I’m deciding to jump back in the game tonight! I haven’t been very active since the NBA playoffs started, but I have certain feelings about the way the Warriors and Trailblazers matchup in this series.Embed from Getty Images
Portland Trailblazers @ Golden State Warriors -7.5, Total 220.5
The defending champion Warriors have played impressively over a small sample in the absence of MVP candidate Kevin Durant. As 7.5 point underdogs, Golden State defeated the Rockets in Houston to close out the series shorthanded. Many national outlets were quick to dismiss any chance of the team’s likelihood to advance without Durant, but Steph and Klay rallied the troops.
Their Western Conference Finals opponent, the Portland Trailblazers, are no strangers to playing at Oracle and will relish the opportunity to prove themselves on this stage. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were able to carry their team in a pivotal Game 7 in Denver over the Nuggets. It was a big step for Portland who had been eliminated in 6 of their last 8 playoff appearances without getting out of the first round.
Looking towards tonight, the line opened at Golden State -8 and a total of 218.0 points including consideration of Kevin Durant’s injury. After he was officially ruled out, the line only dropped half a point to -7.5. While I think the public will back the Blazers +7.5 in the situation, given Portland’s recent play and KD’s absence, this line is still dangerous.
The better bet, in my opinion, is to play on the total and specifically the over. The Warriors and Trailblazers are led by talented backcourts and will both look to get off quick shots. These teams usually play higher scoring games and the momentum each has should not change that trend. I don’t have a lot of faith in Steph Curry or CJ McCollum to excel defensively against Damian Lillard or Klay Thompson respectively in this matchup. As a result, all four of these incredible shooters should have strong nights and create a lot of chances for offense this evening.
Pick: Over 220.5 (4*)