NBA Playoffs Rockets vs. Thunder: Predictions, picks and bets

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August 18, 2020 1:15 PM

James Harden meets his former teammate Chris Paul in the first round of the playoffs, with the Rockets playing the Thunder.

Oklahoma City surprised many by reaching the fifth seed in the Western Conference and will be confident coming in to this one with Russell Westbrook on the sidelines.

Here are our best plays:

Dimers' Suggested Plays

🔥 BEST: Thunder ML @-118
💪 Spread: Thunder -2 @-110
☝ Over/Under: Over 225 @-110


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Best Bet: Thunder ML (-118) has a 55% probability

This has all the makings of an enthralling series, and the opener will be no different. With Westbrook out, the Rockets offense will rest almost solely on the shoulders of James Harden, and the Thunder will have to do their best to limit the offensive maestro. Down the other end, Chris Paul will once again act as the general, while Steve Adams will be an important piece due to Houston's small-ball tactics.

Oklahoma City are the more well-rounded team, and with Houston missing one of their All-Star pieces, the Thunder will be difficult to stop. Our model has them at a 55 percent of winning, which makes them a great Moneyline bet at -118.

 

Spread: Thunder -2 (-110*) has a 51% probability

Our projections rate the Thunder at the Moneyline and they are also our pick at the spread. Look for this one to be a close contest and the Thunder to cover at -110.

Over/Under: Over 225 (-110*) has a 51% probability

It wouldn't be a Rockets game without an Over bet. They play free-flowing basketball that follows the principle of Mike D'Antoni's six-second offense. Oklahoma City do not play in the same style, but will no doubt get more possessions due to the Rockets pushing the ball. Expect to see over 225.5 total points.

Dimers' take-out

This matchup has plenty of feeling and should be one of the highlights of the first round. The Thunder will be tough to beat with no Westbrook out on the floor, however, Houston should be able to stay in the game with their high-powered offense. This will be close!

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*odds are correct at time of publishing