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OKC Thunder vs. Houston Rockets Game 3 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Thunder vs Rockets NBA Handicapping

In the snap of a finger, this series has changed from RFOFLMAO to OMG.

No one knows when or if Russell Westbrook will return to the court as he deals with the aftermath of surgery to repair the damage caused by injury suffered in Game 2.

Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0) at Houston Rockets (0-2)
Saturday, April 27
Toyota Center, Houston
9:30 p.m. EST
Spread – Thunder -1.5 at TopBet
O/U – 207

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Might be May, might be October.

What the Oklahoma City Thunder do know is that they will have to change their game on the fly, starting with tonight’s Game 3 in Houston against a Rockets team that is desperate and has just found the equivalent of a $100 bill on the sidewalk.

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Westbrook’s injury certainly means more minutes for Reggie Jackson, who has made positive contributions in the first two games of the series.

It also may mean that the Thunder will have to break the glass and use graybeard Derek Fisher, who has been hanging around on the back end of the roster for just this type of situation.

However Scott Brooks decides to adjust to the absence of Westbrook, it creates a terrific opportunity for the Rockets, who played a inspiring 1o minutes and 30 seconds in the fourth period of Game 2 before OKC hit a few late 3-pointers to hang on. [ad-6571516]

Houston still has its work cut out to keep the series alive, but things figure to be a lot easier for coach Kevin McHale, especially on the defensive end.

As expected, the Thunder have been able to exploit their huge advantage at the PG spot, with Westbrook hounding Jeremy Lin all over the court. Lin has shot just 4 for 14 in the two games, with 11 total points and only 6 assists. He will have a lot more room to operate with Westbrook in street clothes.

Westbrook’s absence with sharpen the focus on Kevin Durant, who was solid in the first two games but has yet to turn in one of his off-the charts games. On the other end of the court, Houston’s James Harden got loose in Game 2 and his offensive energy nearly enabled the Rockets to steal one. How different this series would look today if it was 1-1 heading to Texas.


Early money was still on the Thunder, perhaps because the Rockets were such a bad cover team over the last month. But the Rockets appear to have things straightened out offensively, and with the Westbrook gift we like their chances in Game 3, especially getting 1.5. Houston should get a boost from being home for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Liking the over, as OKC should still push the ball even without Westbrook.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!