NBA Playoffs Best Bet (ESPN, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Golden State vs. San Antonio – Game 4
Sportsbook.ag Odds: Golden State (-11.5); Total set at 218.5
To nobody’s real surprise, the Golden State Warriors are one win away from a third straight appearance in the NBA Finals and then enter Game 4 as double digit favorites to do so. The Warriors took advantage of a Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs team in Game 3 to blow San Antonio out yet again and it sparked a great post-game quote from Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili.
Ginobili stated that to win Game 4 the Spurs will have to play at least a 10 out of 10 and the Warriors can play no better than a 7 for San Antonio to have a chance to extend this series. But NBA bettors did see the Boston Celtics win outright as heavy underdogs last night in Cleveland without their All-Star, so can the Spurs do the same thing and live up to Ginobili’s high standards?
Odds per – Sportsbook.ag
Best Bet: Under 218.5
Quite frankly, I’m not sure if San Antonio can muster up the energy and effort to extend this series for at least one more game, but in terms of the side, it’s tough not to consider taking the points with the home underdog. The Spurs have long been a very prideful organization which does bode well for them tonight, but the prospects of packing their bags for another trip out West for Game 5 just to see their season end then is something I’m sure the players aren’t too enthused about.
That being said, San Antonio doesn’t have to really come close to winning this game outright to cover the point spread, and the 4th game of a series is typically the toughest to win, so if you are looking for a lean on this side, it’s got to be the Spurs or nothing.
For one, it’s tough (and rare) to see a series get completed without at least one ‘under’ bet cashing, and there are also too many scenarios tonight in terms of how the game could play out that favor a look at the ‘under.’
Let’s begin with the scenario many are expecting in we will see another blowout victory by Golden State. If that’s the case, we will have extended garbage time with the reserves from both sides at the end of the game and can you really trust those guys to put up a 50+ point quarter if needed?
Golden State will just want to bleed the clock and get out of dodge as healthy as can be if that’s the case, meaning shot clocks bleed down and tough shots are forced up by both sides. This is by far the highest total we’ve seen so far in this series and should it be a blowout, I’m not so sure we come close to 220+ points.
Now, if the short-handed Spurs can scratch and claw their way to a potential victory tonight, the ‘under’ looks just as good. San Antonio – without Parker and Leonard – aren’t going to beat Golden State in an offensive showcase, so they’ll have to slow down the game from the start, execute on both ends of the floor in half-court sets, and use their top tier defense to frustrate the Warriors all-world shooters for the full 48 minutes.
Turning this game into a slugfest has got to be the Spurs best chance to live to fight another day and if they are able to accomplish that goal, tonight’s total won’t finish much higher than 210.
So while the majority of bettors continue to bet the ‘over’ here, backing the ‘under’ given the possible scenarios is the smarter option. Six of the past eight meetings between these two in Texas have cashed ‘under’ tickets.