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The Houston Rockets (6-5) will take on the Golden State Warriors (6-8) in a Western Conference showdown in The Bay on Monday.
The Rockets are on the second night of a back-to-back and fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 105-104 on Sunday. They’re also winless (0-4) on the road and dropped back-to-back games after ripping off a six-game win streak.
The Warriors are only 1-6 at home and are losers of six straight. Draymond Green is serving the third game of a five-game suspension and will be unavailable, while Steph Curry will be back for the second time since his return from a knee injury.
Here, we’ll go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for Monday’s contest.
The Warriors are moderate favorites at home coming off their heartbreaking overtime loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
|Houston Rockets||+7.5 (-110)||+240||Over 221.5 (-105)|
|Golden State Warriors||-7.5 (-110)||-300||Under 221.5 (-115)|
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The Rockets are much improved from a season ago. Despite their early struggles on the road, they’re fourth in defensive rating, seventh in overall net rating, and 7-3-1 against the spread.
21-year-old center Alperen Sengun is the engine that makes the Rockets’ offense run. Despite only ranking 54th in usage rate, he’s the hub of a multitude of offensive actions and the go-to man in clutch situations, as seen during his late flurry against the Lakers.
Surrounding Sengun is a team of willing passers, cutters, and fearless shooters who all play aggressive defense. Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks are the two defensive standouts and are both physical and disruptive.
Even though Houston makes its money on the defensive end, it’s still an effective offensive team. They don’t have a 20-point-per-game scorer, but they’re 13th in three-point percentage and seventh in points off opponents’ turnovers, which reflects their commitment to forcing and taking advantage of mistakes.
The Rockets’ main weakness is on the glass. They’re 20th in rebound rate and 25th in offensive rebounds per game, and they don’t have any specialists they can insert in key situations to grab a board.
A situation to monitor is how this team performs on the road moving forward. It’s a small sample size, but they’ve allowed 113.3 points per game on the road compared to just 101.4 at home. They also scored 103 per game on the road and 113 at home.
The Warriors have fallen on tough times after what looked to be a very promising start to their campaign. On a positive note, only one loss during their six-game skid came by more than eight points, which shows they’ve remained competitive.
Unfortunately for Golden State, they’re 21st in fourth quarter scoring differential—but that speaks to greater issues within their team more than anything.
One of the glaring problems is that they don’t have an identity. In years past, they were an excellent three-point shooting team that, in most years, was also outstanding defensively and could win the rebounding battle by forcing opponents to play small.
This iteration of the Warriors team has none of those qualities. They rank 22nd in three-point percentage, 16th in defensive rating, and 10th in rebounding percentage.
Steph Curry is averaging 30.3 points but is down to a career-worst 3.8 assists. Klay Thompson, the team’s second-leading scorer, is averaging only 14 points per game on 33% three-point shooting and still has not scored 20 points one time thus far.
Andrew Wiggins exploded for 31 points in his last game but is still averaging just 12 points and 3.9 rebounds for the year.
Golden State, as previously mentioned, will be without Green on Monday. That will put more of the playmaking burden on Chris Paul (9.4 points, 7.4 assists) and more of the defensive and rebounding responsibilities on Kevon Looney (6.1 points, 9.7 rebounds).
The Warriors are almost totally reliant on Curry having a strong night for them to have a chance of winning. As proof, they’re 4-2 when he cracks the 30-point barrier and 2-6 when he doesn’t.
The Rockets are going to want to make this game as scrappy as possible, especially after going to the wire with the Lakers last night. VanVleet, Brooks, and others are going to hound Curry beyond the perimeter and will make him work for his shots. He only shot 8-21 from the field in his first game back and is going to have a hard time finding his rhythm against this defense.
The Dubs can take solace in the fact that a player other than Curry finally broke the 20-point barrier. But with Thompson shooting the ball the way he has (specifically with his selection and volume), there are going to be concerns over how they’ll hold up long-term.
We like the Rockets at +7.5. We don’t expect this to be a high-scoring game, which favors the team catching the points. They also have the defense needed to keep a game close, especially against a struggling team down its defensive anchor and initiator on offense.
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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