It might be safe to say that coming off the impressive playoff showing of last season and the acquisition of Andre Iguodala, the Golden State Warriors expected a bit more than to be two games over .500 and trailing the Phoenix Suns in the NBA’s Pacific Division. On Thursday night they will take on a team that seems to be always near the top, yet always seems to be surprising NBA bettors while doing so, when they tangle with the San Antonio Spurs in a game that is slated for a Thursday night tip-off at 10:35 PM ET at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
If not for a desperation three-pointer by Ray Allen in the final seconds of Game 6 in the NBA Finals, the Spurs would be the defending league champions. Every year there are skeptics, some of whom are BetAnySports customers, who talk about how the Spurs have had their last hurrah, and they just keep winning. This season they got off to a 13-1 start before tailing off a bit and dropping four of their last ten. Before the 115-92 loss they suffered at the hands of the Clippers on Monday night, they had scored 100 points or more in twelve of their previous 13 games.
It took the Spurs six games to dispatch the Warriors in last year’s Western Conference semi-finals, but prior to that they had been almost automatic against Golden State, winning 17 of 19 meetings.
The Warriors are 14-12 (12-13-1 against the NBA betting odds) and in third place in the Pacific Division, a game and a half ahead of the Lakers. They’ve lost nine of their last fifteen, but there was a lot of hope after Tuesday night’s 104-93 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, as they got Iguodala back after he missed twelve games due to a strain of his left hamstring. He only played 17 minutes in that game, and should log more playing time on Thursday. He brings intangibles with him; for one thing, he is a defensive stopper on a team that has some great scorers (when 100% – he says he’s still had some limitations in lateral movement).
As BetAnySports patrons know, one of those great scorers is Stephen Curry, who has now scored 20 more points in eleven consecutive games, the longest running streak in the league. Golden State has the ability to put four players on the floor at the same time who are shooting better than 40% from beyond the three-point line – Curry, Iguodala (yes, that’s right), Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson.
Gregg Popovich is committed to spreading the minutes around this season; no one has averaged as many as 30 minutes for the Spurs this season. That is presumably so that people like 37-year-old Tim Duncan (13.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg) can have enough left over for the playoffs. With the Spurs playing the back end of back-to-back games, this may be one of those situations where”Pops” gets careful about over-extending anybody.
In the previous meeting between these teams, on November 8, San Antonio escaped with a 76-74 win in which neither team shot very well. Toney Douglas of Golden State, another player in the rotation who shoots better than 40% from the arc, came off the bench to lead all scorers with 21 points.
The Warriors have covered seven of the last eleven meetings going back to the beginning of last season. Even with the win over New Orleans, they have still lost four of their last five games against the NBA odds.
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Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.