This article is part of our NBA DFS Breakdown series.
Warriors (3-2) at Rockets
Odds as accurate as 12:47 pm ET
Spread: HOU -7.5, opened -6.0
Money Line: HOU -310, opened -247
Over/Under: 214.5, opened 212.0
Things have gotten interesting. Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain towards the end of Game 5, and he was quickly ruled out for Friday's Game 5. In the wake of the news, bets have flooded towards the Rockets, who are 24-16-2 ATS as the home favorite and 33-9 overall when the home favorite. But data for the Warriors being underdogs on the road is sparse. It's only happened eight times, with Golden State 4-4 ATS and 3-5 overall. Even without Durant, the Warriors are intimidating, and the small sample size of their current situation would make me hesitate to gamble on the outcome of this contest.
The over/under has pushed up as well, and that could be fueled by the Rockets' home court advantage in conjunction with the Warriors missing one of their best defenders in Durant. Plus, Houston is 22-20-4 in relation to the o/u when at home, while Golden State is 26-20 on the road.
Stats through five games
Durant's absence looms large over this game, and it should be the main point of discussion for DFS. Without KD around, the Warriors' offense tends to flow more through Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Per 36 minutes, without KD or DeMarcus Cousins on the floor, Curry sees a usage bump of 13.9% and 13.3 more fantasy points on the road. Under those same conditions, Thompson sees a boost of 12.9% usage and 7.9 fantasy points.
When looking for cheap value options on Golden State, Jonas Jerebko and Alfonzo McKinnie will be where most DFS players turn, as they've seen the most run without Cousins and KD on the floor. However, a lot shouldn't be expected from them. Jerebko averages 0.8 FP/min and McKinnie averages 0.7 FP/min in the aforementioned condition.
Without Durant available to guard him, Harden should be able to thrive, especially as a passer. In 54 possessions guarded by Durant this playoffs, Harden has committed four turnovers to only one assist. Chris Paul has also struggled passing while guarded by Durant, converting four assists to four turnovers in 40 possessions. Eric Gordon will get some relief as well. In 99 possessions guarded by KD, Gordon has shot just 3-of-12 from distance and made four turnovers to one assist. That trio could erupt given the situation.