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Thunder vs. Rockets: Game 2 Betting Preview 

The Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder series is one of the more fascinating NBA playoff first-round series. The Houston Rockets are an enigmatic team, capable of brilliance but prone to enormous letdowns. The best of the Rockets showed up in Game 1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but does that mean they are going to carry their performance over to Game 2 Thursday?

Lots of people felt the Thunder had a real shot in this series, especially with Houston’s Russell Westbrook injured and lacking a clear timetable for his return. Yet, Game 1 offered no indication that Oklahoma City is ready to win. Will Game 2 change the conversation? The NBA odds show that the Rockets are a two-point favorite Thursday. Check out BetUS for all the  online NFL sports betting options.

Chris Paul
Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images/AFP

Oklahoma City

The Thunder, knowing Westbrook would not play in Game 1, had to fancy their chances of at least making the Rockets sweat in this series. Yet, they didn’t show up. Houston led by 16 at halftime and 21 after three quarters, cruising to a 123-108 win. Chris Paul did his part for Oklahoma City with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, and Danilo Gallinari scored 29 points, but they got little help. Houston’s bench outscored OKC’s bench by 15 points (42-27), the same as the final margin of the game itself.

The Thunder allowed 76 points in the middle quarters. They allowed the Rockets to make 20 3-pointers and shoot 48 percent from the field while forcing only seven turnovers. The Thunder’s defense, their strength, was toothless. OKC will need a lot more contributions up and down the roster if it wants to make this a series in Game 2 – or at least cover the spread on the sports betting lines here.

Houston Rockets

It’s the playoffs, which means that James Harden is usually worn down… but not this year. The multi-month break before the playoffs means that Harden is physically fresh. He is normally exhausted when he gets to the playoffs because the Rockets and coach Mike D’Antoni ask him to do so much. The layoff before the Orlando restart could be the best possible scenario for the Rockets in their pursuit of a championship, and Game 1 against Oklahoma City certainly supported that thesis.

Harden hit 12-of-22 shots, 6-of-13 “3s,” en route to 37 points in 34 minutes played. The Rockets didn’t seem  to have a problem  with Westbrook’s absence, they were never threatened. The over-under in the sportsbook was around 225 and they did more than

The Houston bench had to make D’Antoni happy. Jeff Green scored 22 points and Ben McLemore 14. If Houston can get those numbers out of Green and McLemore for the rest of the playoffs on a regular basis, the Rockets will become a title contender. Houston’s recent playoff teams – which lost to the Golden State Warriors – lacked depth. If this team can display the depth it showed in Game 1, the Rockets will not only win Game 2 and this series; they could challenge the Los Angeles teams for the Western Conference championship.

BetUS Prediction Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder

 Rockets 117, Thunder 110 

 

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