Curry's Absence Puts Warriors in Bind Against Jazz

Jason Lake

Sunday, March 25, 2018 4:35 AM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018 4:35 AM UTC

The Golden State Warriors will be without at least one of their two MVPs tonight when they host the Utah Jazz. Does Stephen Curry’s absence make Utah our NBA pick?

NBA Betting: Jazz vs. WarriorsFree NBA Pick: Under 203 (-105)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Obviously the Golden State Warriors (54-18 SU, 31-40-1 ATS) aren’t quite the same force they have been in recent years. But it isn’t just because of the betting market. The Dubs have had some injury problems this season, problems they managed to avoid during their three-year run atop the Western Conference. Stephen Curry has missed 21 games this season with assorted injuries, and he’s about to miss a lot more; Curry (plus-8.6 BPM) suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his left knee, and could sit out the next six weeks as a result – including the first round of the playoffs.

This is good news for the Utah Jazz (41-32 SU, 38-35 ATS). Their progress has been slowed by injuries, too, but the Jazz are relatively healthy, they’ve won 10 of their last 12 games at 7-5 ATS, and they’re 3.5-point road faves on the NBA odds board for tonight's game against Golden State (8:30 p.m. ET; NBA-TV). Shall we grab ourselves a hot slice of this action?

Hairy Curry

Let’s not be too hasty. As a rule, we expect the betting market to overreact whenever a star player goes down. Curry is a special player, obvs, but how have the Warriors fared without him in the lineup? Actually, they’re 13-8 SU and 8-13 ATS minus their star point guard. Uh-oh.

It’s not just Curry, either. Golden State’s other MVP, Kevin Durant (plus-5.8 BPM), is out until Thursday at the earliest with a fractured rib. Klay Thompson (minus-0.3 BPM) won’t be back until April because of a broken right thumb, and Omri Casspi (minus-1.3 BPM) is doubtful tonight with a sprained right ankle. Draymond Green (plus-3.7 BPM) is expected to start against the Jazz despite a “pelvic contusion.” Testicular karma’s gonna get you.

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The play that knocked Draymond Green out of the game, looked like Danny Green got him in the groin pic.twitter.com/g1SeNXCUup

— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 20, 2018
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Figuring out which team belongs in our NBA picks isn’t easy with all these injuries. But we could just take the "under" instead. That was the right pick in nine of the past 11 Golden State games, and 11 of the last 16 for Utah. These are two of the better defensive teams in the NBA. The Jazz offense, though, is both slow and mediocre, and the Dubs are definitely not firing on all cylinders with these missing players. Let’s take the soft option. Stay healthy, my friends, and may the sphere be with you.

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