Oklahoma City at Houston Game 1 NBA Playoffs Betting Preview & Game Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,April 13, 2017 10:05, EDT in

The best matchup of the first round of the NBA playoffs is an easy call: Western Conference sixth seed Oklahoma City vs. No. 3 Houston. More to the point, it’s an individual battle between MVP candidates Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Rockets will be series and Game 1 favorites. Let’s take a closer look at this NBA Playoffs betting preview.

Oklahoma City at Houston Game 1 NBA Playoffs Betting Preview & Game Info

When: Sunday, April 16th, 2017, pm ET
Where: Toyota Center, Houston
TV: TNT
Stream: NBA.tv
Radio: Oklahoma City / Houston
NBA Odds: Rockets favored by TBA

Why Bet On Oklahoma City?

Can Westbrook single-handedly win this less-talented team a series? He has joined Hall of Fame Oscar Robertson (1961-62) as the only player to average a triple-double for a full season. Westbrook has won the scoring title for the second time and is the first player average 30+ points and 10+ assists since Tiny Archibald in 1972-73.

Furthermore, he is the only player in NBA history to register seven consecutive triple doubles on two separate occasions during a single season. Westbrook also posted five straight 30-point this season to become the only player in NBA history to ever accomplish the feat. To put further perspective on Westbrook’s triple-doubles, there are 11 NBA teams that have amassed fewer triple-doubles in their entire team history as compared to the 42 posted by Westbrook this season. In Westbrook’s career, the Thunder own a 66-13 record in his 79 career triple-doubles.

The Thunder are the leading rebounding team in the NBA (46.6 rpg). OKC is 20-3 this season when outrebounding the opposition by 10 or more. Additionally, the Thunder also lead the NBA with respect to points in the paint (49.8 per game). OKC is 12-2 this season when scoring 60+ points in the paint. Steven Adams (11.4 ppg) and Enes Kanter (14.4 ppg) have combined to average 25.8 points per game while scoring at a very effective clip. Both Adams (ranks 7th; .571) and Kanter (ranks 11th; .543) rank among league leaders in field goal shooting percentage.

The Thunder beat Houston once this season, 105-103 on Nov. 16. Westbrook finished with 30 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Victor Oladipo added 29 points and 10 rebounds. Harden finished with 13 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. He made just 4 of 16 shots while being harassed by Andre Roberson.

Why Bet On Houston?

Harden won the NBA assists title and was second to Westbrook in scoring along with Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. Harden leads the NBA in double-doubles and joined Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average at least 29.0 points, 11.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds in a single season. Harden is the first player with at least 2,000 points, 900 assists and 600 rebounds in a single season.

Houston has won nine of the past 12 regular-season meetings vs. OKC after losing five of the six games prior. Houston has won 6 straight at home vs. OKC (tied for third-longest in all-time series). The Rockets won by 12 points on 3/26 after the first three meetings were separated by a total of three points in Houston’s favor (all 3 by 3 or fewer pts).

That March 26 game was the last meeting. Oklahoma City trailed 123-102 with 6:36 remaining before cutting the deficit to eight 1:32 left but did not come closer the rest of the way.

Houston averaged 115.0 ppg on 47.9% shooting while OKC averaged 111.3 ppg on 46.3% FGs. The Rockets averaged 15.0 3FGM on 37.5% shooting while Thunder averaged 10.5 on 37.2% 3FGs. Houston averaged 27.5 assists while OKC averaged 21.3. The Rockets averaged just 9.8 offensive boards compared to 11.3 for Thunder.

Harden averaged 20.5 points, 12.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.50 steals vs. OKC but shot 34.3% from the floor and 7-of- 31 (22.6%) from 3. Eric Gordon averaged 19.0 points and shot 40.5% from 3-point range but just 38.5% inside-the- arc. He had just 6 turnovers in the four games. Nenê averaged 14.3 points on 76.7% shooting in 19.5 minutes per game. Ryan Anderson averaged 13.3 ppg on 38.5% shooting in 3 GP.

The NBA established the current 16-team playoff format in 1984. Since that point, the Rockets have participated in 23 first round series, winning nine. The first round was extended to a best-of- seven format in 2003. Houston has played nine first round series since that point, winning two (2009, 2015). Since the 16-team playoff format was established in 1984, the Rockets are 51-59 in first round games, including 33-22 at home and 18-37 on the road.

Oklahoma City at Houston Game 1 NBA Playoffs Betting Pick: Houston Rockets

Westbrook is amazing, but Houston will defend him differently in the postseason. Houston takes Game 1.