Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors Game 5 Pick
Houston Rockets (59-32 SU, 46-42-3 ATS) vs. Golden State Warriors (63-29 SU, 39-52-1 ATS)
When: Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
By: Matt Lowry, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: HOU +6 / GS -6 (MyBookie Sportsbook)
Total: O/U 219.5
Last Time Out: Rockets won game four 112-108. The series is tied 2-2.
Home Team Only?
We have seen four games so far in this series and the home team has come out on top every time. That means it’s the Warriors turn to hold serve as they defend Oracle tonight. But whether or not they cover the -6 spread will be the biggest question of the night. First let’s look at some of the advantages each team will have due to the amount of rest between game four and game five.
Game four was played on Monday night, meaning just one day of rest for each team. Houston is 37-19 straight up and 27-26-3 against the spread when they get one day to rest. Golden State is 35-17 straight up, but only 23-29 against the spread in the same scenario. My pick is the Rockets to cover the 6-point spread. This is a lot of points considering the most either team has won by was 6.
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I must start by praising the Rockets for defending their home arena and winning two straight games after going down 0-2. This takes a lot of grit, but the Rockets have shown they can beat this Warriors team. Now an even bigger game five approaches and it means the Rockets absolutely must win one game on the road if they want to keep their title hopes alive. But can it be game five instead of a winner take all game seven? Let’s look at what the Rockets have been able to do to the defending champs.
Once again, the success of the Rockets will start with James Harden. Harden is now averaging 35.8 points per game through the first four games, so it is obvious to me that the Warriors will not be able to stop the man from scoring. The only concern I have about Harden is the amount of shots he decides to throw up. Harden is 45 of 108 in the series from the field or 41.7%. 108 shots in four games is quite a lot which is why I believe Harden needs to calm down just a bit with the heaves. It is not like he is even shooting a great percentage so a lot of the time it just takes a possession away from his team. Harden needs to look to get his teammates more involved, especially if they want to win on the road.
I mentioned this player in one of my earlier previews for this series and I am going to him again for game five. The player I am talking about is Clint Capela. Capela has been non-existent for the most part in terms of providing an offensive presence. He is averaging just 9.3 points per game and 9 rebounds per game. The points per game being that low is baffling to me because he is shooting 15 for 22 from the field or 68.2%. It just makes no sense that the Rockets will not feed Capela the ball. I look for him to have a much more prominent role and force the Warriors to guard the paint area more closely.
The End of a Dynasty?
The Warriors looked like they were going to go up 3-1 when they traveled to Houston. However, Klay Thompson had two poor performances in a row and they managed to let Houston tie up the series. Now back at Oracle it is time for the true Warriors to show they are not to be denied a chance to keep their title hopes alive. But what do the Warriors need to do to fend off a pesky Rockets team?
We all know Kevin Durant is going to produce his numbers, so Durant is not a true X-factor. I already mentioned that Klay has struggled in this series and I think a bounce back performance from him would go a long way to see the Warriors play like they are supposed to. Klay is averaging 15.3 points per game this series, including 17.0 points per game in the two home games. However, the biggest problem has been his shooting percentage. Thompson is 24 of 62 from the field in the series or 38.7%. The Warriors lost the two games in Houston by a combined 9 points, so if Klay could have made his shots, this series might already be over. Nonetheless, Klay has showed he plays better at home, so I like him to have a huge game at Oracle in game five.
I like the Warriors to bounce back and win this game on their home floor. However, the Warriors are just 1-3 against the spread and -6 feels a little too high for a series that has been competitive in each game so far. My pick for this game is for the Rockets to cover.
Free NBA Pick: Houston Rockets +6