Warriors vs. Clippers Game 5 Betting Preview: Can Golden State Cover This Spread?

Warriors vs. Clippers Game 5 Betting Preview: Can Golden State Cover This Spread? article feature image

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Montrezl Harrell, Steph Curry

Game 5 Betting Odds: LA Clippers at Golden State Warriors

  • Spread: Warriors -14
  • Over/Under: 235
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT
  • Series Score: Warriors lead 3-1

>> All odds as of Tuesday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

The Warriors are significant favorites to close out their first-round series on Wednesday night, but can they cover the 14-point spread? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trends to Know

Only four other teams have been listed as a favorite of 14 or more in Game 5 or later of a playoff series since 2005.

  • 2016 Thunder (-14.5) vs. Mavericks: Thunder won by 14
  • 2008 Celtics (-14.5) vs. Hawks: Celtics won by 34
  • 2008 Celtics (-14.5) vs. Hawks: Celtics won by 25
  • 2013 Heat (-14) vs. Bulls: Heat won by 3 Evan Abrams

Did you know? Under Steve Kerr, the Warriors are 10-1 straight-up and 8-3 against-the-spread (ATS) in Games 5-7 when coming off a straight-up win. Their only loss in this spot was to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals.

But there’s another side to this trend: The 14-point spread is the highest in a Game 5, 6 or 7 in the Kerr era. Abrams

The Clippers fought till the very end of Game 4 to try and even the series but ended up losing by eight points.

As we all know, the Warriors are known to take their foot off the pedal at times. Over the past two seasons, they’re 9-4 ATS in the playoffs after either losing their previous game straight-up or winning by fewer than 10 points, covering by a whopping 9.3 points per game.

After winning by double-digits over that span, however, the Warriors are just 5-7 ATS in their next game, failing to cover by 3.8 points per game. Abrams

This is the 11th game the Warriors have played with a chance to close out a series since Kevin Durant joined the team. In the previous 10 games, Golden State was favored on average by eight points. The Warriors went 8-2 straight-up and 5-5 ATS in those. John Ewing

Locky: My Thoughts on Tonight’s Game

We are basically just running back Games 1 and 2 again market-wise, with only the tiniest of changes. Game 1 was Warriors -13.5, and so was Game 2 for the majority of the time. The total of 235 is nestled in the middle of all the previous totals in this series. So if those markets were efficient, and nothing has really changed here, what can we do?

I’ll start by saying I don’t think there is much value in the spread. The Warriors are (as the market implies) going to win this game very close to 100% of the time, but in terms of margin of victory this is pretty close to what I have.

For the Warriors, it’s less about scheme and more about motivation. In Games 1 and 3 (the start of a new series, and the game after an embarrassing loss), the complete defensive profile was on display (defensive efficiencies in the 84th and 86th percentiles).

The Clippers had a lot of trouble scoring. In Games 2 and 4 (when the outcome of the series seemed less in doubt than ever) the profile slipped (9th percentile and 56th percentile). It really wasn’t about scheme, just effort. I think Game 5 can be identified as a situation where you should get the best of Golden State. There has to be a desire to end the series at home and rest with Houston on the horizon (and still playing).

On that limited basis, I would lean Golden State and therefore the under, with the idea that this game probably won’t be very close late, and any end-game scoring is completely out the window. But the numbers are pretty spot-on; there isn’t much here for me. — Ken Barkley

Mears: How I’m Betting Game 5

I almost completely agree with Locky here. This game is completely about motivation, which is very difficult to handicap in this spot. On one hand, the Warriors are up 3-1 and aren’t too worried about the Clippers. On the other hand, they don’t want to keep playing before a matchup against the Rockets, who could close out in the game right before this one.

Game 2 is a good example: The Warriors were coming off a surprising loss, and they put up an Offensive Rating of 138.1 — the 98th percentile of games this year. They also held the Clippers to just 97.7 points/100. Those were easily the best numbers of the series, which makes sense given the motivation.

Thus, I’ll likely be staying away from the full-game numbers. That said, I did write an article about the Dubs under Steve Kerr in the second half of games. They’ve been prolific then, going 60-20-6 on the moneyline, good for $1,175 won on $100 bets. He’s the most-profitable current coach in the playoffs in that spot.

Unfortunately, the moneyline is going to be quite high for both the full game and second half — I’d guess the latter would be around -500 pre-game, although it could change depending on the first half. As I mentioned in tonight’s Warriors-Rockets preview, I’ll likely use those moneylines to get slightly better odds on the Rockets to win (around -350 to -400). Other than that, let’s get to Warriors-Rockets — the series we’ve all been waiting for. — 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.

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