Another day, another victory for the Golden State Warriors. They’ve beaten the NBA odds in nine of their last 10 games, but then again, so have the San Antonio Spurs. Which team will prevail Sunday night?
Jason’s record as of Apr. 3: 65-67-5 ATS, 7-13 Totals, plus-1.15 units ML
So which team do you want to put in your basketball picks this Sunday: the one that’s 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games? Or the one that’s only 9-1 SU and ATS? Those are your two choices against the spread when the Golden State Warriors visit the San Antonio Spurs. There’s not much to choose between them; however, San Antonio is a 5.5-point chalk on the NBA odds board as we go to press. Interesting. But is it interesting enough for us not to go running immediately into the waiting arms of the total?
No Days Off
We’re certainly not about to fade the Warriors (63-13 SU, 46-29-1 ATS) at this point. True, the one game where they failed to cover the spread was Thursday’s narrow 107-106 win over the Phoenix Suns (+12.5 away), which we just happened to have in our NBA picks. It’s been that kind of week here at the ranch. However, Golden State got right back on the horse Saturday, beating the Dallas Mavericks 123-110 as a 6.5-point road chalk. No sweat.
The Spurs (50-26 SU, 38-36-2 ATS) were idle on Sunday, so this does make life a bit more challenging for the Dubs. Still, their win over Dallas didn’t require any one player to log more than 30 minutes, as head coach Steve Kerr went 11-deep into his well-stocked bench. Kerr even had the luxury of giving David Lee (18.6 PER, plus-2.1 BPM) the day off. The Warriors are 15-3 SU and 12-5-1 ATS this year playing on zero days of rest. They’ll be fine.
Then again, San Antonio is 26-12 SU and 23-15 ATS when getting that vital day off in between performances. The Spurs are coming off Friday’s 123-93 walloping of the Denver Nuggets (+13 away), a game where the defending champions were up by 20 points at the end of the first quarter, allowing head coach Gregg Popovich to empty the benches early.
It wasn’t all good in the hood. Tiago Splitter (19.0 PER, plus-3.2 BPM) had to leave the game with an injured right calf – the same calf that put Splitter on the shelf for over a month at the start of the regular season. He’s already been ruled out for Sunday’s matchup (7:00 p.m. ET, NBA-TV). The Spurs have plenty of depth at every position, but Splitter was their third-best defender (plus-2.4 DBPM) this year. His absence shouldn’t be ignored.
Be that as it may, we’re still going to abandon ship on the point spread and turn our NBA picks' focus to the total. The UNDER is 4-2 in six meetings between these two teams over the past two seasons; it’s also 4-1 in San Antonio’s last five games and 3-2 for Golden State during the same span. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge how excellent these two teams are at the defensive end. The Warriors are No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency as we go to press, allowing 97.6 points per 100 possessions. The Spurs are tied at No. 2 with the Milwaukee Bucks at 99.6.
Sunday’s game features two of the best defensive wings in the NBA: Draymond Green (plus-4.2 DBPM) for Golden State, and Kawhi Leonard (plus-3.4 DBPM) for San Antonio. You’ll also get to see Andrew Bogut (plus-5.6 DBPM) and Tim Duncan (plus-4.6 DBPM) mixing it up down low. These are four of the Top 10 defenders in the league on the Defensive Real Plus-Minus charts at ESPN. Let’s just put them all on the floor together and let the basketball gods sort them out.
Free NBA Pick: UNDER 207.5 at BetOnline