#Betting101: Warriors Favored Over Leonard-Less Spurs

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 2, 2017 12:44 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 12:44 PM UTC

The Golden State Warriors opened as 5.5-point road faves for Thursday’s NBA on TNT matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. But the Warriors are only 2-6 ATS this year.

Free NBA Pick: Over 216.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Something very strange is happening the world of sports. Everywhere you look, the standings are all messed up compared to last year. The NBA is no exception: the Golden State Warriors (5-3 SU, 2-6 ATS) and San Antonio Spurs (4-3 SU and ATS) are among the elite teams barely scraping by as we head into November. So much for dynasties.

At least the Spurs can point at their injury list, where Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps tendinopathy) and Tony Parker (ruptured quad) are both featured prominently. But what about the Warriors? They’re a couple of close shaves from being under .500 right now. Something is not right in Oakland, yet here we are with the Dubs laying 5.5 points in San Antonio for Thursday night’s marquee matchup (8 p.m. ET, TNT). Maybe we should fade the defending champs while the fading’s good.


Friends of P

Eight games is a small sample size, but so far it looks like the Warriors have traded defense for offense – and the trade-off hasn’t been worth it yet. They’ve bumped up their scoring from 113.2 to 118.6 points per 100 possessions; at the other end, Golden State is allowing 108.3 points, or No. 26 overall. That’s up from 101.1 points (No. 2 overall) last year. If we’ve done the math right, the Warriors sit at plus-10.3 per 100 possessions, a drop of 1.8 points.

You could blame it on the league-wide emphasis on 3-point shooting. But the Warriors have some specific issues; SG Nick Young has hit 48 percent of his threes for the Dubs, and he’s also posted a minus-5.6 Defensive Box Plus/Minus, worst among the team’s rotation players. Surely they knew what they were getting when they signed Swaggy P during the offseason. Turnovers have also been problematic, although regression to the mean could help the Warriors in this case.

Unfortunately for the Spurs, they’ve dropped three straight road games SU and ATS, and nobody knows when Leonard will return to active duty. They’ve suffered on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense, where they rank No. 24 in the league at 99.7 points per 100 possessions. This makes it harder for us to recommend the OVER, which is 6-1-1 for Golden State thus far and 3-4 for San Antonio. But let’s go ahead and throw a couple of pfennigs at it. Each team will have enjoyed two days off before playing Thursday night. Maybe that’ll put some pep in their step.

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