Most of us have been waiting for today since October, and the day has finally arrived: Golden State vs. San Antonio Game One.
Granted, back in October, this wouldn’t have been a -1000 line for the Golden State Warriors and a steep +600 for the San Antonio Spurs, but things have changed a little bit. For starters, Golden State is healthy, whereas San Antonio is banged up; Tony Parker is out and Kawhi is still nursing an ankle. But larger than health, it has been the overwhelming dominance of the Warriors. Golden State has won more games in a three-year span than any team in NBA history and hasn’t dropped a single game in the 2017 postseason.
Will their dominance extend at San Antonio’s expense? Through all the roster moves and age, not many teams have beat the brakes of Coach Pop’s crew over the last two decades. And even though Golden State’s advanced analytics are off the chart both offensively AND defensively, it isn’t like San Antonio isn’t near the top of the NBA in every category as well. The Vegas lines indicate this won’t even be competitive. Is Vegas seeing the future, or can the Spurs make some trouble in this series?
TODAY’S NBA PICK:
Western Conference Finals – Game One
San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors -10
When is the last time the Spurs, at full strength with no Coach Pop resting hijinx, a double digit underdog?? It is strange to see, but with the way the Warriors have ripped through the postseason, leading by twenty-plus points for more minutes than they have trailed, perhaps it makes some sense.
San Antonio ruined the debut of Kevin Durant earlier this season with a 129-100 victory on Opening Night, but it is fair to say that was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away. Since that night, the Warriors are 75-14 and easily the top team in the NBA in every discernible offensive category. They have inverted the math of the NBA, not just trading three for two like the Rockets attempt to do, but trading three for the other team’s hotly contested two. The Warriors trail only the Spurs in defensive efficiency and the gap is just 0.2.
For the series, I’d like to say it will be close, but I really don’t think it will be. Vegas isn’t stupid. If this were the Spurs v. Warriors Battle of the Titans we envisioned back in October, then the Warriors wouldn’t be double-digit favorites in the opener and -1000 to win the series. That is some FCS team at a Big Ten school kind of odds, not the mark of two elite and equally-matched teams.
The Spurs have actually been pretty good ATS against the Warriors lately, but several of those games were games with all the starters resting and the first was the awkward opener for Kevin Durant. I am not wild about the line on this game, as laying TEN against the Spurs feels crazy. But it feels even crazier to bet against Golden State at home, healthy and rested, and energized to finally play a meaningful and competitive basketball game.
I’ll eat the ten and take the Warriors to fire a LOUD series-opening salvo.
Today’s NBA Pick: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS -10