Durant Probable In Potential Celtics-Warriors Finals Preview

Jay Pryce

Saturday, January 27, 2018 6:20 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 6:20 PM UTC

The line is off the board Saturday morning in this potential NBA Finals preview between the Celtics and Warriors with Kevin Durant a game-time decision. Let us help you break down the betting matchup.

Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors

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Free NBA Pick: Under 219Best Line Offered: at BetOnlineWarriors (39-10 SU, 22-27 ATS)

The line is off the board as of publication with Kevin Durant a game-time decision due to a sore foot. The Warriors list his status as probable, so in all likelihood the superstar will play. Durant is coming off just his 10th triple-double all-time, recording 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 126-113 win over the Timberwolves Thursday. Veteran Andre Iguodala will see more playing time if Durant needs rest.

Does Durant’s absence even matter in the betting market? For totals bettors yes, spread backers not so much. He owns a 5.9 Box Plus/Minus this season, which attempts to measure the points per 100 possessions a player contributes above the league average. The Warriors rank second behind the Lakers with 100.1 possessions per tilt. Bettors can expect close to a 6-point swing on the line depending on his status.

This team, however, is built around the play of Steph Curry, and has been since Steve Kerr assumed head coaching duties in 2014. Kerr has managed Durant’s absence well, mixing and matching personnel to suit Curry’s game. Since coming over in free agency, the Warriors are 25-5 SU and 16-11-3 ATS with Durant out, topping a -8.8 average line by 2.8 points per game. Two of the five losses came in the only contests Curry was also sidelined. The ATS record improves to 16-9-3 with the two-time MVP playing, besting the number (-9.4) by 4.0 points per game.

The one area that sticks out with Durant absent is the amount of scoring. Point totals on both ends of the court dip with Kerr rotating more defensive-oriented personnel sets in and out of the action. Since 2016, the Warriors average 118.6 points and surrender 107.2 per game with Durant and Curry starting. The figures slump to 114.6 and 101.2 with Durant missing out of the duo.

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Closer look at last night’s win as the Dubs gear up for their final regular season matchup with the Celtics 👀 pic.twitter.com/QNaRxFv65Y

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 26, 2018
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Celtics (35-14 SU, 27-21 ATS)

Boston is 29-14-1 ATS (67.4 percent) as road underdogs versus Western Conference opponents in head coach Brad Stevens’ five-year tenure. This includes an 8-2-1 record in the last 11 attempts.

Stevens has crushed the market in four trips to Oracle Arena. The Celtics are a perfect 4-0 ATS (2-2 SU), topping a 12.1 average line by a whopping 14.9 points per game. It has beaten the number by at least 9 points in each, and has never lost outright by more than 3 points.

Preventing Curry from dominating behind the arc is Stevens’ modus operandi defensively. The sharpshooter has hit 3 treys or less in all but one, scoring .64 points per minute. To put this in perspective, Curry averages .83 points per minutes in 2017.

Boston is 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS as a road pup this season, dominating defense the difference-maker. It has held opponents under their projected team total in the market by 8.5 points per game.

Pick

We have it 108-102 for Golden State with Durant starting. Look for the number to be in-between 7 and 9 points with a total in the mid 210s on the NBA odds. Lean Boston against the spread, but make the ‘under’ your the best bet. It holds the most value, and leeway, if Durant surprisingly sits.

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