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The Breakfast Spread: Durant-Less Warriors -7.5 Favorites In Game 1 Of Western Conference Finals

(USA TODAY Sports)`

The Golden State Warriors try to defend home court without Kevin Durant as CJ McCollum tries to stay hot for the Portland Trail Blazers. Here’s a sports betting preview of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals

Playing as 7.5-point underdogs for the first time in what feels like forever, the Golden State Warriors proved that they could win without Kevin Durant — as if that really needed to be proven.

The Warriors trailed by five points after the third quarter, but Golden State outscored Houston 36-26 to win 118-113 to close out the series in six.

Two days later, the Portland Trail Blazers caught fire in the second half to make the biggest Game 7 comeback in playoff history. Carried by CJ McCollum, the Trail Blazers stormed back from a 16-point deficit to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2000.

Now, 10 months after Durant mocked McCollum for suggesting Portland was a contender, the teams meet each other to decide who will represent the West Conference in the NBA Finals.

While the Trail Blazers are a lot closer to contending for a championship than Durant thought they would be, oddsmakers still aren’t giving Portland much a chance. Golden State  are -7.5 for Game 1 and BetStars put Portland at +1800 — 5.4% implied probability —  to win the Finals.

Stat of the Day

Since 2016, the Warriors are +1.3 points per 48 minutes with Durant on the floor and Curry off. With Durant off the court and Curry on, the Warriors are +12.1 points in that same span.

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Prop Shop (Monkey Knife Fight): Over 31.5 Curry Points; Under 28.5 Lillard Points (2.58x payout)

Golden State is likely without Kevin Durant for at least a couple of games this series. That’s not ideal if you have cash on Golden State futures, but it certainly leaves opportunity to capitalize on some props.

Durant’s absence particularly boded well for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in Game 6. Curry started off slow, failing to make a single basket in the first half, yet roared back with 33 points in the second half to go over his 31.5 points prop. Curry had a similar boost in the final quarter of Game 5.

At Monkey Knife Fight, the prop for Game 1 is the same as it was in Game 6. Curry might have a lingering finger injury, but there’s simply too much scoring to make up for to not take the Over here.

For the second leg of the parlay, we’ll be more contrarian and take the Under on 28.5 Damian Lillard points.

Lillard has been one of the best players in the playoffs, but he slowed down in Round 2. Most recently, the Trail Blazer’s point guard only put up 13 points in Game 7. Lillard scored less than 28.5 points in five of his last seven games and averaged 25.8 points during the regular season. Breakfast Lean: Curry Over 31.5 Points; Lillard Under 28.5 Points (2.58x payout at Monkey Knife Fight)

The Breakfast Pick

The Warriors will have to go back to the style that they played before the Durant-Golden State era, which means they’ll ditch the iso ball required with Durant at the centerpiece in exchange for a more uptempo offense with Curry and Thompson both gunho to get off quick threes. Additionally Durant’s injury hurts Golden State on the defensive end, setting up high scoring game. Breakfast Pick: Over 219 (PointsBet)

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About the Author

  • Matt Schmitto (schmitto)

  • Matt Schmitto is a staff writer for RotoGrinders Sports Betting. He grew up in Texas, graduating from Texas Tech University. He has played high stakes DFS since 2013, and enjoys betting on golf, basketball and football – and whatever else is put in front of him. Schmitto is an advocate of The Bettor’s Oath.