May 28, 2016

NBA Basketball Betting: Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors

NBA Basketball Betting:  Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals and no one thought it would happen. The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors looked dead in the water after Oklahoma City used a superior tactical plan to go up 3-1. Golden State won both games since, however, and managed to get the series back to their home court for a decisive game seven. The winner of this series will advance to the NBA Finals to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This is a huge challenge for Oklahoma City and the ‘historical precedent’ of teams in a similar situation don’t look good. Historically, NBA teams that play a Game Seven at home are well over a 70% winning proposition. In fact, of the three sports that employee a seven game series format the NBA is the most difficult for a road team to win a Game Seven. Another big issue is the emotional dynamics of the series. Oklahoma City thought they had it won and that creates a tendency to ‘check out’ mentally and start looking toward the next series. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Thunder had begun to think about how to deal with Cleveland in the finals while there was still ‘unfinished business’ at hand with Golden State.

This is a very tough emotional challenge to overcome. It’s exceedingly difficult to refocus on a task that you thought was already done. It’s even more difficult when they’ll be facing a team that feels confident and revitalized. They likely know this statistic–over 94% of NBA teams that go up 3-1 in a NBA playoff series wind up winning. For the Golden State Warriors to come back from the 3-1 hole and advance puts them on the *right* side of history in a season where they’ve already broke so many records and created so much history of their own.

The Warriors were 8-3 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points in the regular season–that was one of their best pointspread categories. Ultimately this is a matchup between a team that saw their best chance for a title go by the wayside and an opponent that has regained their confidence and competitive swagger.