NBA Pick: Warriors Slight Chalk In Game 3 Showdown Against Thunder

Jay Pryce

Saturday, May 21, 2016 3:06 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 21, 2016 3:06 PM UTC

The Western Conference Finals shift to Oklahoma City tied 1-1, as the Thunder host the Warriors in Game 3 on Sunday. We have your free NBA pick with analysis here.

Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Golden State Warriors (82-12 SU, 50-40-4 ATS)
Following only their third home defeat all season in the series opener, the Warriors gashed the Thunder 118-91 in Game 2 behind Steph Curry's 28 points to even the Conference Finals up. The best-of-seven mathcup now shifts to Oklahoma City, where the one seed is just 6-14 SU and 7-13 ATS in game threes since 2002.

With the two-time MVP healthy and on the court, Golden State, who averages a 10-point spread this season, is 11-1 SU and 8-3-1 ATS in 12 games as 6-point favorites or shorter. Outscoring opponents by 10.8 points, Steve Kerr's squad is beating the number by 8.3 points per game in this situation.

To secure a win, Kerr will likely need fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson to get more involved on the scoring-end. He netted just 15 points last time out, snapping a eight-game postseason run of 20 or more. Half of the Warriors' defeats this season occurred on the road when Thompson put up 18 points or less in a contest.

Dating back to Golden State's last championship run, the OVER is 8-2 (21-6 since 2007) when allowing opponents to score 100 points or more. Including the this year's playoffs, the Thunder and Warriors, the top two teams in points scored, have surpassed the century mark a combined 154 times (70, 84) this season.


Oklahoma City Thunder (64-31 SU, 44-47-4 ATS)
Since 2008, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the court, the Thunder are 10-2 SU and 6-5-1 ATS against the Warriors at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Only two of these meetings occurred since the Warriors' championship run last season, where OKC claimed victory in one (127-115, Jan. 16, 2015) and suffered a three-point overtime loss in the other (121-118, Feb. 27, 2016).

Including the playoffs, OKC is just 3-4 SU on its own hardwood against opponents with a winning percentage greater than 70 percent, and find itself a home dog for just the third time all season.

Besting Golden State from long range will likely be the best path to victory for the Thunder. They did so in the opener, shooting 8 of 17 from 3-point range, but fell flat in Game 2, going 7 for 23 from behind the arc. Golden State is 16-9 SU and just 3-21-1 ATS when allowing a better 3-point percentage to opponents this season. OKC is middling from the area (34.8 %) and actually shot 3.2 percent better on the road than at home. Only the lowly Lakers own a greater disparity in the league.

OKC, who owns the NBA's best rebound rate (53.7%), were beaten on the glass (45-36) by the Warriors in defeat for the first time in five matchups this season. The Thunder are 8-14 SU and 2-20 ATS when outrebounded in a game. It's only happened twice (Cavaliers, Rockets) on their home court in the last four calendar months.


Final Analysis
The Thunder jumped the Warriors in the first half (72-60, 57-46) in each of the last two meetings at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Expect another hot start with the home crowd, especially buoyant after stealing the opener, urging on Durant, Westbrook, and company. The Warriors will make adjustments, and make it close late, possibly taking a road victory of their own. Nonetheless, the play here is OKC +1 first half.

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Free NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +1 In The First Half
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
YTD Record: 63-43-1 (-107); NBA Playoffs: 10-4 (-109)

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