NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors (43- 19 SU, 25-36-1 ATS) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (40-22 SU, 29-33 ATS)
When: Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 – 8:30 PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center– Philadelphia, PA
Point Spread: GS -5 / PHI +5 (5Dimes)
Power Rankings: Philadelphia +2
Takeaways from Golden State and Philadelphia’s Most Recent Games
The Warriors enter into this match on the heels of a stunning upset orchestrated at the hands of the Orlando Magic. On Thursday, Golden State traveled to Orlando and closed as a 4.5-point favorite. However, the Magic would go onto defeat the Warriors 103-96 and extend Golden State’s losing streak to two games. It is worth noting that Forward Kevin Durant was absent against Orlando as Coach Steve Kerr wanted to give KD the night off.
The 76ers step into this contest on a two-game winning streak capped off most recently by an upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road on Thursday. As a 3.5-point underdog, the Sixers defeated the Thunder 108-104 to end OKC’s 19-game winning streak against Philadelphia.
How the Public is Betting the Golden State and Philadelphia Game
Presently, 100% of the consensus like the Warriors here laying the points. Despite this heavy public lean, there have been no line movements at the time this article was written (Saturday morning).
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The Sixers snapped Golden State’s ten-game winning streak in this series when they orchestrated an upset in Oakland when these two teams last met on January 31st. The Sixers closed as an eight-point underdog and managed to defeat the Warriors by a score of 113-104. It is worth annotating that Shooting Guard Klay Thompson was out for the game and incidentally enough he is listed as questionable for this contest.
It has been well documented that the Sixers will be without Center Joel Embiid until the middle of March and that his back-up Center Boban Marjnovic will also be out until the middle of March due to both suffering a knee injury. Center Jonah Bolden filled the void, and he managed to score 14 points and snag three rebounds in his last game against Oklahoma City. Philadelphia lost 27.3 points per game scorer in Embiid but have gone 3-1 SU since he has gone on the shelf, so it is needless to say that they are doing just fine without him. As mentioned Golden State Warriors Shooting-Guard Klay Thompson is listed as questionable for this game due to a sore knee. Thompson is known for his prolific marksmanship in three-point range, and he is a 22 point per game scorer for the Warriors. In his last outing at Orlando, Thompson put up 21 points. The man who would be put in for Thompson (should he be unavailable) is Shooting Guard Andre Iguodala who is also listed as questionable due to an illness. Iguodala sat out Golden State’s last game so should he also be unavailable, long-time Warriors reserve Shaun Livingston will see an uptick in minutes. At 6’7, Livingston is a plug and play at either guard position but has only managed 4.2 points per game off the bench this season.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams enter into this contest on two days’ rest. For Golden State, this is the final game of a four-game road trip. The Warriors will be back home in Oakland to host the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. Philadelphia is back home after a brief two-game road trip. This is the first match of a two-game home-stand for the Sixers in the City of Brotherly Love that also concludes on Tuesday when they host Orlando.
Will The Warriors’ Top-Ranked Offense Find Their Stride?
Despite being held to under 100 points in their last outing, the Warriors remain the best in the business when it comes to scoring as they average a remarkable 118.6 points per game. On paper, they have a favorable match-up here against Philadelphia. The Sixers give up an 18th-ranked 112.1 points per game. In addition, the Warriors sit fourth in the NBA in free-throw shooting hitting 81% of their attempts. The Warriors have another favorable match-up against Philadelphia in this facet, as well as the Sixers, sit 26th in the league in terms of opponent free-throw percentage at 77.9%. As a result of this narrative, the Warriors can find themselves scoffing up some free points. Golden State is not a team anyone should be giving away points to.
Can Philadelphia Limit Golden State’s Three-Point Shooting Proficiency Yet Again?
A key ingredient to the Sixers pulling the upset in Oakland in January was their ability to disrupt Golden State’s three-point shooting game. The Sixers sit second in the NBA in opponent three- percentage (33.9%) and managed to curtail Golden State’s second-ranked three-point percentage (38%) to a paltry 28.9% when the two teams last met. The Sixers will look to exploit this angle yet again to pull what would be classed as another upset. This time Philly will look to get by with a little help from their friends as they own a strong home court presence in the City of Brotherly Love. On the year, the 76ers are 24-8 SU in the Wells Fargo Center and will look to use this intangible to test the resolve of the visiting champions who have lost three of their last four away games.
The 76ers have been extremely profitable in this series as they have gone 7-1 ATS in their last eight contests with Golden State. For Over/Under players, the Under is 10-5 ATS in the previous 15 meetings.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Golden State +5.5
Given the fact that this is Philly’s first game back at home after a short road trip combined with their overall profitability in this series along with a recency bias that can accompany the January upset, the Sixers with points look extremely enticing here. This appeal is heightened by the prospect of Klay Thompson possibly being absent as well. However, I am certain that the Warriors had this game circled on their calendar right after the Sixers shocked them on their own court in January. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this game is so significant to Golden State that they perhaps got caught looking ahead to this match-up when they were in Orlando on Thursday. The Warriors got caught off guard by the 76ers when they came to visit Oakland just over a month ago because they took their dominance in the series for granted. I cannot see the two-time defending champions making that same mistake again. I expect Golden State to play this one with a chip on their shoulder and get revenge for the January loss. In doing so, Golden State could potentially win this one by a double-digit margin at the minimum.
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