; Under EVEN

OVER. Stephen Curry has scored over 26.5 points in five of his 10 games this postseason, and he’s done it in two of his past three games. Curry didn’t do it in Game 5 because he only played 32 minutes with the Warriors in command of the game. Again, what makes this bet risky is the same thing as with Harden: If Golden State gets all over Houston, Curry will get some rest.

That said, he would likely be the reason Golden State is in such a position, which is why a confident bet on the OVER at -130 is appropriate.

Stephen Curry 1.5 threes made
Over -1000; Under +600

OVER. Stephen Curry has hit two threes or more in every postseason game. He hit 14 over the last two games and to expect him to hit just one three (or none) in this game isn’t a very smart proposition. While -1000 mitigates it a little, this is a pretty good value given his consistency and gigantic role as the MVP of a contending team. Expect the Warriors to get Curry and Thompson going early to try to run away with this one on its home court.

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