Fair warning to Oklahoma City Thunder backers: the Spurs are for real and they aren’t contented with convincing 122-105 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
The Spurs enter the game as considerable favourites in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series favoured by 6 points against the spread and 1.39 in the moneyline. Betting on the Thunder to win the game triples a wager for any OKC backer—a tasty proposition but perhaps just too big to veer away bettors from betting for the Spurs.
Can OKC really tie the series even if they were outmatched, outclassed and outplayed in the opening game? Can the Thunder even cover the rather big spread?
Here’s a look at what transpired in Game 1 and how these numbers will translate in the upcoming Thunders-Spurs match-up on Wednesday night (Thursday morning Australia):
The Spurs outscored the Thunder, 66-32 in the paint. This means a couple of obvious things; first, OKC misses big man Serge Ibaka badly; and second, the Spurs know of their advantage and they are willing to press on it to the hilt.
Tim Duncan set the tone of Game 1 (and the series) by attacking the short-handed Thunder early finishing with 21 points in the first half. He scored just 6 points the rest of the way but the message was sent: we will ride this old man early and often in this series and you can’t do anything about it.
The Spurs allowed Kevin Durant (28 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists) and Russell Westbrook (25 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists) their usual explosive numbers but stopped everyone else. The rest of the OKC starters finished with just 5 points and although Reggie Jackson (13 points) and Derek Fisher (16 points) did finish in double-figures, both were harmless in the big win.
The Spurs know the duo will get theirs, so just stop everyone else and put the pressure on them defensively. What’s stopping the Spurs from doing it all over again in the second game?
As the series moves along, the Spurs’ machine will continue to roll and they know how dangerous OKC can be if they gain a bit of confidence with the best-of-seven shifting to OKC in the next two games.
The result: a focused San Antonio squad that will not squander a 2-0 advantage for yet another blowout win.
Thunder-Spurs Betting Lines:
Against the Spread (ATS): Oklahoma City Thunder (+6) vs. San Antonio Spurs Match Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder (3.14) vs. San Antonio Spurs (1.39)
Oklahoma City Thunder Trends - The Thunder are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games after an ATS loss - The Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games on the road - The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after a one-day rest - The Thunder are 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games vs. the Spurs
San Antonio Spurs Trends - The Spurs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games at home - The Spurs are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games - The Spurs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after a win - The Spurs are 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 games vs. the Thunder