The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors will face off on Monday at 9 p.m. ET to determine the Western Conference champion. The winner will face the Cleveland Cavaliers, who defeated the Boston Celtics 87-79 to win the Eastern Conference’s NBA Finals berth.
Here’s a look at some early odds via OddsShark and some prop bets via Oddschecker prior to the Rockets-Warriors matchup, in addition to some betting tips.
Per OddsShark, Golden State is a 5.5-point favorite over Houston, with an overunder total of 208 points. The line initially opened with a five-point spread before moving a half-point in favor of the Warriors.
Early Odds: Betting Tips
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN provided an update on Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who missed Game 6 with a right hamstring strain suffered at the end of Game 5:
That injury is likely reflected in the spread, which is heavily slanted toward the road team. However, the Warriors may be a bit shorthanded as well, as starter Andre Iguodala could miss his fourth straight contest, per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:
With those two players off the court for the entirety of Game 6, the Warriors came away with a 115-86 win. The victory is even more impressive when considering the Rockets were up 39-22 after the first quarter, meaning the Dubs outscored Houston by 46 points over the final three frames.
Ultimately, the Warriors simply have too much firepower for the Rockets to situs judi bola handle with Paul off the floor. The future Hall of Fame point guard was having a solid series versus the Dubs before suffering the injury, posting 19.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, according to Basketball Reference.
Meanwhile, the Warriors have three elite scorers they can count on every game. If one or two of them are off, the third can drop 30-plus points and lead the team. For example, Kevin Durant had an off night during Game 6 6-of-17 from the field, but Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to score 64 points on 24-of-46 shooting. The duo also hit 14 three-pointers from downtown.
Ultimately, if Paul is out for this game, then it’s hard to back the Rockets, even against the spread. The guess here is the Warriors cover the 5.5-point mark, with the game staying under the 208-point total.
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Notable Prop Bets and Betting Tips
Warriors’ Winning Margin
Bettors can get a solid return on investment if they back the Warriors winning Game 7 by a wide margin. Per OddsChecker, taking the Dubs to win between 11 and 15 points can return 24-5 or 23-5 odds at some sportsbooks, while picking them to reign victorious by 16 to 20 points is listed at 7-1 odds at one book.
It’s hard seeing Game 7 getting as out of hand as Game 6 did, especially with the game being in Houston. But without Paul, the Rockets are going to have trouble keeping up with the Warriors’ offense, so a point spread between 11-20 points is certainly plausible.
If you want to get cute with a bet, consider taking the Rockets to win the first quarter, where they have 6-4 odds at some sportsbooks, per OddsChecker.
Houston has won the first quarter all three times at home during the Warriors series, and it also did so in Game 6 at Golden State before the hosts’ three-point deluge. It’s possible the Rockets use the momentum of the home crowd to get off to a hot start.