Free NBA Picks: Spurs at Warriors Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 12/18/2013
The Golden State Warriors were a chic pick to win the Western Conference this season after the emergence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson a season ago led the Dubs to the Western Conference semifinals. There they were beaten in six games by San Antonio, Thursday's opponent. That series very easily could have ended differently had Golden State not gagged away a 16-point lead with four minutes left in the fourth quarter of the opener and lost in double-overtime despite a superstar-making 44 points from Curry.
The Warriors (14-12) have disappointed so far this season, and if the playoffs had started Wednesday, Golden State would be watching at home. However, now might be the time to start dropping some money on Warriors futures odds to win the West, or at a minimum the Pacific Division. As was proven Tuesday, this is a different team without big offseason acquisition Andre Iguodala. The Spurs, meanwhile, just continue to amaze despite the age of their key players. They are a lock to win 50 games for the 15th straight season.
Spurs at Warriors Betting Story Lines
San Antonio played in Phoenix on Wednesday night off easily its worst loss of the season, 115-92 at the Clippers on Monday. Star guard Tony Parker left that game with a bruised shin and already has been ruled out until the weekend at the earliest. He was playing at another all-star level with averages of 17.5 points and 6.1 assists. San Antonio was 11-5 without Parker last season and 1-0 this year heading into Phoenix. Do not put it past Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to perhaps rest Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili for this game being as it's the second of a tough back-to-back. He may just concede the game since Parker is for sure sitting, although Pop has to be careful with his random benchings in these national TV games after the big fine he got last season for doing so against Miami for a TNT game.
Iguodala, meanwhile, had missed the past 12 games with a right hamstring injury, and Golden State was 5-7 without him. The Warriors were 8-5 when he played his final game before that injury. He started Tuesday in the 104-93 win over the injury-ravaged Pelicans but was handled with kid gloves, playing just 17 minutes. Golden State didn't need him much as it dominated from the opening tip. The Warriors improved to 9-2 this season with their projected starting five of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, David Lee and Andrew Bogut. Iguodala is a decent scorer but a tremendous perimeter defender, something the Warriors badly need because Curry and Thompson are not. Plus, David Lee is a lousy defender, so Iguodala and Bogut have to cover for everyone else.
Assuming Iguodala and Bogut stay healthy, I could see Golden State beating out the Clippers for the Pacific title; L.A. is the -225 favorite at Sportsbook.ag, with Golden State at +175. Phoenix is actually second behind L.A. but isn't given much of a shot at +1000, and I do believe the Suns fade.
San Antonio and Golden State are two excellent offensive teams, so their first meeting of the season was puzzling, a 76-74 Spurs home win Nov. 8. Neither team made a field goal in the final 2:23 of the game. Parker led the Spurs with 18 as they won their unthinkable 30th straight at home in this series (regular season only). Toney Douglas led Golden State with 21, and he played a lot because Curry was out with an ankle injury. Iguodala missed a potential tying layup with about 16 seconds left.
Spurs at Warriors NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Golden State opened as a two-point favorite with a total of 204. All San Antonio trends entering Wednesday: It is 12-12 ATS (8-5 on road) and 14-10 “over/under” (6-7 on road). Golden State is 11-13-2 ATS (4-6-1 at home) and 11-15 O/U (6-5 at home). The Spurs are 4-1 ATS in their past five in the second of a back-to-back. San Antonio is 0-5 ATS in its past five against teams with a winning record. The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their past five against teams with a winning record. They are 1-5 ATS in their past six Thursday games. The under is 5-1 in San Antonio's past six Thursday games. The under is 5-1 in Golden State's past six against teams with a winning record. The under is 5-1 in the past six meetings. The road team is 5-2 ATS in the past seven.
Free NBA Picks: Spurs at Warriors Betting Predictions
Golden State won both home games against San Antonio last regular season. With the Spurs likely to be run ragged by the up-tempo Suns on Wednesday and Golden State rested and at full strength, you have to love the Warriors here. Plus, the Spurs have struggled this year against teams with winning records at 4-5 entering Wednesday. With Parker out, I expect San Antonio to struggle offensively, so take the under.
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