Houston and Golden State gave us our second straight outstanding down to the wire contest in Game 5. But it came with a price, as Chris Paul felt a “twinge” in his upper right hamstring.
For Houston Rockets fans, the euphoria of winning Game 5 quickly turned to the serious concern about Chris Paul and his availability for the rest of this series. And even if he can play, how much less than 100 percent will he be?
If you have ever have pulled a hamstring in the area that Paul did, for normal people like myself and Swinging Johnson, even the simple act of jogging goes from a normal activity to nothing more than almost a brisk walk. This is not easy either to take the pressure off the hamstring by moving ‘dead-legged’ and not raising your knees. It is understood Paul is a much finer tuned athlete than myself (I will choose not to be critical of SJ on this because I don’t really know), but what is expected of him is far greater than what I could comprehend.
The oddsmakers from sportsbooks have taken an aggressive and realistic stance and are presuming Paul does not play or is very limited in what he can do. The anticipated line would be Golden State at -7.5 or -8 and the total at 217 to 218. Instead, the NBA odds have the Warriors at -11 and the total at 213. Swinging Johnson and I agreed betting the side is a real challenge and instead will explore the total for NBA picks.
One does not normally associate ‘blowout’s’ to totals, but that is exactly what it been in the last two contests in the West Finals. Game 4 was more than 40 points below the total and even an – enormous – eight-point correction was still not close enough as the Under was good by more than 27 points for Game 5.