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Warriors – Rockets

Warriors Rockets Game 5 handicapping

Arguably the two best teams in the NBA continue their blockbuster duel in the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night, as the Warriors host the Rockets in Game 5 with the series tied 2-2.

The Warriors (top seed) raced to a 2-0 advantage against the Rockets after winning the first two games at home, but couldn`t steal one on the road, so now it`s back to square one for the Warriors. They had their chances in Houston, reaching overtime in Game 3 and missing two game tying shots late in Game 4, but just couldn`t get over the line. Now, back at home, they will look to make a statement and show they are still the big favorites in this series.

The Rockets (4th seed) will surely be delighted to come back to Oakland tied, as there was a lot of pressure on them to hold serve at home in the last two games. They came up big when it mattered, and James Harden was particularly solid in Game 4, showing he might be past his usual struggles when the big pressure is on. The Rockets will now feel they have momentum on the side and will look to deliver a dagger tonight at Oracle Arena.

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Team news: The only new injury problems are in the Warriors camp, with Livingston questionable and Iguodala probable.

Livingston`s potential absence wouldn`t be such a big issue – it will hurt Golden State`s already slim depth a bit, but he has been very poor in this series. Iguodala missing would be a problem, but he`s highly expected to play with no minutes restriction.

This has been an excellent series so far. All games were close, and both teams might feel they could have been up 3-1. But the Warriors have a better case to feel that way, considering they had a real shot to win both of the road games. The Warriors had the only “easy” win in this series, a 6 point victory in Game 2, which was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

Even if the recency bias tells you the Rockets won the last two games and have the momentum, in reality they had to dig really deep to barely edge those games at home. Now, at Oracle, things will be different.

The Golden State Warriors are still the team to beat in the NBA and this is a must win game for them – if they lose, they have to go to Houston facing elimination. The Warriors deliver in moments like these, and chances are they will do it again tonight in front of their own fans.

With KD ballin out and with Steph Curry finally getting his groove back, look for the Dubs to go up 3-2 after this Game 5. If Klay Thompson finally starts playing like himself again, it could even be a blowout. The Warriors do have this luxury – they can be significantly better than they were in the first 4 games, considering Klay has been a disaster, and Steph bad in the first three games. That speaks to their superiority and strength. Houston can`t really be much better.

My tip is the Warriors to cover the 6 point (asian) handicap. The point spread should be accessible for the Dubs. Prediction: Golden State Warriors – Houston Rockets 119 – 107.

Pick: Warriors -6
Odds: 1.92 @ Unibet
Stake: 9
Possible profit: 8.28
Event date: 9 May

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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