National Basketball Association: Western Conference 1st Round
Game 2 OKC vs. HOU
Best-of-7: HOU Leads 1-0
Oklahoma City Thunder (47-35, 19-22 away) at Houston Rockets (55-27, 30-11 home)
April 19, 2017- 8:00 PM ET (TV TNT) Toyota Center, Houston, TX
After a dominating win in Game 1 to open up this best-of-seven series, the Houston Rockets will set out for a repeat performance when they square off once again against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a Wednesday night clash at the Toyota Center that has the following betting lines from our best sportsbooks;
Best Thunder Lines: 5Dimes Spread (+8.0) ML +318
Best Rockets Lines: BetOnline Spread (-7.5) ML -360
Over/Under: Bovada 223.0
In what was a convincing opening round victory by the Rockets on Sunday when they punched the Thunder in the mouth to the tune of 118-87, Houston is well aware that Russell Westbrook and company will come out with guns blazing in Game 2 with more intensity and sense of urgency as they will seek to avoid going down 0-2 in the series.
But, if Oklahoma City is looking to get out of H-Town with a split, they will need to make some major adjustments or face the same fate.
Houston simply had their way against the OKC defense pounding their way inside the paint for 62 points and out-hustled the bigger and stronger Thunder grabbing 31 second-chance points.
And while the Thunder found some success in stopping the usual sure-shooting of the Rockets from outside the arc where they shot just 10-of-33, they had no answer when Houston looked inside for their points.
MVP candidate James Harden found shooting 3-pointers rough going early on but ended the night scoring a game-high 37 points.
The Thunder for their part not only need to adjust on the defensive end, but also needs to find a way to put some points on the board starting with their own MVP candidate in Westbrook, who shot just 6-of-23 from the floor, while committing nine turnovers. As a whole, the whole Oklahoma City offense fell apart in the second half paving the way for the Houston blowout.
With success against the Thunder all season long, the Rockets don’t want to get ahead of themselves as they know there is still plenty of basketball to be played.
The series will shift to Oklahoma City for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday.
The consensus feel the Thunder will come out more focused and ready to play but will that translate to a much-needed victory? For sports betting purposes, BetOnline is favoring HOU (-7.5) points over OKC, while 5Dimes is giving the underdog Thunder (+8) points.
Bovada delivers the over/under with 223.0 total game points scored; a number I will play as I will favor the UNDER of 223.0 total game points scored as best betting pick for Game 2.