The Golden State Warriors are heavily favored to win their Western Conference Finals series against the Portland Trail Blazers, and I’ve made them my pick to win the series in six games. That said, the Blazers enter Game 1 feeling good after winning back-to-back games to win their series with the Denver Nuggets.
Portland trailed Denver (3-2) in that Round 2 series before picking up a big home win to force Game 7. The Nuggets had the best home-court record in the NBA this season and grabbed a nearly 20-point lead at one point, but the Trail Blazers came back and topped Denver to win.
Golden State, meanwhile, had to deal with injury concerns in Round 2. With DeMarcus Cousins already out, the Warriors lost Kevin Durant to injury during their Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets. With the Rockets getting home-court advantage for Game 6, the idea of the series needing a Game 7 didn’t seem too farfetched. But the Warriors went into Houston and grounded the Rockets, winning the series in six games (and closed it out without Durant or Cousins).
For Game 1, it’s unlikely that Durant is available for Golden State (as of this writing), and Cousins isn’t likely to return until later in the series. The spread is posted at -8 (-110), with the Warriors favored heavily on the moneyline at -360. My pick for this game is to take the Warriors on the spread. Giving up eight points may seem a little risky, given that every game in the Houston/Golden State series was decided by six points or fewer. That said, betting on Golden State at -360 wouldn’t make much sense from a payout perspective, and I think that hosting Game 1 against a more volatile Portland team allows for the potential of a big win for Golden State.
For even more on this game, check out the video at the top of this page. You can also check out our Vlog on the Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals to see a full series preview for both.
Drew has been covering sports professionally since 2007, covering sports of all kinds in the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Conference USA. In addition to covering college sports, he also spent two seasons working with the NHL's Florida Panthers as part of their TV broadcast team, as well as reporting and anchoring for AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports affiliates, CBS Sports Network and ESPNU. Drew has also ...
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