NBA Playoffs: Oddsmakers and Bettors Adjust to Durant Injury
Houston-Golden State sure hasn’t been the most visually appealing of this year’s NBA Playoff series but it’s at a near bat shit crazy level of interesting.
Game 1 saw the Warriors win, 104-100 but fail to cover at -6 home chalk. After the game, the Rockets called out the refs for robbing them of victory.
Game 2 featured the Warriors’ “Death Lineup” and James Harden getting his eyeball nearly gouged out. Golden State won, covered by a single point, took a commanding 2-0 series lead, and was installed as an -700 adjusted series favorite.
With the series shifted to Houston, Game 3 provided even more fireworks as the Rockets jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 115-109 overtime victory. Harden and Durant both went for 40+. It was more Harden in Game 4 as his 38-point effort led the Rockets to a 112-108 win.
With the series knotted up 2-2, the two teams headed back to the Bay Area. Golden State entered last night’s Game 5 as a -250 adjusted series favorite. Things looked bleak for the Rockets early on as they trailed by as much as 20 points but they managed to cut it to 1 with less than five minutes to go. The rally was aided by the fact that Kevin Durant left the game late in the third quarter with what was later discovered to be a calf strain.
But Klay Thompson and Steph Curry finally stepped up (52 points combined) and the Warriors escaped with a non-point spread covering 104-99 win. In the loss, Harden mysteriously took only one shot over the last 8:30 of the game. It also marked the fifth time this series that the point spread outcome was in doubt on the last possession of the game.
James Harden’s shot chart over the final 8:30.
Chance to steal Game 5 with a chance to then close out at home.
The guard with the most dominant scoring season in 30 years…
… takes one shot. pic.twitter.com/tbUjH1lGF4
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) May 9, 2019
But despite being up 3-2, the series certainly doesn’t feel over with Durant ruled out for Game 6. The betting markets are all but saying there will be a Game 7. Houston closed as a -3.5 favorite in Game 3 and -1 in Game 4. They are currently as high as -7.5 for Game 6. And despite winning Game 5, the Warriors remain a -250 adjusted series favorite.
To compare, the Nuggets are up 3-2 on the Trail Blazers. Game 6 is in Portland but the Nuggets are still -400 adjusted series favorites.