Before the 2017 NBA playoffs started the likely second round matchup between the Rockets and Spurs was intriguing. After the way both teams have performed in their first round series, this pairing is now arguably the most exciting and anticipated of the entire playoffs.
As unlikely as it seems this will be the first postseason matchup for the James Harden era Rockets against perennial stalwarts San Antonio. 3 of the 4 regular season contests between these two teams were decided by 2 points (the other was 6) so the name of the game in this series could be “take the points.”
Houston got here by dismantling the one-man wrecking crew that is Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, capturing the opening round 4 -1. It was a series that felt closer than that but perhaps the biggest thing that came out of the matchup was the fact that Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni's system could be geared for postseason success. One thing the Rockets are going to do is score points – tallying over 113 in 4 of 5 games – even though the “under” hit in 3 of 4 games.
San Antonio had a surprisingly tough time of it in their opening round against the Memphis Grizzlies being dragged to 6 games before finally advancing. The Spurs looked especially vulnerable on the road dropping the 1st two games in Memphis before finally notching the decisive game 6 victory. Another weird nugget that bettors know all too well is that the over hit in 5 of the 6 games between these two notorious defensive grinders in the first round.
The Bovada NBA bookies have set the Spurs as -5 favorites for Monday night's series opener with a surprisingly high total of 215.5. The Spurs have won three straight regular-season matchups against Houston and only lost by 2 points back on 11/09 – although that was in San Antonio. The Spurs' tough first round series coupled with the close games between Houston and San Antonio means the Rockets plus the points are the best play. Never be afraid to have points on your side; Houston +5 is the play.