May 9, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take the UNDER 215 total points in Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs for 3% of the bankroll.
With the series now tied at 2 games apiece, Game 5 is going to prove to be most critical for both teams in this series as the winner of tonight's contest will be placed firmly in the driver's seat to move on to the Western Conference Finals. While both of these teams have flashed their muscle on the offensive side of the ball at times in this series, with this being such an important game, we expect both defenses to be the stars of the show in this one.
After their defense played so well in Game 3 in Houston, holding the Rockets to just 92 points on their home floor, the Spurs were absolutely torched in Game 4. The Rockets were once again hot from three-point range, draining 19 of their 43 attempts (44%). In that contest, the Spurs' defense was so fearful of the Rockets three-point shot, that Houston was able to penetrate the lane and make easy baskets nearly at will. The Spurs got away from what worked for them defensively in Game 3, and that was not giving up the easy baskets. By clogging the lane and also closing out on the perimeter, the Rockets shooters were never able to establish a solid rhythm, however San Antonio did not do that very well in Game 4 and that allowed the Rockets to pick and choose where they wanted to go with the basketball. We expect Gregg Popovich to get back to the basics and go back to the defense that what worked so well for his team defensively in Game 3.
As for the Rockets, they were manhandled themselves in Game 2, allowing the Spurs to get inside and dominate in the paint. They did much better defensively in Games 3 and 4, forcing the San Antonio shooters into contested shots and held the Spurs to 103 & 104 points respectively. Mike D'Antoni has seemingly figured out what is takes defensively to contain the Spurs so he shouldn't have much of an adjustment on the defensive side of the ball ahead of this contest. We would expect to see a similar style game plan tonight.
This series has been fairly lopsided for both teams, with each coming away with double-digit wins in each of their victories. It's rare that we continuously see each team blowing out the other and believe this contest is destined to be a much closer contested affair, especially with this game being of such a critical nature. There is a lot at stakes for both teams tonight and we believe both teams will look to slow the pace of the game down a bit to ensure that they get quality looks at the basket on each and every possession. Mistakes could ultimately affect the overall outcome of this matchup and we believe both teams will look to keep their mistakes at a minimum and that will result in less 'easy baskets'. We have yet to see a 105-103 type matchup in this series, but that is what we believe we are in form tonight. If this game can avoid going to overtime, we believe this will be a lower scoring game, focusing on more of a defensive effort from both sides which will fall just under the total tonight.
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