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Rockets Line Up as Thunder’s First Challenge

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/18/2013 7:33:37 PM

The online sports book experts watched as the Los Angeles Lakers, without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, beat the Houston Rockets in the final game of the season to take the seventh spot in the Western Conference. That means that the Houston Rockets have the dubious distinction of having to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. With a two-game losing streak to finish out the season, the Houston Rockets fell into the eighth spot and drew the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. The Rockets enter the playoffs healthy but on the kind of a streak that no team wants to take into the playoffs.

The sports betting world was wondering if the Oklahoma City Thunder would overtake the San Antonio Spurs for first overall in the conference. When the Spurs decided to rest starters for the playoffs, the Thunder took advantage of the situation and took over first place in the Western Conference. The Thunder sit on top of the most competitive conference in basketball, but even OKC knows that it rolled into first place with no opposition. That does not diminish the goal that the Thunder has as the NBA playoffs open.

Why the Rockets Will Win

The Rockets could not have their backs any further up against the wall as this series opens. The series starts in Oklahoma City and the Rockets have had problems winning on the road as of late. The game that the Rockets lost to the Lakers to drop to eighth place was played in Los Angeles. The online betting experts expect the Thunder to win its first eight consecutive games as the playoffs open, but with the OKC starters a little rusty from sitting out the game against the Lakers, the Rockets may have a chance to open the series up with a surprise.

Why the Thunder Will Win

The Oklahoma City Thunder has the precision of a well-oiled machine at this point. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are perfect compliments to each other as they have very different personalities and play the game in very different manners. As this series opens, the Thunder will finally get a chance to make the statement that it has been waiting all season to make. Oklahoma City has had its eyes focused firmly on the playoffs. Now that the playoffs are here, the Thunder will keep that intense focus until it has reached the NBA finals.

The Bottom Line

This series could either go four games or six games. It really all depends on what happens in game one. If the Rockets manage to catch the Thunder off guard, then Houston could walk away with a road win and a series lead. But it would be very difficult to catch this Oklahoma City team off guard and the Houston Rockets just do not have the defense to keep the Thunder off the scoreboard.

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder in four

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