After pulling off their best Harry Houdini impersonation in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs when they square off in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
However, with the Warriors needing a clearly, game-changing injury to Leonard – and some second-half heroics from Steph Curry, taking that 2-0 lead may not be quite an easy as the Dubs and the legion of fans hope. Now, let’s find out if the Warriors can avoid the upset loss to get the win in Game 2 and ATS cover after failing to do so in Game 1 just as I predicted.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Spurs Vs Warriors Game 2 NBA Betting Odds & TV Info
When: Tuesday, May 16 at 9:00 PM ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Live Stream: Watch NBA
NBA Odds: Golden State -13 / Total: 210.5
Why Bet the San Antonio Spurs Odds at +10
The best reason to bet on the Spurs (69-26 SU, 49-44-2 ATS) is that they’ve got a huge edge in the coaching department and a handful of veteran player that play smart basketball and aren’t intimidated by anyone, including Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the Warriors. San Antonio looked like they were en route to a phenomenal upset in Game 1 – until Kawhi Leonard re-injured his balky ankle and had to leave the opener halfway through the third quarter with his team up by over 20 points.
“It’s a tough break. He’s coming from an injury on that ankle and he tweaked it twice in the last minute he played,” Manu Ginobili said. “So we couldn’t react to his absence.”
The Warriors promptly went on an 18-0 to change the momentum of the game while eventually outscoring San Antonio by 11 points in each of the final two quarters to get the narrow win. Still, the Spurs can take comfort in the fact that they got solid performances out of Leonard, who scored 26 points in less than three full quarters, LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points), Manu Ginobili (17 points) and Jonathon Simmons (12 points), not to mention some positive contributions from young point guard DeJounte Murray (6 points) and Kyle Anderson (4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists).
Why Bet the Golden State Warriors Odds at -10
The best reason to back the Warriors (76-15 SU, 45-43-3 ATS) in Game 2 is that they’ll likely play better from the opening tip after surviving what looked like a sure loss in Game 1.
“It’s the playoffs. You’ve got to expect everything,” Curry said. “I wouldn’t call it smooth sailing at all. We’ve actually had to execute and get to this point. They came out and challenged us heavy, put a nice little run together. It took us a minute to figure it out to get up to that game speed after this little break. It’s definitely a nice way to win Game 1. We’ve got to capitalize off that and start Game 2 a lot better.”
There’s more good news in the fact that the Dubs got a game-high 40 points from Curry on 14 of 26 shooting and stellar 34 points from Durant on 11 of 21 shooting, not to mention the fact that they’ve gone 41-5 on their home floor this season.
The best reason to back the Dubs however, may be that Kawhi Leonard likely won’t be back to full strength by the time Game 2 starts and that LaMarcus Aldridge clearly isn’t capable of carrying a team down the stretch. Once the best two-way player in the game today departed, the Spurs struggled mightily with Aldridge going 2-for-9 in the fourth quarter.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Maybe it’s me, but I’m completely stunned that the spread for Game 2 has risen from 10 points in Game 1 to a whopping 13 points, but hey, that jut make the pick for the Spurs to cover that much easier. If you didn’t notice, there were some strange happenings with Golden State and their rotation in Game 1 that left some player not too happy with their minutes. First, veteran swingman Andre Iguodala had averaged 28.4 minutes per game in the playoffs but played just 10:12 in the first half and never got off the bench in the second half.
Interim head coach Mike Brown said afterward that he thought Iguodala looked a bit banged-up in the first half, so he went in another direction. However, Iggy clearly wasn’t very happy and could be seen sitting and sulking on the bench while his teammates cheered. Brown also played veteran center Zaza Pachulia the entire third quarter after the big man averaged only 14.1 minutes per game in the first eight games of the postseason. Brown also opted to play veteran point guard Shaun Livingston the entire fourth period after he averaged just 15.8 minutes in the playoffs.
More importantly, the Spurs are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games against a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and a robust 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Conference Finals games. Conversely, the Warriors apparently don’t like playing on Tuesday night’s as they’ve gone 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 Tuesday games, in addition to going 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games against a team with a winning road record.
With the Underdog and road team in this rivalry going 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings, I say, go along with the 80 percent of public bettors that like San Antonio to cover the spread as double-digit rod dogs.