NBA Picks: Spurs vs. Warriors Game 3

Jeff Grant

Thursday, May 9, 2013 3:09 PM GMT

The Golden State Warriors have outplayed the San Antonio Spurs through two games thus far, but that doesn’t mean they should tip off as home favorites Friday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 3 of this Western Conference semifinal series at Oracle Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. 

Be sure to check out my NBA Picks: Heat vs. Bulls Game 3.

Fortunate 

San Antonio is fortunate this best-of-seven series is tied at 1-1, as it suffered a 100-91 setback to Golden State as seven-point home favorites Wednesday—just two days after picking up an improbable 129-127 double overtime win in Game 1. 

The Spurs are 5-1 straight up (SU) and 3-3 against the spread (ATS) in the second round of the playoffs the last two-plus seasons, with no clear edge found in the betting total (3-3 Over/Under). 

Confidence 

Golden State is playing with tremendous confidence under second-year head coach Mark Jackson, as the club moved past becoming the first team to blow a 16-point lead with 4.5 minutes remaining in a playoff game, with the offense knocking down 22 3-pointers in San Antonio. 

The Warriors still possess a losing 23-26 SU record against wining teams since the start of the regular season, with the OVER going 30-18-1 in that situation. 

Getting it done on the road 

NBA handicappers shouldn’t look past the Spurs when looking over the betting lines, as they compiled a 23-18 record on the road during the regular season—ranking fifth in the league in averaging 101.4 points per game. 

San Antonio enjoyed great success away from the AT&T Center due to shooting 46.5 percent from the field, while trailing only one team in dishing out 23.8 assists. 

Perfection 

Golden State has covered the number in all eight of its playoff games to this point, which fits nicely with the fact that the favorite is 18-6-2 ATS in the last 26 meetings in this series. 

There’s just one problem—San Antonio has been laying the points a majority of the time in this rivalry since the arrival of forward Tim Duncan.

[gameodds]5/228705/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Spurs as one of their NBA picks Friday, as I established the Warriors as 1.5-point home favorites, which provides slight value on the road underdog. 

San Antonio is also 15-3 SU and 14-4 ATS when revenging a home loss the last two-plus seasons. 

NBA Pick:  San Antonio Spurs +2 at Pinnacle