Steph Curry and the defending champion Golden State Warriors will look to ‘send a message’ to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder when they take to the court tonight at Oracle Arena for Game 1 of their highly anticipated NBA betting lines Western Conference Finals showdown. Now, let’s find out if the top-seeded champs will be able to put away a third-seeded Thunder team that is playing its best basketball of the season in Game 1.
— NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2016
How To Bet The Thunder @ Warriors NBA WCF Game 1 Odds, TV & Game Info
Why Bet the Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder (63-30 SU, 44-48-1 ATS, 45-48 O/U) have been absolutely phenomenal in posting a stellar 4-1 SU and ATS mark on the road this postseason. After getting smacked senseless by San Antonio on Game 1 of their semifinal series, the Thunder won two straight in South Texas to dispatch the veteran-laden Spurs after winning both of their road games against Dallas in the first round.
Oklahoma City closed out the favored Spurs 4-2 by taking out Tim Duncan and company 113-99 in Game 6 to easily cover the spread as a 1-point home favorite and move to 2-0 SU and ATS in their last two road games. “The one thing that’s happened for our team, which has been good, is Dallas and San Antonio,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan told reporters. “These games helped us get better. We have improved and gotten better. I think there’s an opportunity to continue to grow for our team.”
More importantly, the Thunder saw both, Durant and Russell Westbrook take over the final three games of the series to lead Oklahoma City to the upset series win. Durant is averaging 27.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the postseason while Westbrook is contributing 25.5 points, 10.8 assists and 6.8 rebounds per contest. “I’m excited for all of our players,” Donovan told reporters. “Those guys have done a tremendous job and have worked really hard getting prepared to play each game. I’m just happy that we get a chance to advance and continue to play.”
Why Bet the Golden State Warriors
Golden State (81-11 SU, 52-38-2 ATS, 50-41-1 O/U) dispatched a feisty Portland Trail Blazers team 4-1 in their second round playoff series by winning Game 5 125-121 on Wednesday, though they never came close to covering the spread as a whopping 13.5-point home favorite. Still, the Dubs are feeling good about themselves knowing that two-time league MVP Stephen Curry will be on the floor for this series after missing six of 10 playoff games this postseason. Curry returned in the final two games against Portland and looked like he never missed a beat in averaging 34.5 points, 9.5 assists and seven rebounds while effectively ending the Blazers’ season with a bunch of unimaginable three-pointers.
The Warriors will likely be without starting center Andrew Bogut, giving backup Festus Ezeli the start in this contest. “We’ve got a lot of options, a lot of depth,” head coach Steve Kerr said. The Dubs have also had four full days off, giving Curry’s sprained knee even more time to get back to 100 percent. “The good thing is, we’ve had to play without a lot of people this year, and we’ve had to adapt to that. We’ll figure it out.” All-Star forward Draymond Green rolled his ankle in the finale against Portland but has been practicing over the weekend and is more worried about getting baited into technical fouls (he’s already been whistled for four during the postseason) than he is about the ankle.
In Curry’s absence, backcourt mate Klay Thompson took a huge step forward. The sweet-shooting all-star guard is averaging a team-high 27.4 points per game this postseason while Curry is averaging 24.8 points per night. Thompson is shooting an insane 47 percent from the field – and beyond the arc.
My Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
I’m going to get right to the point by saying that there is no way I see Golden State beating Oklahoma City by 14 points tonight! Don’t get me wrong…I like the Warriors to get the series-opening win over the Thunder, but I just don’t see any way Oklahoma City lets this game get out of hand after the way the played against the Spurs over the last three games. While the Thunder were an ATS mess during the regular season, they’ve quickly gotten their act together in the postseason, going 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record and 5-1 ATS in their last six road games overall.
I know the home team in this rivalry is 7-0-1 ATS in the last eight meetings and that the Thunder are a winless 0-4 ATS in the last four road games against the Dubs, but the Thunder are also 12-3 ATS in their last 15 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and an impressive 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.
I say back the Thunder to cover the spread with room to spare!
My Final score prediction: Golden State 112 Oklahoma City 107