Although Oklahoma City is pretty talented, their Game 1 road victory against the Golden State Warriors was somewhat surprising. It was even more amazing when one considers that Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Wesbrook, combined for just 17-for-51 shooting (33%).
Wednesday night’s game was a different story, though, as the Warriors had two big spurts that propelled them to a dominating 118-91 win. One of these runs saw Steph Curry score 15 points in two minutes to push the Warriors’ lead to 76-59.
Despite a first-quarter dive into the stands that hurt his elbow, Curry would go on to score 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting. The reigning MVP’s elbow should be fine moving into Game 3, which means the Warriors are once again a favorite.
But then again, Oklahoma City will be playing their first game at home in the series. Can the Thunder use their crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena to push them to victory? Find out as we discuss Game 3 between OKC and Golden State along with who will cover the spread.
GTBets.eu line for Game 3 (May 22 at 8:00pm EST)
Golden State -2.5 (-110)
Oklahoma City (-110)
Why the Thunder will cover the Spread
The good news for Oklahoma City is that their stars are stepping up to the challenge. Durant was 11-of-18 while scoring 29 points, and Westbrook made up for a pedestrian shooting night (5-for-14) with 12 assists and two steals. The bad news is that, as a team, they aren’t doing the little things that matter.
First off, they were outrebounded 45 to 36, including 15 to 7 on the offensive glass, despite having a size advantage. Even with 7’0″ Steven Adams, 6’11” Enes Kanter and 6’10” Serge Ibaka on the floor for long stretches, the team was dominated on the boards.
The other fundamental problem came from the Thunder’s 15 turnovers, including a few during key stretch runs for the Warriors. If OKC can cut down on silly mental mistakes and use their size advantage to stop Golden State’s small-ball lineup, they have a legitimate opportunity to win.
The Thunder defied expert predictions against the San Antonio Spurs because they improved on the blunders they’ve made in crunch-time moments. Assuming they can erase Game 2’s mistakes and get back to what they’ve been doing, OKC has a definite chance to beat the Warriors again.
Why the Warriors will cover the Spread
Golden State has to be happy with the fact that Klay Thompson went 5-for-17, and they still shot over 50% as a team. This club has no shortage of options, whether it’s Festus Ezeli shooting 5-for-5 or Marreese Speights coming off the bench to hit 5-of-6 shots.
This is part of what makes the Warriors so dangerous because on any given night, anybody in their normal 10-man rotation can step forward and put up numbers. OKC should be particularly worried about this because they, on the other hand, have a much-shorter rotation.
Of course, the biggest key as always for this team will be the stars continuing to play well. Curry is answering the call, even against an elite point guard like Westbrook, while we can be sure that Thompson will have his big nights too. And Draymond Green continues to be a jackknife, scoring 10 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists last game.
As mentioned before, Golden State was able to minimize the Thunder’s biggest strength by controlling the boards. Assuming they do this again in Game 3, combined with what they normally do, then the Warriors are almost guaranteed to win.
Prediction for Thunder vs Warriors Game 3
The is one of the most-difficult games to call in the playoffs from a betting standpoint. On one hand, you have a really good team like the Thunder playing at home. And as Game 1 proved, OKC is capable of beating the Warriors, even at Oracle Arena. But then you also have the defending champion Warriors, who seemed to get their groove back last contest. It feels like splitting hairs when trying to figure out who’ll win, but we think Golden State can take this game and beat the spread as long as Thompson is on.
Final Score: Golden State 107 – Oklahoma City 103
Betting Prediction: Bet on Golden State to cover the -2.5 spread