NBA Playoffs – Conference Semi’s Features Top Teams

Warriors and Rockets Playoff Rematch Drawing Most NBA Betting Interest

The Warriors and Rockets tipoff conference semifinal action Sunday, and Golden State is currently a -250 favorite to win the series over Houston with the Rockets +200 to win and advance.

In my latest article at Forbes, I break down key series between the Warriors and Rockets with Game 1 and series situations and betting info, along with the other conference semifinal series prices and adjusted odds to win the NBA championship.

#1 Golden State vs #4 Houston Warriors -250 Rockets +200
#2 Denver vs #3 Portland Nuggets -145 Trailblazers +125
#1 Milwaukee vs #4 Boston Bucks -310 Celtics +250
#2 Toronto vs #3 Philadelphia Raptors -300 76ers +240

The Rockets are taking more money on both the series and Game 1 where Houston is a +5.5-point underdog.

By the way, the Milwaukee Bucks (-7.5) open their series at home against Boston in Game 1 Sunday also, and the Bucks are off a 4-0 series sweep over Detroit in which they outscored the Pistons by a record margin of 95 points.

According to research from Mr. East sports, a team off a sweep in Round 1 is 18-2 SU and 15-5 ATS in Game 1 of Round 2 including 13-1 ATS with a line from -6 to -11.5. All Round 2 match-ups with those line parameters in Game 1 are 28-5 SU and 24-9 ATS since 2006 and the Toronto Raptors (-6) won and covered in their 108-95 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers to open conference semi’s Saturday night.

3-Point Shooting Leading NBA Playoff Teams

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) react after a play during a game March 13.

Warriors superstar Stephen Curry was 24-of-48 (50%) from long range against the Clippers in Round 1 while Klay Thompson was 15-of-36 (41.7%). Rockets guard Eric Gordon (18-of-37) hit 48.6% of his 3-pointers to lead Houston in Round 1, and PJ Tucker (14-of-32) hit 43.8%. James Harden scored 27.8 points per game in Round 1 and made 21-of-60 (35%) from beyond the arc. Rockets point guard Chris Paul struggled from long range making 6-of-26 (21.4%). But many  NBA followers have not fully understood the inherent variance of the 3-point shot, and the Nuggets just won Game 7 against the Spurs despite making just 2-of-20 from beyond the arc.

The Rockets have to get strong shooting from James Harden, and slow down the NBA’s leading scorer in the playoffs Kevin Durant (35 PPG), who made 18-of-45 three pointers in Round 1 and closed out the series with a 50 point performance against the Clippers.

Author: FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful handicappers and professionals. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay