Portland (0-1) at Golden State (1-0)
When: Thursday, May 16th, 2019
Where: Oracle Arena,
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Golden State -8/217
We picked the Golden State Warriors to win and cover in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals matchup with Portland mostly because of the fatigue the Blazers showed in a grueling seven-game series with Denver that ended two days earlier. It really did look like this Portland team was gassed and their two leading men shot poorly as the Warriors took advantage of that in an easy 116-94 victory at home. Steph Curry matched his postseason career high of nine 3-pointers and scored 36 points for his fourth 30-point effort this playoffs after struggling at times in the first two rounds. With no Kevin Durant or DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors went back to their old ways of bombing three-pointers and hit 17-of-33 from long range. Golden State’s backups also outplayed Portland’s bench, outscoring them 36-28 as all eight Warriors’ reserves recorded a positive plus/minus. The Warriors ranked 28th during the regular season in points off the bench, and were outscored by an average of 55.7-29.7 by Los Angeles Clippers backups in the first round, but put forth a better effort versus Houston in the second round including Game 6 without Durant. Portland seemed like they were never in the game but actually cut the deficit to 79-73 entering the fourth quarter. That’s when Klay Thompson and four reserves – Quinn Cook, Shaun Livingston, Jonas Jerebko and Jordan Bell – helped open a double-digit advantage over a group of mostly Trail Blazers backups. Just two days removed from a Game 7 win at Denver, the Trail Blazers shot poorly (36.1 percent), committed too many turnovers (21) and struggled to defend Stephen Curry on the perimeter (9-for-15 on 3-pointers). The guard duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for just 36 points on 11-for-31 shooting, including 3-for-10 on 3-pointers. Lillard also had seven of his team’s 21 turnovers. Game 3 is set for Saturday night in Portland.
In addition to cutting down on the turnovers, Portland will be looking to shoot better than their 7-for-28 from beyond the arc. Forward Maurice Harkless and swingman Rodney Hood each scored 17 points, but every Portland player had a negative plus/minus. Center Enes Kanter, who is playing with a separated left shoulder, had 16 rebounds in Game 1 for his eighth double-digit effort of the postseason.
Durant (calf) is slated to be re-evaluated on Thursday but reports circulated Wednesday that he has been ruled out for Game 2 already. Reserves Cook and Jerebko both record a +12 rating while combining for 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 3-of-4 from long range. Draymond Green posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards while also blocking three shots.
I really don’t think this series going to be close. The Blazers have a shot at stealing a game at home, but really don’t stand a chance in Oakland. Curry and Thompson are out of their slumps and will lead Golden State to another easy victory here.
Pick: Warriors –7.5
Trail Blazers are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 Thursday games.
Trail Blazers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
Warriors are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Northwest.
Warriors are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 Conference Finals games.
Warriors are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Warriors are 19-41-2 ATS in their last 62 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Warriors are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.
Warriors are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 Thursday games.
Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
Over is 4-1 in Trail Blazers last 5 Thursday games.
Over is 4-1 in Trail Blazers last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Over is 25-9-2 in Trail Blazers last 36 games playing on 1 days rest.
Over is 11-4 in Trail Blazers last 15 games following a straight up loss.
Over is 19-8 in Trail Blazers last 27 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Over is 11-5 in Trail Blazers last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 6-0 in Warriors last 6 Conference Finals games.
Over is 5-1-1 in Warriors last 7 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 11-3-1 in Warriors last 15 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 11-4 in Warriors last 15 games following a ATS win.
Over is 19-7 in Warriors last 26 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 8-3 in Warriors last 11 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Under is 13-5 in Warriors last 18 home games.
Under is 15-6-1 in Warriors last 22 games playing on 1 days rest.
Under is 20-8 in Warriors last 28 vs. NBA Northwest.
Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Golden State.
Home team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
Over is 19-8 in the last 27 meetings.
Trail Blazers are 9-23 ATS in the last 32 meetings in Golden State.