Oklahoma City at Golden State -7.5 O/U 223.5
Tonight’s Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals will be the fourth meeting this season between these teams with Golden State going 3-0 straight up, 2-0-1 against the spread and the “under” cashing in two of the three. However, if tonight’s current total of 223.5 had been the number in all three regular season games, the “over” would’ve been 3-0. Regular season games totaled 224, 239 (only 206 before OT) and 227. The shaving of 6.5 points minimum off the regular season closing totals could be enough room to sneak in here with an “over." Neither team in this series is going to stray from what they do best which is play open floor basketball. For the Thunder, the offensive production that resulted from ball sharing in the latter games of the San Antonio series makes them even more dangerous scoring wise right now. Russell Westbrook who averaged 26.3 ppg against the Warriors this season could even boost that number since he’s certain to challenge counterpart Steph Curry and his less than 100% ankle. The matchup for Kevin Durant who blistered Golden State for 109 points (36.3 per game) this season has shown to be very favorable. On the defensive side however, Oklahoma City’s elevated public perception after the Dallas and San Antonio series victories figures to come back down to earth. Even the new bandwagon key to the series (OKC’s rebounding from their “length lineup”) didn’t help during the regular season as they out-rebounded Golden State 62-32 on Feb 27th and still allowed 121 points in their three point OT loss. In all, each HC in this series has a positive counter to any adjustment the other might make to try and limit scoring potential. If the shooting percentages are the norm tonight, then there is a solid opportunity for this game to exceed 223.5 points. OKC has thrown in a couple of shooting clunkers in this post season, but don’t feel like this will be one of those. Expect this game to land in the neighborhood of 227+.