Anything can happen in sports, the top-seeded Golden State Warriors know this well as they overcame a 25-point deficit to win the series opener of the Western Conference Finals against the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs and head into Game 2 on Tuesday as double-digit home favorites again.
The Warriors failed to cover in Game 1 as 10-point chalk, but they were fortunate to win 113-111 after digging themselves a big hole in the first half. The Spurs will face a bigger challenge in Game 2 with star Kawhi Leonard doubtful for the contest.
The Warriors opened as 12-point favorites; the total is at 210, according to sportsbooks.
The Spurs lost Leonard in the third quarter of Game 1 at Golden State and had built a huge lead behind his 26 points and eight rebounds, so his ankle injury could cost San Antonio a trip to the NBA Finals. However, the Spurs will continue to fight without him, and San Antonio showed why it is considered the best-coached team in the NBA by routing the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their second-round series without Leonard.
Golden State got a serious wake-up call in the first half of Game 1, trailing by 20 points at halftime with a deja vu moment back to the regular-season opener when San Antonio won 129-100 at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors were still able to pull off the win, thanks in part to Leonard’s injury, and his absence would only work in their favor. Golden State’s Kevin Durant will need to take advantage of whoever San Antonio decides to put on him defensively with Leonard likely out. Durant scored 34 points in Game 1 while Stephen Curry led the way with 40 points, and together, they can make sure the Warriors outscore the Spurs.
Bettors will see what the Warriors are made of and measure this betting challenge in Game 2. If they struggle versus a San Antonio team missing Leonard, their chances of dethroning the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in a potential third consecutive NBA Finals matchup will be in doubt.
The total has gone OVER in three of the Spurs’ last four games against the Warriors.
The Warriors are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after an ATS loss.
The Spurs are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games in the playoffs as road underdogs.
San Antonio led by as many as 25 and were up 23 when Leonard landed on Dubs center Zaza Pachulia’s foot after attempting a jump shot in the third quarter, after which the Warriors went on a ridiculous 18-0 run and outscored San Antonio 58-33 the rest of the game. Leonard has already been ruled out for Game 2.
San Antonio is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games.
The total has gone over in nine of San Antonio’s last 11 games.
The total has gone over in five of Golden State’s last seven games.
The OVER, which easily cashed in Game 1, is trending when San Antonio hits the road. In the Spurs’ last 10 away from AT&T Center, the OVER is 8-2.
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