Our NBA betting blog for Saturday explores what bettors can expect from Kevin Durant in Game 2 following a mammoth effort in the opener, how top seeds perform following a Game 1 win, and the Warriors' gaudy numbers when scoring a ton of first quarter points.
Kevin Durant went off in the Warriors’ 113-91 rout over the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday. The former MVP was 14-of-26 from the floor, scoring 38 points, pulling down 8 rebounds, and dishing out 8 assists. He had six dunks and zero turnovers to boot. The Warriors, in fact, finished with four turnovers as team, tied for the fewest ever in a NBA Finals contest historically. Will Durant lead all scorers in Game 2? Likely not.
Expect Cleveland to make proper adjustments and Durant to cool off a bit. Durant has put up 30 points or more on better than 50 percent from the field 27 times in his postseason career. Next time out, he’s scored as many points just four times. In fact, Durant has dropped 30 or more only eight times overall in the following contests. The majority of these occurred while at Oklahoma City. In three games with Golden State, Durant has recorded 29, 18, and 16 points respectively in 31.8 minutes per game. Depending on the sportsbook, the over/under for Kevin Durant’s points in Game 1 was 27.5 to 28.5. Expect a similar number on Sunday.
Lower production via Durant doesn’t mean offense will vanish necessarily. The OVER is 12-4-1 when his team tips off as chalk in this situation. It has gone over its projected team total in 10 games. Oddsmakers opened the Warriors 8-point favorites, books adjusting to -9 at some shops by Saturday morning.Series Opening Win Spells Good Fortune for Warriors in Game 2
Since 2002, one seeds in the NBA playoffs are 49-17 SU and 29-37 ATS in Game 2 following a win in the series opener. Including last year’s postseason, the Warriors, Cavaliers, and Celtics are 10-0 SU and 9-2 ATS. Historically, more than half of the upsets occur with a line of 7 points or fewer—a key number equaling the most common NBA margin of victory. The top seed record is 13-13 SU and 10-16 ATS as an underdog (once) or a short-priced favorite of 6.5 points or fewer. At -7 or higher on the spread, the one seed is 36-4 SU and 19-21 ATS. Do note, in this span, this has happened once in the Finals. The Cavs shocked the Warriors 95-93 at Oracle Arena as a 7.5-point pup two years ago.
Live Betting A Warriors Hot Start
The Warriors are 21-0 SU and 16-4-2 ATS when scoring 35 points or more in the first quarter this season. They jumped out to a 35-30 lead over Cleveland in Game 1. Golden State led in each contest, and are 13-1-2 ATS overall when recording 36 or more. If live betting, note that Golden State has increased their lead in the second half over the first in all but four games. Team scoring slows down, however. The Warriors have put up more second-half points five times.