Durant Still Out, But Winning Warriors See NBA Title Odds Continue to Improve

Posted on: May 17, 2019, 06:25h. 

Last updated on: May 17, 2019, 06:25h.

Golden State forward Kevin Durant is expected to miss at least two more games as he recovers from a strained right calf. However, this time it doesn’t appear the injury news will affect the Warriors title odds.

Golden State’s Draymond Green goes up for a slam dunk in Thursday’s win over Portland. Even with Kevin Durant injured, the Warriors have seen their title chances rise with each playoff win. (Image: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

The news came out Thursday night during Golden State’s 114-111 victory over Portland, allowing the Warriors to take a 2-0 lead over the Trail Blazers in the best-of-seven NBA Western Conference Final. Still, the two-time defending NBA champs needed to overcome a 17-point deficit in the second half and relied on a 14-3 game-ending run as well to secure the victory.

We’ve been here before,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I think our experience helped us. We’ve done this a few times, and yeah, we stole it for sure.”

Hours before game 2, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne first reported that Durant, who averaged 26 points a game in the regular season, was “not close” to returning. At that point, FanDuel listed the Warriors as -180 favorites to win the NBA title, meaning a winning $180 bet would return $100.

After the victory, the title odds at FanDuel went down to -220. At PointsBet, the odds went from -200 before the game to -223 after it.

It’s a marked difference from how oddsmakers first reacted to Durant’s injury, which he suffered in Game 5 of the conference semifinals against Houston. A week ago, the Warriors title odds shifted from -135 to +125, before Curry and company won game 6 as underdogs in Houston to clinch that series.

Overwhelming Series Favorites

As the Western Conference Final now shifts to Portland for Games 3 and 4, the Warriors find themselves once again in the role of a heavy favorite.

FanDuel lists the Warriors at -1600 to close out the series, while offering Portland at +960, meaning a successful $100 bet would net $960. Over at PointsBet, the Warriors are now a 1-20 favorite to win, while the Blazers are 10-1.

However, neither book believes the Warriors will sweep. The early line on Saturday night’s Game 3 shows the Blazers entering as a 2.5-point favorite over the Warriors.

The Warriors are 6-8 in the playoffs against the spread. In 10 games this season as an underdog, they’ve covered five times. Meanwhile, the Blazers are 23-17-1 as home favorites this season, including the playoffs. Coming off a loss, they’re 20-14 against the spread.

Eastern Conference Odds

On Friday night, the Milwaukee Bucks will look to extend their lead against Toronto when they host Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Bucks won Wednesday’s Game 1 108-100, ending the game on a 10-0 run to take the series lead. While the Raptors know they let one get away, they know they can’t dwell on the past now.

‘We got to look back at it and learn but we can’t think too much about it,” Raptors center Marc Gasol said. “You come out Game 2 and try to win. You can’t replay this one.”

For Game 2, Milwaukee is a 6.5-point favorite, a half-point drop from the opening line on the game. In 10 playoff games this postseason, the Bucks are 9-1 against the spread. They’re also 27-16-2 as a home favorite.

While Toronto has covered 10 times in 17 games as a road underdog, the Raptors are just 6-7 against the spread in the playoffs.