This was a matchup that was highly anticipated when the schedule first came out. The Rockets (6-7) gave the Warriors (12-3) a serious run for their money in the Western Conference Finals last year. Had Chris Paul not been lost to a hamstring injury they might have been able to pull it off.
They didn’t, of course, and everyone is chasing the Warriors once again this season. Houston thought Carmelo Anthony could be the missing piece of the puzzle, but now appear to have had a change of heart.
But after the losses in free agency, can the Rockets still compete with the Warriors? Against the team as it is right now—probably.
Steph Curry is still nursing a groin injury and will miss the game. As great as Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson can be, neither is a player that can be counted on to lead the team every night. Steph is that guy for the Warriors. Durant is a volume shooter prone to cold spells. Thompson isn’t the most consistent either.
Both definitely can be great and put up huge numbers, but they aren’t as reliable as Curry and definitely not as good without him.
Houston has been struggling this season. But they have won five of their last seven including their last two. However, the losses saw them struggle to hit shots and score just 80 and 89 points.
So—who’s going to win?
Houston is starting to find their groove again and will continue to trend in the right direction with a home win over the defending champions Thursday night.
Take the Rockets (-120.48) to win over the Warriors (+100), straight up and against the spread (-1.5). As for the over/under—take the over (220).
*odds via Betway.com