The top-seeded Golden State Warriors overcame a 25-point deficit to win the series opener of the Western Conference Finals against the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs and head into Game 2 on Tuesday as double-digit home favorites again.
The Warriors failed to cover in Game 1 as 10-point chalk, but they were fortunate to win 113-111 after digging themselves a big hole in the first half. The Spurs will face a bigger challenge in Game 2 with star Kawhi Leonard doubtful for the contest.
Point spread: The Warriors opened as 12-point favorites; the total is at 210, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
Why the Spurs can cover the spread
The Spurs lost Leonard in the third quarter of Game 1 at Golden State and had built a huge lead behind his 26 points and eight rebounds, so his ankle injury could cost San Antonio a trip to the NBA Finals. However, the Spurs will continue to fight without him, and San Antonio showed why it is considered the best-coached team in the NBA by routing the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their second-round series without Leonard.
LaMarcus Aldridge followed up his huge 34-point effort in that series clincher at Houston with 28 more points in Game 1, and the Warriors do not have an answer for him. Aldridge will need to carry the load against the Warriors with Leonard likely out of the lineup Tuesday night.
Why the Warriors can cover the spread
Golden State got a serious wake-up call in the first half of Game 1, trailing by 20 points at halftime with a deja vu moment back to the regular-season opener when San Antonio won 129-100 at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors were still able to pull off the win, thanks in part to Leonard's injury, and his absence would only work in their favor. Golden State's Kevin Durant will need to take advantage of whoever San Antonio decides to put on him defensively with Leonard likely out. Durant scored 34 points in Game 1 while Stephen Curry led the way with 40 points, and together, they can make sure the Warriors outscore the Spurs.
Smart betting pick
Bettors will see what the Warriors are made of in Game 2. If they struggle versus a San Antonio team missing Leonard, their chances of dethroning the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in a potential third consecutive NBA Finals matchup will be in doubt.
But even though the Spurs have covered three of the past four meetings, Golden State will come through with a huge win in Game 2 and cover at online sports betting sites.
NBA betting trends
San Antonio is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games.
The total has gone over in nine of San Antonio's last 11 games.
The total has gone over in five of Golden State's last seven games.
All NBA lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.