If you watched Sunday’s performance by the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets, you’d have no doubt whatsoever who the better team was. You also may have been very surprised that the Rockets, their opponents in the NBA’s Western Conference finals, had won 65 games during the regular season and captured the top seed. But as they say, in the post-season, the cream rises to the top, and Golden State as the opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series as the action stays at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Tuesday night. Game time is 9:05 PM ET, and remember that at VietBet, you have the opportunity to place wagers while the action is in progress, utilizing the state-of-the-art software available through Live Betting Ultra.
2018 NBA Playoff Odds – Rockets vs Warriors Game 4
In the 2018 NBA Playoff Odds posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Warriors are solid favorites:
Golden State Warriors -8.5
Houston Rockets +8.5
Over 224.5 points -110
Under 224.5 points -110
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2018 NBA Playoff Odds: CJ’s Take on Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals
Houston was within at least a reasonable margin at halftime of Game 3, but the Warriors exploded for 72 points in the second half, expanding their winning margin by 30 points. With the 126-85 victory, they have now won 16 straight playoff games at home. And there aren’t many worries about Steph Curry anymore. The two-time MVP, who had made only two out of 13 tries from three-point territory going into the contest, came alive with 35 points, and Steve Kerr’s team shot 52% while committing only eight turnovers. It was a virtuoso performance, and Houston was not able to duplicate its torrid shooting from Game 2, which they won by 22 points. In fact, it wasn’t even close.
The Rockets might be stuck between a rock and a hard place, in the sense that they don’t stand to have that much success in the half-court offense against a very solid defensive team, and they did find themselves in real trouble trying to run up and down the floor with the defending world champs. Yet, coach Mike D’Antoni believes his team should step up the pace a bit in order to at least get some shots off before Golden State has time to set up on defense.
One of the things that will hinder any team is giving the ball way so that the opponent can ignite their own fast break. And the Rockets were guilty of 19 miscues, matching their number of assists, and this has been a problem in two of the three games, with Golden State currently holding it 48-25 advantage in points on the break.
One of the things that has been stressed by D’Antoni, as well as point guard Chris Paul, is that Houston should be pushing the tempo, even after Golden State makes a basket. If you recall, D’Antoni was the coach of the Phoenix Suns squad that made his “Seven Seconds or Less” philosophy very successful, behind point guard Steve Nash. But part of the dilemma is that this team depends a little too much on isolation plays that feature Paul and MVP candidate James Harden, which tend to slow them down a little. Indeed, Houston was no faster than 13th in the league in the “Pace” category, so this is definitely not a team that feasts on the fast break.
Rather, they are looking to make three-pointers in profusion. But their Game 3 effort will not suffice; they made just 11 of 34, and Harden, who draws fouls is a big part of his game, went to the line only five times.
Since Houston seems to struggle a little more when they have extra time off, some observers are writing their sluggish performance on Sunday off on the fact that they had a lot of time to “get ready.” D’Antoni feels like he may be taken out of rhythm that way, so this would be a more advantageous scheduling situation. With one day between games, they have averaged 115.5 points in the playoffs, and since we know their motivation is the step things up a bit, we are somewhat comfortable going with the “over” in Game 4.
Looking ahead to Game 5, Houston is already listed as a 1.5-point favorite at home (with a total of 224.5 points). And in Game 6 – if necessary – as the action would shift back to Oakland, the Warriors are 7.5-point faves, again with 224.5 at the total.
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