Warriors vs. Rockets Game 6 Betting Preview: Will Golden State Rally Without Durant?

Warriors vs. Rockets Game 6 Betting Preview: Will Golden State Rally Without Durant? article feature image

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30), Houston Rockets guards Chris Paul (3) and James Harden (13).

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Betting Odds

  • Spread: Rockets -7
  • Over/Under: 213.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN
  • Series Score: Warriors Lead 3-2

>> All odds as of Thursday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

If you missed all of the Game 5 drama, no worries. We have you covered:

Kevin Durant is out for the rest of the series, but the Warriors just need to win one of the last two. Can they steal the series on the road in Game 6 or will the Rockets force a deciding Game 7? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trends to Know

The Warriors opened as 5.5-point underdogs in Game 6. This is the most points Golden State has gotten in a playoff game in the Steve Kerr era; the previous high was 3.5. The Warriors are 4-5 straight up and against the spread as underdogs in the postseason. — John Ewing

In the Kerr era, the Warriors have been underdogs of five or more points in seven previous games, including the regular season and playoffs. Golden State went 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in those contests. — Ewing

A majority of spread tickets are on the Warriors as underdogs despite the Kevin Durant injury. In the playoffs during the Kerr era, Golden State is 1-5 ATS when getting 50% or more of bets as an underdog and 3-0 ATS when the public fades them getting points. –– Ewing

The Warriors are seven-point underdogs in Game 6 in Houston. The last time a two-time defending NBA champion was this high of an underdog, it didn’t turn out so bad for the home favorite. –– Evan Abrams

Over the last three seasons, the Warriors have played 33 total games without Kevin Durant but with Steph Curry. Golden State is 29-4 straight-up and 21-12 ATS, winning by an average of 12.6 points per game. –– Abrams

Since Kevin Durant arrived in Golden State in 2016-17, the Warriors have faced the Rockets four times without KD. Steph Curry played in all four games, and the Warriors went 4-0 SU and ATS in those, covering the spread by 5.3 points per game. Also of note: In those four games without Durant, the under cashed by a whopping 13.5 PPG. — Abrams

In the 40 games without Durant since joining the Warriors in 2016, the under is 27-13 (67.5%). When Durant is out and Curry is in, the under is 23-10 (70%), going under the total by 8.2 points per game. — Abrams

Locky: How I’m Handicapping Game 6

Here’s a game that’s really hard to analyze for a few reasons. First, creating a rating or an average performance for the Warriors in this spot is borderline impossible. They are playing their first playoff game in three years without their best player.

I have no idea what kind of performance to expect. Even guessing would be a little tough.

There is also the motivation/fatigue angle. Should the Warriors try in this game? It is absolutely a reasonable question. And when I say “try,” I don’t mean they should walk off the court and forfeit or something.

But I think the bench should be playing heavy minutes here, basically as a hedge against having to play a Game 7 less than 48 hours later (Sunday tip would be noon Pacific after playing Friday night’s Game 6).

The Warriors starters have played huge minutes in the series so far and will have to play huge minutes if there’s a Game 7. This is a very tenuous situation, and I am extremely curious how Steve Kerr will handle it. If he goes for it and plays Curry and Klay Thompson all out and they lose … Game 7 is a rough spot.

In terms of the side/total market for this game, I like Houston a little, because with Durant out (and DeMarcus Cousins out) and the bench playing so sparingly, Houston is probably better than this line indicates in an elimination game. The fact that Golden State has the advantage in ticket count is a little baffling, but they’re also Golden State.

The total has gone up 3.5 points, and I actually think there’s something to be said for a correlated parlay here. You could make the case that a Houston cover means a large margin of victory, which means the type of mail-it-in effort I was describing above (bench plays a lot getting ready for Game 7).

A Golden State cover means that Curry and Thompson played very well and made shots, and the competitiveness of the game probably leads it to go over. It isn’t a straight correlation, but I think there’s some overlap with those pairs of outcomes. — Ken Barkley

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.