Warriors Heavy Chalk Hosting Banged-Up Spurs

Jay Pryce

Saturday, February 10, 2018 3:34 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 3:34 PM UTC

The Warriors look to make it seven straight wins over the Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs Saturday night (8:30 p.m. ET) at Oracle Arena. Oddsmakers believe Golden State’s chances are good, opening the reigning NBA champions a 10-point favorite on the board.

San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors

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Free NBA Pick: 1Half Under 104.5Best Line Offered: at WagerWeb Spurs (35-21 SU, 30-25-1 ATS)

Extreme Spurs Splits; Defense & Bench Focused

The Spurs own extreme home/road splits this season, particularly when it comes to offense. At AT&T Center, they average 105.2 points per game. Away from the building, they tumble to 97.6 points per contest. The dip is not some clever Gregg Popovich strategic scheme either. Efficiency numbers tell the tale. The Spurs own the seventh best NBA offense at home, scoring 111.6 points per 100 possessions. On the road, it ranks 29th, putting up 103.1 overall. Only the Kings (101.9) are worst in the league away from home when it comes to maximizing scoring output.

The numbers are even gloomier without star player Kawhi Leonard, especially when expected to lose in the betting market. The top two-way player is out indefinitely with cryostasis for his injured left quad. Seven times the Spurs have tipped of road underdogs with Leonard out of the lineup. They’re 0-7 SU and 3-4 ATS overall. Scoring slips further, averaging 93.7 points per game on an un-Spurs-like 41.6 percent shooting. San Antonio has failed to reach its team total in all but two, coming up 5.7 points per game below projections.

Somehow, despite the team’s constant injury crisis, San Antonio sits third in the Western Conference standings. Pop’s defense is still a force, allowing 97.7 points per game, fewest in the NBA. The unit owns the league’s second-best rating at 101.2 behind the Celtics. Moreover, the constant personnel shuffling are allowing bench players to blossom. The backup crew owns the fourth highest net rating overall.

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Warriors (42-13 SU, 24-31 ATS)

Golden State Defense Slipping; First Quarter Blues

The Warriors are 10-5 SU and 5-10 ATS in their last 15 games, failing to cover a -8.9 average line by 7.6 points per game. What’s the deal? They’ve been at full strength for all but two in which Steph Curry sat out with a sore ankle. The issue is a leaky defense. Golden State is yielding 113.3 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting in this span. Prior to this, it allowed 106.0 per game on 43.3 from the floor.

The Warriors are failing to get off to good starts of late. Opponents are outscoring coach Steve Kerr’s squad 33.5 to 32.1 in the first quarter in the last 15 games. Slow beginnings, in fact, have been a problem for the team all year. Teams are even with the Warriors in the first period, each averaging 29.8 points. Following halftime adjustments, the Warriors own a plus-4.9 edge in the third quarter (30.5-25.6). Defenses are coming out more physical, slowing down Golden State’s effective transition game, preventing easy cut-dunks, and hounding the 3-point line. Expect the Spurs to follow the script.

Pick:

Couple Golden State’s chronic slow starts with San Antonio’s offensive inconsistency and you have a great recipe for a first half ‘under.’ The Spurs average 21.7 points in the second quarter on the road without Leonard, giving you a sense how much this offense can dry up when the second string starts rotating in more. Our numbers forecast a 104.1 combined score before the half. Pick ‘under’ 105 points to cash.

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