Rockets vs. Warriors: Rockets look for first win at home

James Harden After losing the first two games, the Rockets return home for Game 3 to try to win and get back into their series with the Warriors. It won’t be an easy task, especially with how well Kevin Durant and company have played so far. This game also brings another opportunity to play the Showdown contest, so let’s break down both sides to help prepare you for the evening.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Rockets have won each of their past 10 games at the Toyota Center.

— The Rockets have won each of their past eight home games after a road loss.

— The Rockets have covered the spread in each of their past four games as favorites against Pacific Division opponents.

— Each of the Warriors’ past 10 games at the Toyota Center following a home win have gone under the total points line.

— Stephen Curry has scored the first basket in each of the Warriors’ past two games as underdogs.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Rockets

It’s pretty safe to say that the Rockets are only going to go as far as James Harden ($11,200) can carry them. He was forced to miss a significant stretch of minutes early on in Game 2 due to being hit in the eyes, which may have been the difference in their six-point loss. With a few added days of rest, he’s not expected to be limited for this contest. He has one of the highest floors of anyone set to take the floor.

It’s a huge drop off between Harden and the rest of the Rockets in terms of production potential. Chris Paul ($8,400) is the next most expensive player and his 40.8 DKFP performance in Game 2 was somewhat aided by the time that Harden was forced to miss with his injury. With how much Harden dominates the ball, Paul doesn’t have the opportunities to rack up assists like he’s had throughout much of his career. On the positive side, his price has come down considerably, so he’s still worth considering. Clint Capela ($7,200) has also seen a significant decrease in price after scoring 34.5 DKFP in Game 2. The added time off between games should be big for him considering he’s battled illnesses during the playoffs. He’s a double-double threat whenever he takes the floor.

After being held in check during Game 1, P.J. Tucker ($6,200) stepped up to score 33.5 DKFP in Game 2. Considering he’s now scored at least 26 DKFP in six of seven games during the Rockets’ playoff run, he’s a mid-tier option worth considering. Eric Gordon ($5,200) is a riskier option than Tucker because his contributions are mostly only coming in the scoring column. However, he showed his upside in Game 1 by scoring 27 points on his way to 37 DKFP.

The rest of the options on the Rockets should only be considered as dart throws in tournament play. The best of which is Austin Rivers ($4,400), who did score 14 points Tuesday. However, most of that production came with Harden tending to his injury.


Warriors

Kevin Durant ($11,000) has taken over with DeMarcus Cousins (quadriceps) sidelined, scoring at least 47.3 DKFP in each of the past six games. He’s averaged 23.8 shot attempts per game during that stretch and once again comes with a tremendously high floor.

With Durant leading the charge, Stephen Curry ($10,000) has only scored 34.8 and 37.3 DKFP, respectively, in this series. While he has the potential to explode from behind the arc on any given night, it might be best to pay up for Harden or Durant based on their higher floors and similarly high upsides. Draymond Green ($9,200) has become a reliable option with Cousins out, averaging 14.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, eight assists and 1.5 steals across the first two games of this series. With his ability to contribute in multiple areas, he’s someone to target. On the other hand, Klay Thompson ($7,600) is a bit riskier since he is heavily reliant on his contributions on the offensive end to provide value. Case in point, he’s only averaging 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in the playoffs.

Among the cheaper options, it’s hard to pass up on Andre Iguodala ($5,800). Now a member of the starting five, he’s earned 24 and 32.8 DKFP, respectively, in this series. With the Rockets’ propensity to deploy small lineups, he should be locked into plenty of minutes Saturday. Other than Iguodala, the only other Warrior to maybe consider is Kevon Looney ($2,800). He’s logged at least 16 minutes in both of the first two games, scoring 12.3 and 10.5 DKFP, respectively.


THE OUTCOME

The Rockets have their backs up against the wall, so I think they’ll come away with a win on their home floor. For the Captain’s Pick, Kevin Durant ($16,500 CP) is my top choice. However, if you want to go with a more well-balanced lineup, Draymond Green (13,800 CP) is also worth considering.

Final Score: Rockets 113, Warriors 109


Favorite Prop Bet

Andre Iguodala, 10.5 Points: Over (+133)

This line seems awfully low. Iguodala has scored at least 14 points in both of the first two games of this series and in four of his past six contests overall. With his increased playing time as a member of the starting five, I’ll take the over with these favorable odds.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.

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