Rockets-Warriors Betting Odds: James Harden Injury News Tanks Spread, Over/Under
Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Harden
- Rockets guard and leading MVP candidate James Harden will sit out vs. the Warriors with a neck strain.
- With Harden out of the lineup the Rockets have moved to double-digit underdogs for their game at Oracle arena.
Betting Odds: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors
- Spread: Warriors -12
- Over/Under: 233
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ABC
>> All odds as of 7:15 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets
At 6:43 p.m. ET, Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen reported that the “vibe” around Harden was that he’ll sit:
Vibe seems to be that Harden will not play tonight, but second team bus has not arrived at Oracle and Harden can be tough to make sit out.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) February 23, 2019
Shortly thereafter the spread jumped from Warriors -9 to -9.5. Then at 6:59 p.m. ET, Harden was officially ruled out. Hopefully you were able to grab that number, because it’s now long gone. The number immediately jumped to 11.5 at most books and currently sits at Warriors -12.
Harden is the favorite in the betting market currently to win the NBA MVP award, so clearly he’s a valuable player to the Rockets. On the year, they’ve been 5.1 points per 100 possessions worse with him off the floor vs. on, most of which is felt on the offense end.
They take far fewer shots at the rim without him and in the corners — the two most valuable places on the basketball court. Overall, the Rockets have seen their effective field goal percentage drop by 2.3% with him off the floor.
That Warriors spread of -9 is obviously long gone, but make sure to monitor the player props market. Harden was using a league-high 43.6% of his team’s possessions while on the floor, and those will now be distributed elsewhere.
Per the NBA On/Off tool at FantasyLabs, in the three games without Harden, Chris Paul has averaged 20.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game. He’s been the biggest beneficiary without his star running mate, as he’s increased his usage rate to 29.3% without Harden.
Eric Gordon has also seen a sizable increase in usage without Harden, and interestingly Clint Capela has not. The center is reliant on teammates to get him the ball, and Harden was excellent at setting him up in advantageous spots. As such, don’t expect the same bump in value as with Gordon and CP3.
Here’s the news blurb from our FantasyLabs NBA page:
Coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed that Harden will miss Saturday’s contest vs. the Warriors due to a strained cervical. Iman Shumpert (knee) remains sidelined.
Harden was held to 43 FanDuel points in Thursday’s loss, and Clint Capela played 33 minutes in his return to the lineup. With Harden unavailable, Chris Paul will become the chalk play in all formats after posting 53.5 FanDuel points on Thursday.
Eric Gordon also makes for a strong option, as he’s benefited from a team-high 6.8% usage rate increase with Harden off the court this season. Kenneth Faried becomes an intriguing play entering the starting lineup, but the Rockets are now 12-point underdogs.