NBA Picks: Thunder Has Warriors Shell-Shocked In Conference Finals

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 2:31 PM GMT

Tuesday, May. 24, 2016 2:31 PM GMT

With the embarrassment of the 28 point loss, the defending Champion Warriors will be sky high for a bounce back effort, as they are now 11-1 SU following a loss this season in NBA betting.

Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Series Price: Golden -$130, OKC +$110
The defending Champion Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder resume their Round 3 NBA Playoff series on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 9 PM. The game will be televised by TNT. OKC leads the series 2-1 following their game 3 victory on this court by a score of 133-105. That victory was fueled by the Warriors’ Draymond Green, whose kick to the groin of Thunder C Steven Adams in the second quarter left OKC incensed.

Green played down the kick as the type of hard foul that is prevalent in NBA Playoff basketball, citing numerous times he was fouled in the same way, just not in the same place. In the referees’ opinion, Green was called for a flagrant one foul, with Adams noting that Green had kicked him in the same spot during Game 2. At the time of this writing, Green has NOT BEEN SUSPENDED and will suit up for Tuesday night’s game. In the aftermath of the event, the Thunder were emotionally fueled leading to the 28 point blowout, thus avenging the 118-91 game 2 loss at Golden State. 

 

For that reason, we will side step this game and return to the fundamentals that have made Oklahoma City look like the better team in this series, and the eventual Champion of the Western Conference.

 

Analysis
OKC was the best rebounding team in the NBA this season, out boarding foes by 8.4 rebounds per game. That gives them a significant edge in this series in that it often prevents Golden State from excelling in their transition game, which is key to their success. The Thunder also fully understand that in a similar way they need to do no worse than at least stay even in the turnover battle. What they also realize is that by driving to the basket, they have the ability to take more foul shots than the Warriors, further inhibiting the Golden State transition game.

All of these things they’ve been able to do to a large degree in the two victories in this series. They now hold the home court advantage in a 4 game series, giving them a notable edge from a psychological and emotional perspective. The Warriors will not go quietly, as happened in the previous game. But it is now Golden State who has to win 3 of 4 games to have a chance to defend their title, while OKC must only play .500 ball with 2 games on their home court against a team they will be playing with great confidence.

 

Conclusions
I now believe OKC is the better team who, with the edges described above, have the ability to win this series. At an underdog price of +115, there is plenty of value in betting the Thunder to advance to the Finals of the NBA Playoffs. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA picks on the OKC Thunder to win this series, beginning with game 4.

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Free NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +1.5 -110
Best Line Offered: at Bovada
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