Warriors-Blazers Betting Preview: Fade Golden State on Back-to-Back?

Warriors-Blazers Betting Preview: Fade Golden State on Back-to-Back? article feature image

Photo credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard

Betting Odds: Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers

  • Spread: Warriors -3
  • Over/Under: 234
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN

>> All odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The defending champs are on a road back-to-back tonight in Portland. What does that mean for tonight’s spread? Our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know

Since 2005, the Blazers at the Moda Center are the third-most profitable team in the NBA facing teams on a back-to-back.

The biggest advantage is in the first half: Since 2014, the Blazers are 37-14-2 (72.5%) against the first-half spread at home when facing a team coming off a back-to-back, covering the spread by 3.5 points per game.

That includes a 20-6-1 (76.9%) mark in this spot when the opposing team is above .500 for the season. — Evan Abrams

Mears: How I’m Betting Tonight’s Game

To add to the trends Evan mentioned above, John Ewing wrote a smart piece about tired teams being overvalued ATS right before the All-Star break. From his piece:

Since 2005, betting against an opponent on a back-to-back in the last games before the All-Star break has gone 77-52-3 (59.7%) against the spread (ATS). This strategy has been .500 or better ATS in 11 of the past 14 seasons.

So not only is Portland a tough place to play on back-to-backs generally, it’s exacerbated by being right before the All-Star break.

Further, the Warriors generally are overrated by the public, going 24-31-1 ATS this season, including 22-28-1 as favorites. The Blazers have crushed at home this year, going 20-11 in Portland.

I will admit I’m a little worried about DeMarcus Cousins being out for rest tonight. The Warriors’ starting lineup actually hasn’t been that great with Boogie — likely because they’re still feeling each other out. The Dubs have posted a +6.8 Net Rating overall with Cousins on the floor, but the starting lineup has been at just +0.4.

For reference, with Kevon Looney, who will start tonight and is a much lower-usage player than Cousins, the starters have posted a Net Rating of +17.4. It’s possible with Boogie out that it actually helps Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant get back in their grooves.

Still, it’s almost always wise to bet against the Warriors, who are easily the NBA’s most public team. Over the last two seasons, when the Warriors have gotten a majority of the dollars, they’ve gone just 39-59-1 (39.8%) ATS. Against Western Conference foes in that span, they’ve gone just 23-37-1 (38.3%) ATS, good for a -25.1% Return on Investment (ROI).

Given all of the data above, I think the Blazers are worth a bet. However, if you’re worried about the Dubs starters finding a resurgence without Boogie in the lineup, perhaps look at individual quarter bets. Here’s how Golden State has performed by quarter this year:

  • 1st quarter: +11.1 Net Rating, 2nd in NBA
  • 2nd quarter: +4.1 Net Rating, 7th in NBA
  • 3rd quarter: +9.6 Net Rating, 3rd in NBA
  • 4th quarter: +5.3 Net Rating, 7th in NBA

They’re always good — they’re the Warriors — but they definitely fall off a bit without Curry and Durant on the floor together. Perhaps that’s the best time to take advantage of the public overrating the Dubs tonight. — Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.