Spurs strike quickly
No one was sure what the lengthened first round series would do to the Spurs, but after Game 1, I think the answer was nothing. San Antonio jumped on the Blazers from the start, as they looked like the rested team at home. For Thursday, the NBA Odds have the Spurs as solid -6 ½ favorites once again, with a total of 207. With similar NBA Odds to Game 1, is their similar value?
We cashed the 'over' by a few points for a perfect Tuesday night, and I think we can go right back to what worked in Game 1. Much like the other Western Conference series, these two teams are much better on the offensive end of the floor, and though defense will be stepped up, the Blazers’ road defensive effort is not great.
Tony Parker dominated his matchup with Damian Lillard in Game 1, and although Lillard should bounce back in Game 2, the Blazers cannot win if Parker is going for 30 points against them. This point guard battle should be much more of a contest in Game 2.
In fact most of the position battles between the Spurs and Blazers should be much more competitive. Lillard, along with Nicholas Batum and Mo Williams all had poor shooting nights, and I expect things to pick back up in Game 2. Even though the Blazers shot less than 40% from the floor, the total still went 'over' in Game 1. Now at 207, the total is still slightly undervalued. Even if the Spurs don’t drop 112 points again, they should still score enough for the total to cash 'over'.[gameodds]5/286083/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]
The Sharp Pick
Now after five games against one another this regular and postseason, the 'over' has cashed in three of the five meetings this season. The Spurs have been a pretty good NBA pick 'over' all season, but that has been ramped up a lot since the start of the playoffs. The Spurs have now cashed the 'over' in six of their eight postseason games, and they have cashed the 'over' in their last four in a row.
For the Blazers, the 'over' got back on track after two straight 'under' cashes to end their series with the Rockets. Dating back to the regular season, the 'over' has now cashed in eight of the Blazers’ last ten games.
Both teams have a ton of depth and scoring options, which is going to make things difficult when they are trying to game plan defensively for the rest of this series. I doubt Portland has another shooting slump like Game 1, and if they can’t slow down even the role players on the Spurs, this is going to continue to be a high-scoring series.
Take Kawhi Leonard for example. He had a great Game 1 scoring 16 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and getting four steals. If he and the rest of the Spurs’ role players are scoring into the teens, then San Antonio will actually probably score another 110 points in Game 2.
My Pick: 'Over' 207