Houston Rockets Game 4; The Betting Side


Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Five Things to “Watch” for Game 4

Tonight’s game between the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers is going to be exciting. The playoffs are on the line. Jobs are on the line. And for some players, livelihood is on the line. You know what would make it even more exciting??


That’s right, gambling…  If only it were legal in the State of Texas. Regardless, for recreational purposes, let’s take a look at the lines and see what the “sharps” are looking at. And let’s see if we can find any value on tonight’s game.

1. The first thing that we should look at for tonight’s game is discrepancy between different bookies and the lines overall.

Get a feel for what each book is expecting and compare it to recent games. Tonight’s Game 4 should be a lot like Game 1 of the series. If you’ve read any previews for tonight’s game, you would know that unsurprisingly, each team feels like the pressure is on the other team to win tonight. What that tells me is that both teams feel like the series is up for grabs. Let’s see how that plays out in each line.

2. The Spread: 3 points

Vegas believes that Portland will win the game by more than three points. Thus, the Houston Rockets are plus-3 and the Portland Trailblazers are minus-3. Let’s say, for this sites sake

and my own personal sanity

that you take the Rockets plus-3.

So if Portland wins, but doesn’t win by more that three points the person betting the Rockets’ side, wins.  If Portland wins by exactly three points, then the bet is a “push” and neither the bettor, nor the bookie wins anything. Almost like the bet ever happened. And finally, if Portland wins by less than three points, or loses outright (please!) then the bettor wins the bet out-right.

Games 1 – 3 have gone as follows (with the winning team being shown):

  • Game 1: Trailblazers plus-12
  • Game 2: Trailblazers plus-7
  • Game 3: Rockets plus-5

So far, the favorite hasn’t covered a single game. I expect that to continue tonight.

My prediction: Rockets plus-3

3. Total Points Scored: 214, 214.5 or 215

This bet is for what you think the total of the two teams points scored will be at the end of the game. Of the five bookies linked above, three sports books have the total points at 214. One has them at 214.5 and the final bookie has the two teams combined at 215. You can pick either “over” the line at 214, 214.5 or 215; or “under” it; depending on where you place your bet at.

Performance based on previous games:

  • Game 1: 212-points in regulation; 242-points including OT
  • Game 2: 217-points
  • Game 3: 220-points; 237-points including OT

Full and fair disclosure, Vegas absolutely includes overtime points.

Obviously, if you think the game will go to an overtime, you would want to take the 214-line and take the “Over.” As each game has passed, the total points have jumped in regulation from 212 to 217 to 220 in Game 3. You can’t count on OT though, and while Game 4 should be close, it won’t go past 48-mins tonight.  Personally, based on the importance of this game, I think that defense will show up tonight and we don’t go to extra minutes.

My prediction: 215 – Under

4. James Harden calling a reporter a “derogatory” name after tonight’s game +300.

I’m just kidding. You bunch of weirdo’s.

5. The Money Line (Fantasy911.com): Houston Rockets plus-145; Portland Trailblazers minus-165

The money line is simple. Pick which team you want to win. For every number beside each respective team, it represents the amount you would win if you bet $100. In the Rockets case, if you bet $100 you would win $145.  In the case of the Jailblazers, your $100 bet would win you a ballin’ $35.

That’s a big difference.

The lines have been bet-up “pro-Portland.” And for a series that’s been so played closely, there’s a lot of value on Houston. If you think the Rockets can win this game, you have a shot at a nice payday. But they’re on road and this is the playoffs. Personally, I think they can do it. We’ll have to see what tonight’s game brings. If you’ve come for X’s, O’s and X-factors; you’ve come to the wrong place.

My prediction: Rockets plus-145

Let’s tie this damn series up and make some money…

(If gambling were legal, of course.)

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