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Rockets – Warriors

Rockets Warriors Game 6 handicapping

The Houston Rockets will host the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals. The Warriors are up 3-2 and have a chance to end the series tonight, but they will have to do it without Kevin Durant, who went down with a calf injury in Game 5.

The Rockets (4th seed) went to Oakland for Game 5 with the series tied 2-2, and they were in a great position late in the third quarter, trailing by only 2 points. Then Kevin Durant went down for the Warriors, and it looked like the Rockets will get the first road win in this series. However, they were not able to take advantage, and disappointingly lost by 5 points.

The Warriors (top seed) were definitely in panic mode when Durant got injured on Wednesday night. The Rockets were on a big run, and everything was on the line for Golden State – a loss would have put them in a horrible position going into this Game 6. But Golden State immediately flipped a switch and remembered everybody that they were the best team in the NBA even before Durant got there. Curry stepped up, Draymond and Thompson stepped up, and the Dubs sealed the deal in heroic fashion.

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Team news: There are no new absences for either team aside for Durant`s injury.

Warriors without KD are big underdogs in this Game 6, and that is a mistake.

While KD has been magnificent and the best player on the team in these playoffs, people forget that the Warriors won a championship and went 73-9 in the regular season before Durant joined them. Steph Curry is actually the most important player on the team, and when Durant is out, the Warriors go back to their vintage style of basketball, with Curry flourishing and a ton of ball movement. They actually play better without KD, and that is a fact – although obviously they are better with him in big time playoff matches like this one when physicality increases.

This is why the Warriors are 29-4 when Curry plays and Durant does not. 29 and 4!! That is better than they are with both, and muuuch better than they are when Steph is missing (when they become just another good team). An amazing record which also translated into amazing profit for bettors backing the Warriors in those situations – because, like today, odds on them always skyrocketed when Durant was missing. Yet, they still kept on winning and covering the spread.

Now, it`s true that this Warriors team without Durant is not the same team it was before he got there. They gave up a lot for KD, so now they do not have any depth left – but the nucleus is the same: Steph, Klay, Draymond and Iggy. And two nights ago we saw how they flipped the switch and instantly started playing top basketball when KD got injured. And that was on the fly, which was harder to do. Now, with a couple of days of preparation, they should be even more ready.

Also, just a couple of months ago late in the regular season, the Warriors won in Houston in the same circumstances – without KD.

The Warriors proved time and time again that they are formidable with Curry running the show and without KD, so there is definitely value on them here at these odds.

There`s also the fact that the Rockets will be under colossal pressure. This is a legacy making game for them – if they lose the series at home with the Warriors missing KD, James Harden and Chris Paul will never live it down. These two are known playoff chockers. It`s very possible for the pressure to be too much for them to handle.

The Warriors on the other hand have a free shot tonight, and can play freely without such massive pressure. And they have the championship experience to lift them in situations like this one.

All in all, I am going for the best value here and I will back the Warriors to win straight up. The +7 point spread does not interest me here, because honestly it`s perfectly possible for the Warriors to have a stinker – if Steph and Klay do not shoot well, they might go down big, and maybe even waive the white flag in the second half in order to rest their main guys. I don`t want to take that risk at odds 1.90 – I`d rather take it at odds 3.50 – 3.70. But if the Warriors make shots, they are more than capable to win the game. Personally, I think they will.

I`ve been on the record tens of times saying Warriors without KD are almost just as good as without him, the numbers have always backed me up, so I definitely can`t shy away from the opportunity of putting my money where my mouth is. My tip will be the Warriors to win and I will bet stakes of 10/10. Obviously it won`t be easy for the Warriors to win, and they could well lose. They probably aren`t even favorites to win. But at these odds I have to take the risk with high stakes. Prediction: Houston Rockets – Golden State Warriors 104 – 111.

Pick: Warriors
Odds: 3.75 @ William Hill
Stake: 10
Possible profit: 27.50
Event date: 11 May

About Rostick

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