On a routine night for the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry scored 30 points and another outclassed opponent was put to sleep in a sweep.
The Warriors could be looking at a week or more off before the Western Conference finals. The Houston-San Antonio series is tied going into Game 5 on Tuesday, and the team that survives will be a big underdog in the next round.
Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman said he projects Golden State as about a 10-1 series favorite over the Rockets and as high as a 14-1 favorite over the Spurs.
VSiN oddsmaker Vinny Magliulo forecasts a little tighter line, saying the Warriors would be about minus-800 favorites in the West finals.
“All we do is just get murdered on every Warriors game they play. People will play them at whatever price,” Sherman said. “What can you do to get something on the ‘dog?”
The Warriors, 9-point road favorites and minus-550 on the money line, closed out the Utah Jazz with a 121-95 win on Monday. Sherman said the Westgate took a $35,000 money-line bet on Golden State at minus-450.
Draymond Green posted a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Klay Thompson scored 21, and Kevin Durant added a quiet 18 after dropping 38 points in Game 3. It’s this seemingly unstoppable four-headed force that Durant envisioned when he stunned the NBA world and signed as a free agent last summer.
If Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs advance, Sherman is far from optimistic about seeing a long series.
“It’s basically Kawhi against those four guys,” Sherman said, “and the Spurs have no chance.”
A Houston-Golden State series would be more appealing to bettors and bookmakers. The Rockets’ 3-point shooting ability and affinity for playing a fast pace probably would mean games with totals in the 230s. Proposition betting would be more attractive, too.
James Harden and the Rockets score in spurts and match up better with Golden State. The Spurs would find chasing the Warriors from behind to be much more difficult.
“Even if San Antonio gets out of that series, I think Houston is a better team,” Sherman said. “I don’t see anybody beating Golden State. I just don’t see it four times.”
In their 8-0 postseason run, the Warriors are 5-3 against the spread, winning by an average of 16.5 points.
The Cavaliers are cruising through the East, going 8-0 and 4-2-2 ATS while winning by an average of 9.6 points. However, all four of Cleveland’s first-round games against Indiana were decided by six points or fewer.
It’s also sit-back-and-wait time for the Cavaliers, who will rest for a week or more before the conference finals. The Washington-Boston series is tied going into Game 5 on Wednesday.
Cleveland is a minus-600 favorite to win the East. The Celtics are the No. 1 seed, but the Cavaliers would have home-court advantage against the Wizards.
While acknowledging Indiana and Toronto were weak teams that offered little resistance, Sherman said, “It looks like the Cavaliers have flipped the switch now.”
Entering the playoffs, and even in its series against the Pacers, Cleveland showed some signs of potentially imploding. But the Cavaliers have picked up their defensive intensity, and LeBron James is again proving he’s the NBA’s best player, even if he’s not voted MVP.
James is averaging 34.4 points and shooting 46.8 percent from 3-point range in the postseason.
Always dangerous driving to the basket, James is lethal and nearly impossible to defend when he’s shooting such a high percentage from long range.
James is giving the Warriors, while they wait to play again, something more to consider. A third consecutive Cleveland-Golden State matchup in the Finals still seems inevitable.
NBA adjusted series prices
(Posted at Westgate sports book)
Washington Wizards plus-135
Boston Celtics -155
Houston Rockets plus-150
San Antonio Spurs -170