May 3, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take San Antonio Spurs -5 spread (buy the half point) against Houston Rockets for 3% of the bankroll.
Not many people expected Game 1 of this series to play out as it did as the Houston Rockets not only defeated, but thoroughly dominated the San Antonio Spurs on their homecourt. By halftime the Rockets had amassed a 30-point lead and carried that all the way to the end as they came away with the 126-99 victory. The Spurs played extremely loose on the defensive side of the basketball, which ultimately led to their downfall. They simply gave the capable Houston shooters too much space which allowed them to continuously hoist up 3-point shots. The Rockets buried (an NBA record) 22 of their 50 attempts from long range by simply taking what the defense gave them. We don't expect a repeat performance by the Houston offense in this contest and expect to see San Antonio play much tighter defense.
On offense, while the Rockets could not seem to miss a shot, San Antonio had trouble finding the basket all-night long. The team shot just 36.9 percent from the floor. Kawhi Leonard, who is also being mentioned as a possible MVP candidate had an off night, making just five of his 14 shots. LaMarcus Aldridge continued what seems to be a season-long slump, scoring just four points on 2of 7 shooting while Tony Parker, who scored 27 points in their Game 6 series-clinching win over Memphis, only shot 3 of 9 from the field and finished with 11 points. It was an utterly poor performance from nearly everyone on the Spurs roster and rarely do you see all of a team's playmakers struggle on the same night. We believe this was simply a one-off matchup and should see much improved offensive proficiency from the Spurs in Game 2.
It's not too often that the Spurs lose a game at home, never mind lose a game in blowout fashion. Given how they played in Game 1, there is no question that their performance does not sit well with Gregg Popovich, the coaching staff, or the players themselves. They are a veteran team that has shown their ability to get hot at a moment's notice and will undoubtedly come into this contest motivated to gain a manner of retribution in this contest. This is essentially a must win for San Antonio. If they want to contend in this series, they can ill afford to go down into an 0-2 hole with the venue switching to Houston after tonight. We expect to see arguably one of the best performances of the season from the Spurs tonight.
In Game 1, the Rockets played a near perfect game and that could work against them in this contest as it doesn't leave Mike D'Antoni with much to take away from and adjust his game plan. D'Antoni will likely stick with what worked in Game 1 and we simply don't see the Rockets having the same kind of success in on offense in this contest. Meanwhile, Pop has likely looked extensively at the tape and will no doubt have made a ton of changes to his game plan ahead of this contest. He is one of the best coaches in the league in adjusting his game plan and will have his players ready for this contest.
Despite the blowout in Game 1, the oddsmakers have listed the spread on this game (near) exactly where it was to open the series. We believe the line was fair at the onset and with the game having played out as it did in Game 1, we believe this line now holds even more value. We expect to see much different performances from both teams in this contest and the Spurs should gain their revenge, even up the series and do so in convincing fashion which will lead to the cover tonight.
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