Though Golden State and Brooklyn are at the opposite ends of the playoff spectrum, the sportsbooks NBA odds are the great equalizer, seemingly making this an even game because of the pointspread.
Both teams enter this Monday Night contest in a difficult scheduling situation, so who has the advantage?
Weary Warriors Trudge On
Tonight will be the dreaded fourth road game in five outings for Golden State. If that doesn’t make the Warriors (46-11, 33-21-3 ATS) tired, having to expend the energy yesterday to overcome a 26-point deficit in Boston certainly should have for Steve Kerr’s squad.
Golden State was not ready to play and trailed 38-25 after one period. The lack of readiness eventually led to the large deficit, which they cut to 15 points at halftime. But Stephen Curry and Draymond Green in particular led a 31-15 fourth quarter rally which turned into a 106-101 victory as eight-point favorites in NBA Odds.
NBA basketball handicappers will always look as bad scheduling spots when handicapping the betting odds and this one certainly qualifies from that perspective. After the miserable first quarter, the Warriors defense really buckled down and held the Celtics to 63 points in the final three quarters.
Though Curry and company have an excellent record (see below) playing without rest, they are just 14-15-2 ATS on the road.
Brooklyn Happy to be Home
Nets fans will do something they have not done since Feb. 6th, visit the Barclays Center to see Brooklyn (24-33, 28-29 ATS) play a basketball game tonight. The Nets players were in Brooklyn at least for awhile during the All-Star break to spilt their road trip in two segments of games, three before the break and five thereafter.
The first part of the journey was a disaster at 0-3, but the back half was a big improvement at 3-2 and the Nets have covered five of their last six tilts.
Though Brooklyn is technically out of the playoffs at the moment, they have the same number of losses as seventh-seeded Miami (and Charlotte) which is all that matters when the season ends.
In this matchup, the Nets are also in scheduling disadvantage, which is a known factor when making sports picks, first game home off a road trip with one or fewer days off. When arriving home, there are factors to catch up on and that often leads to a distracted team that does not play their best and with Brooklyn an already forlorn 10-15 (9-16 ATS) in their own building, tonight is also a challenge for them.
Betting Odds and Head to Head
Oddsmakers made the Warriors 6.5-point road favorites with a total of 207 and by this morning, they were down to -5, with evidently sharp money moving the number because over 80 percent of bets placed were on Golden State.
The Warriors took the earlier contest at home 107-99 as 10.5-point favorites. In the past three years, Golden State is 4-1 and 3-2 ATS against Brooklyn, but the longer view shows the Nets are 13-4 and 11-6 ATS versus the Warriors, whether they were in borough or in New Jersey the last 17 years.
This is the last stop on the Warriors six-game road trip, before heading home. It will not be an easy week by any stretch for Golden State when they return home on Wednesday. First, they have to deal with the usual lag of coming off the road, in which teams are frequently vulnerable, especially as favorites. Milwaukee is first up followed by important games with Dallas and the Clippers later in the week. The Warriors are 10-2 and 7-3-2 ATS playing without a day off this season, winning by 11.3 points a contest.
This is the beginning of a nice five-game homestand for Brooklyn, as they make their playoff push. This could very likely be the only game in this stretch in which they will not be favored, with Charlotte, Phoenix, Utah and New Orleans in town. The nets are 12-17 and 13-16 ATS with a day between games.
The way this game sets up, neither club will be at the top of their game. Kerr will undoubtedly use his bench more after Curry, Klay Thompson and Green all played 38 or more hard minutes last night.
Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins will try and create mismatches with center Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young and hope Deron Williams is not severely outplayed by Curry.
Normally with my NBA Picks, I would take a team like Golden State, but in the past five years, teams that average 103 or more points a game and came back from a deficit of 15 or more points, win by 3.8 points in their next outing, which leads to leaning with the Nets, barely.
NBA Basketball Free Pick: Brooklyn +6 at 5Dimes