Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder (-2, 221 o/u)
For the second game in a row, the Golden State Warriors (10-5 SU, 9-6 ATS) will be facing elimination; down 3-2 in the best of seven Western Conference finals, they won’t have the crowd on their side this time as they travel to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder (11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS) at Chesapeake Energy Arena tonight (9:00 PM Eastern).
The Warriors made it through the first of three must-wins on Thursday, with a 120-111 win at home in Game 5. The outcome was very much in doubt until late; Golden State was up just four points entering the fourth quarter and only pulled away late in the final frame.
It was good enough for their backers, though, as the Warriors covered the spread as 7.5-point favorites. NBA MVP Steph Curry, who shot 9-20 from the field and 3-8 from three-point land, led the team with 31 points on the night, but it was key contributions from the bench that made the difference. The Warriors reserves outscored their OKC counterparts 27 to 13.
Thursday’s game was the first that the Thunder have lost this playoffs when Kevin Durant (40 points on 12-31 shooting from the floor) hits the 30-point mark.
The tight nature of Game 5 is exactly why I’m taking the Thunder in Game 6. The Warriors have one of the best home-court advantages in the league, yet struggled to put OKC away in a do-or-die game. Compare that to the two games prior, which the Thunder won on their home court by a combined 52 points, and it becomes clear that OKC is playing at a higher level right now.
With the spread at a minimal two points, take the home team to win and cover, ending Golden State’s magical run.
Pick: OKC (-2).
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])