NBA Betting Odds — Rockets Wants to “Shoot the Moon” in Playoffs This Season

When you go out and acquire somebody like Dwight Howard, it is not for purposes of merely being a fringe contender. That’s why it was important for the Houston Rockets to gain the home court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, which they did by the hair of their chinny-chin-chin as they get ready to face the Portland Trail Blazers in NBA betting action that begins at 9:35 PM ET at the Toyota Center in Houston.

It is Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs, and the winner of this series, which matches the #4 and #5 seeds, will meet up with either the San Antonio Spurs or Dallas Mavericks in the next round of play.

Houston was eliminated by Oklahoma City in six games last year’s playoffs, while Portland has found a first-round exit door in each of the last six post-season appearances it has made.

In the NBA betting odds that have been established at BetDSI on this game, the Rockets are the home favorites:

Houston Rockets -5.5
Portland Trail Blazers +5.5

Over 215 points -110
Under 215 points -110

The Rockets saw Howard as a missing piece of their puzzle, as they had been trying to replace Yao Ming, who had to retire because of injury issues. Howard came through with a very good season, averaging 18.3 points and 12.2 rebounds. And he served as an ideal complement to the outside game of James Harden, Chandler Parsons and others. Harden, in fact, averaged 25.4 points per contest, which ranked fifth in the NBA, and the Rockets attempted 27 three-pointers per game, indicating that this is one team that will stretch the opponents defense at every opportunity.

So as NBA bettors can imagine, there is going to be a defensive challenge for Portland in this one. One thing the Blazers, who have permitted 45.1% shooting on the part of opponents, have been able to count on is good health. Only one starter has missed any action for this team, and that was power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who returned to action for the last 10 games of the season, with Portland compiling a 9-1 record.

BetDSI customers know that the Blazers were not necessarily expected to be a part of the Western Conference playoff chase at the outset of the season, but they have combined high-energy, great leadership from point guard Damian Lillard, and another outstanding season from Aldridge to become a genuine contender. However, they don’t necessarily bring a lot of depth to the table, so it will be interesting to see if Houston makes them dip into their bench a little.

Another thing you know the Rockets want to do is get out on transition, and Portland has not made it very easy to do that for opposing teams, ranking third-best in the NBA when it comes to turnover percentage. Remember, however, Lillard is in his first playoff series, and you never know how some of these young point guards are going to react under that kind of pressure for the first time. We also say that with the understanding that Patrick Beverley, who has recently come off a knee injury, could be in his face more often than not, and those guards who have opposed Beverley can attest to his dogged nature.

Both Harden and Howard played very well against Portland this season; Harden, the bearded one, averaged slightly over 30 points per game in the four meetings, of which Houston won three. Howard averaged 25.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, both higher than his season numbers.
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