NBA Playoff Basketball Odds — Rockets Get a Chance to Tie Things Up vs. Blazers on Sunday

The Houston Rockets really needed to win Game 3 in hostile territory after going down two games in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. That is something they were able to do, although it went to overtime. After that exhilarating performance, the Rockets have to come back and win again at the Moda Center if they want to draw even in the best-of-seven series, as NBA playoff basketball resumes at 9:35 PM ET on Sunday night.

Houston experienced all kinds of problems on both offense and defense in their first two games, as they could not slow down LaMarcus Aldridge and didn’t get judicious shot selection from star guard James Harden. Well, they addressed one of those issues, but may still have to work on the other. Fortunately for them, they got some help apart from someone who no one had ever heard of before Friday.

In the NBA playoff basketball odds that have been posted on this game by the people at Bookmaker, the Blazers are the slight home favorites:

Portland Trail Blazers -2
Houston Rockets +2

Over 214 points -110
Under 214 points -110

Obviously, LaMarcus Aldridge was a massive problem for the Rockets in each of the first two games, as he destroyed them, whether he was playing in close or in the mid-range game. Aldridge had 46, then 43 points, and the Houston staff scurried around for possible solutions. They came up with something that was workable for Game 3, as they went “big,” using Dwight Howard and Omar Asik in the game at the same time, effectively driving Aldridge away from the lane and forcing him a little further from the basket. And when that happened, he had difficulty shooting over Asik; more than he experienced when Terrence Jones was covering him. As NBA playoff bettors noticed, Aldridge was kept under relative control, as he shot just eight for 22 from the field.

Some Bookmaker customers were confused as to whether they should have been impressed by James Harden or not. Harden, who was frustrated beyond measure with a flurry of bad shots in the first two games, scored 37 points, but had to take 35 shots to do so. Remember that he attempted only 16.5 per game during the regular season. He made only 12 of those 35 attempts, which only brings him to 33% for the series. So is his offensive effort still a detriment for the Rockets, or is he supplying something this team really needs? Do the Blazers feel they are succeeding with respect to creating negative possessions?

The guy who seemed to bail Houston out in Friday’s game was Troy Daniels, a rookie from VCU who had only played 75 minutes on the season previously. Daniels, who led the D-League in three-point shooting, was given a huge vote by coach Kevin McHale with the playing time, and he responded with nine points, including the winning triple with the clock running out in overtime. So the unlikely heroes are being trotted out, aren’t they?

Harden told reporters that he really thinks the pressure is on the Blazers, who are still -189 to win the series in the NBA playoff odds at Bookmaker. But Portland forward Nicolas Batum pooh-poohs that notion, saying that “We still control the series. We know who we are.”

The Rockets hope they know who they are as well – the team that can slow down Aldridge.
During the NBA playoffs, bet basketball at the place where the line originates –!


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