Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – December 26th Edition

Golden State at San Antonio NBA Playoffs Lines & Game 3 Pick

Written by on May 19, 2017

The San Antonio Spurs should have beaten the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals but imploded when star Kawhi Leonard got hurt. The Spurs had no chance in Game 2 without Leonard. Will he return from his ankle injury on Saturday in Game 3 as the series shifts to San Antonio? The Warriors are NBA betting favorites regardless.

Golden State at San Antonio NBA Playoffs Lines & Game 3 Pick

When: Saturday, May 20, 9 PM ETWhere: AT&T Center, San AntonioTV: ESPNStreamNBA.tvRadioGolden State / San AntonioNBA Odds: Warriors -6 (212)

Why Bet On Golden State?

Game 2 was never in doubt as the Warriors creamed the Spurs 136-100. Stephen Curry lit up the Spurs for 29 points. He sat out the fourth quarter due to the lopsided score, but still had a monster night with seven assists, seven rebounds, three steals and six 3-pointers. He was also very efficient, shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 7-of- 7 from the line.Draymond Green scored 13 points with nine rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks and two triples, while Klay Thompson added 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers. Kevin Durant scored 16 points on 6-of- 10 shooting. Durant landed on LaMarcus Aldridge’s foot after a shot attempt and was lucky to walk away without an injury as had happened to Leonard.The Warriors played Game 2 without sixth man Andre Iguodala. His MRI on Monday came back clean and he’s simply dealing with some soreness. Patrick McCaw got major minutes in Iguodala’s spot and scored a playoff career-high 16 points. He shot 6-of- 8 from the field in 27 minutes with five assists, three rebounds, three steals and three triples.The Warriors dished out a franchise-record 23 assists in a half en route to a 2017 playoff high 39, 1 shy of the team playoff record. The 36-point win was the largest margin of victory in the franchise’s West Coast playoff history, and 2nd only to Philadelphia’s 39-point win (85-46) at the St. Louis Bombers on April 6, 1948.It was Zaza Pachulia who caused Leonard’s injury in Game 1, and he was hurt in Game 2. But an MRI confirmed that Pachulia suffered a bruised right heel. The MRI didn’t reveal any structural damage and Pachulia is considered day-to-day. If Zaza misses any games JaVale McGee stands to gain the most minutes.Golden State coach Steve Kerr is expected to travel with the team to Texas. Kerr is on an indefinite leave of absence while he battles pain and other issues left over from his 2015 back surgery. Mike Brown will remain interim coach.The Warriors are the fifth team in NBA history to start the postseason 10-0 and have won 25 of their last 26 games, including the regular season.

Why Bet On San Antonio?

The Spurs, playing without Leonard (sprained left ankle) and Tony Parker (ruptured left quadriceps tendon), received a game-high 22 points from Jonathon Simmons on Tuesday, the most points he’s scored in the regular season or playoffs in his career. That was about the only bright spot.The Spurs beat the Warriors in second chance points 15-9 and outrebounded them 49-40, but lost the shooting battle as Golden State shot 56.2% from the field and 48.6% from beyond the arc compared to San Antonio’s 37.0% and 34.8%. The 136 points were the most allowed by a Gregg Popovich-coached team in a playoff game. The Spurs never put up a fight. They’ve been outscored by 61 points since Leonard went down in the third quarter of Game 1. The Warriors never trailed in Game 2.LaMarcus Aldridge was invisible in Tuesday’s blowout loss, scoring eight points on 4-of- 11 shooting with four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in 27 minutes. Pau Gasol didn’t have much success either with the Warriors playing small ball for most of the night, finishing with seven points, eight rebounds, one assist and one steal in 16 minutes.“LaMarcus has to score for us,” Popovich said after suffering the second-worst defeat of his postseason career. “He can’t be timid. He turned down shots in the first quarter. He can’t do it. You’ve got to score. Scoring has to come from some place.”Parker is done for the season. What about Leonard? He’s officially questionable. He didn’t do much at Thursday’s practice. The Spurs will likely keep Leonard’s availability close to their chest as long as they can, so don’t expect a real update until Saturday. Leonard has scored in double figures in 32 straight postseason games, the longest streak since Parker had 63 from 2006 to 2012.San Antonio won 33 consecutive home games against the Warriors from the start of the 1997-98 season up until 4/10/16 when they dropped a 92-86 decision to Golden State for their only home loss on the 2015-16 season. Since moving to the AT&T Center in 2002, the San Antonio Spurs are 82-28 (.745) in home playoff games, giving them the most such wins by any team in the league since that year.

Golden State at San Antonio NBA Playoffs Game 3 Pick: Golden State Warriors

I would hold off until it’s decided whether Leonard plays. Even if he does, he won’t be 100 percent. Give the points.