Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors Western Conference Finals Game 2 Pick
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors Western Conference Finals Game 2 Pick (Warriors lead series 1-0)
When: Thursday, May 16th, 9:00PM ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
TV: ESPN (DirecTV 206)
Point Spread: Port +8/G.S. -8
Money Line: Blazers +292/Warriors -365 (MyBookie Sportsbook)
Power Rating: Golden State Warriors -8
Probable Starting Lineups
Blazers: PG Damian Lillard, SG C.J. McCollum, SF Maurice Harkless, PF Al-Farouq Aminu, C Enes Kanter.
Warriors: PG Stephen Curry, SG Klay Thompson, SF Andre Iguodala PF Draymond Green C Andrew Bogut
Game 1: What Happened?
If you didn’t watch the game and just looked at the final score, you wouldn’t really be getting the whole story on what went down Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. Yes, the Blazers got beat. No, they didn’t get dominated the whole game. The first quarter was somewhat close, courtesy of a Rodney Hood 3-ball at the buzzer.
The second quarter was also fairly close, as Portland was within four points with around two minutes left. Then things fell apart a bit, as the Warriors closed out the second quarter strong with a pair of 3-balls from Stephen Curry, leaving Portland with a nine point deficit at the half.
Despite getting down by as many as 15 in 3rd quarter, the Blazers showed some life late, rallying, to outscore GS 26-23 in the quarter, to bring themselves back within 6 to start the 4th.
And then all hell broke loose… Portland couldn’t seem to make an in-game-adjustment to the Warriors pick and roll game. Shot after shot seemingly went down, with most coming with a defender struggling to get free from the screener. In the end, the Portland Trail Blazers would get outscored by 16 points in the 4th and lose the game 116-94.
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The Blazers Lost by 22 and the Spread is Only +8 Again?
Portland was competitive in the game more than they weren’t. Keep in mind, they seemingly did EVERYTHING wrong and the score was still close at least once in nearly every quarter except the 4th. The team shot 36.1% from the field, 25% from three point range, they committed a miserable 21 turnovers, which is about twice as many as they usually give up on the road and they allowed 50% from the field, which is quite a bit worse than the norm. It’s unlikely that these negative variables all play out again, hence the somewhat surprising spread.
Reasons for Poor Blazer Play
We found out after the game started that the team didn’t get to have a shoot around prior to Game 1. That surely didn’t help their cause.
In college basketball betting, sharp handicappers will seek out “letdown” spots where a team has upset their opponent and then play another game shortly thereafter. Often times, that team will come out flat due to being emotionally drained. This isn’t a variable that we consider much with regards to NBA betting, unless it happens in a back to back situation and overtime is involved. Could it be that the Blazers fit into this angle after coming back from 20+, on the road in Denver’s thin air and in a game 7? You bet! It’s actually VERY likely and I feel like a donkey for not taking that into consideration when I gave out the Blazers in Game 1. I didn’t consider that angle because it’s not something on my NBA checklist like it is in college hoops. My bad.
How Can the Blazers Compete and Cover the Spread in Game 2?
To most, it may seem almost impossible that Portland covers or wins Game 2 after seeing the drubbing they took at the end of Game 1. To the astute/seasoned handicapper, it’s actually likely that the Blazers cover in Game 2 and for many reasons.
For starters, keep in mind that Portland was “in it” for most of the game, despite doing almost everything wrong.
It’s HIGHLY unlikely that Portland shoots 36% from the field again. It’s more likely we’ll see them shoot in the 45% range.
It’s unlikely that they’ll only hit 25% from long range again.
There’s no way Damian Lillard only takes 12 shots again. The Blazer point guard had previously averaged 30 points per game in playoff games vs. Golden State. His 12 attempts were an enigma. Look for him to have at least double that many looks.
More Evan Turner, less Al-Farouq Aminu. While Aminu is a great NBA player, he has spells where he absolutely disappears, which is exactly what he’s done recently and Stotts is aware, as evidenced by his limited minutes in the second half of the last couple games. Look for Evan Turner to get more run. Turner is much better suited for the style of play that ensues when these teams get together.
Limit turnovers. Golden State didn’t even turn Portland over. The Blazers beat themselves. Lots of dumb mistakes made by a team that doesn’t usually turn it over. To give you an example of how bad they were, they gave it up 21 times Tuesday night. In their last three games vs. Denver, they only had 4, 9 and 6 miscues. That isn’t likely to happen again. Twenty one TO’s was the sign of a tired team, which was both physically and emotionally drained. Expect them to be charged up and way more competitive Thursday night at Oracle.
How the Public is Betting Portland/Golden State Game 2
- As expected, the Warriors have swayed more wallets their way. Not as bad as I thought it would be, but my source states the current action is 60/40 in favor of G.S.
- The total is seeing 65% siding with the Over 218. I have no opinion on the over/under.
- Portland: Nukic is out with a busted leg.
- Golden State: As of Wednesday afternoon, Kevin Durant is still doubtful with a strained calf.
Kevin’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread in Game 2
It’s going to be very difficult for most to bet on Portland after watching that last quarter of basketball. It’s human nature to judge a team and it’s future output by what you’ve most recently seen. This isn’t how things work though. If they did, sportsbooks and casinos wouldn’t be built of marble and other high end materials, they wouldn’t offer you free drinks and compos to come stay at their establishment for free. What happens in sports is done and gone forever. Throw it over your shoulder and don’t look back. Remember, the difference between a winning and losing handicapper is the ability to decipher the difference between what should happen vs. what can happen. The bottom line is that Portland did nearly everything wrong and still hung close for most of the game. If they can even play 50% better, which I believe they will, they will easily cover this spread. Bet this game FOR FREE by taking advantage of a huge 50% sign-up bonus at MyBookie!
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