Thursday’s NBA Playoffs Conference Semifinals betting preview: Spurs at Rockets

Kawhi Leonard departed Game 5 due to an ankle injury but quickly answered "Yeah, I'm going to be able to play" when quizzed during Wednesday's media availability.

May 10, 2017 • 11:00 ET

San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets (-8.5, 212.5)

Spurs lead series 3-2

All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard vows to be the in the starting lineup on Thursday when the San Antonio Spurs attempt to close out their playoff series with the host Houston Rockets. Leonard departed Tuesday's Game 5 due to a left ankle injury but quickly answered "Yeah, I'm going to be able to play" when quizzed during Wednesday's off-day media availability. **video

The second-seeded Spurs took a 3-2 series lead by pulling out a 110-107 overtime win in Houston with Leonard (22 points, 15 rebounds) seated on the bench and know finishing off the Western Conference semifinal series will be an arduous task. "It's going to be tough. They're a great offensive team," Leonard told reporters. "They're a bunch of competitive guys. They play great at home. It's going to be tough. It's going to be about taking care of the ball, playing confident and trying to minimize our mistakes." Rockets guard James Harden had 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 5 but had his last-second 3-point attempt was blocked by San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili. "We couldn't get in a rhythm at the end of the game or in the overtime," Harden told reporters. "We had an opportunity to win this game and take a lead back home and we let it slip away. But we will be ready on Thursday."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

LINE HISTORY: The Rockets opened as 6.5-point home favorites for Game 6 and that number was bumped up to -7.5 on Wednesday. Kawhi Leonard showed up to the gameday shoot-around without a brace or a limp and shortly after that report the line dropped down to -6, the spread has since bumped back up slightly to -6.5. The total opened at 215, came down to 213.5, before climbing slightly to 214.5. About an hour before game-time it was announced that Leonard would not play and the point spread spiked to -8.5 and the total dropped to 212.5. Check out the complete line history here.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We got a little bit of wiseguy money on the Spurs. The ticket count is about 3/2 on the Spurs, and money is basically even. The bigger deal is a lot of people are taking the Spurs on the moneyline. The moneyline ticket count is about 10/1 on the Spurs.” - Craig Sasamura, sportsbook supervisor at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip.



Spurs - SF K. Leonard (Out, ankle), PG T. Parker (Out For Season, quadricep).

Rockets - C Nene (Out For Season, groin).


ABOUT THE ROCKETS (68-25 SU, 47-44-2 ATS, 52-39-2 O/U): Harden is averaging 27.4 points and 10.2 assists for third-seeded Houston but was just 4-of-15 from 3-point range in Game 5 and is shooting just 32.1 percent from behind the arc in the series. "I'm all right. Just missed shots," Harden told reporters while asserting fatigue isn't an issue. "Missed shots and just didn't make enough plays to win. Obviously, other players stepped up and made big shots, and that was the game." With veteran center Nene (groin) done for the postseason, the Rockets only used seven players with 3-point bomber Ryan Anderson seeing action in the interior to help compensate for the loss.

ABOUT THE SPURS (61-31 SU, 48-44 ATS, 47-44-1 O/U): Ginobili had his best game of the series with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in addition to the game-saving rejection of Harden. "I don't feel like I had a huge game," Ginobili told reporters. "I felt better than the previous ones, for sure, but I guess the standards are a little lower." Patty Mills figures to draw the start at point guard for the second straight game after scoring 20 points and knocking down five 3-pointers during Game 5.



* Spurs are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Conference Semifinals games.
* Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Over is 8-1 in Spurs last 9 overall.
* Over is 10-2 in Rockets last 12 Conference Semifinals games.
* Road team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.

Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends here.

COVERS CONSENSUS: 66 percent of the Covers public is siding with the road underdog San Antonio Spurs and 69 percent are on the Over. View full consensus data here.

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