Warriors Look To Rebound After Upset Loss At Home

It doesn’t appear that the Golden State Warriors learned a lesson from their upset Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on their home court at Oracle Arena. After losing the second game of the series by 4 points as -13.5 favorites they came right back and did it again in Game 5. The only difference this time is that they lost by 8 as -15 point home chalk. There was no need for a 31 point comeback by the Clippers as in Game 2. This time, the underdogs were in the game throughout. The dysfunctional NBA champions will try once again to eliminate the Clippers on Friday night–this time at the Staples Center where their focus has been sharper during this series.

The Game 5 loss was more of the same–the Warriors’ uncharacteristically accurate shooing failed them and they were lethargic on defense. Golden State shot 44.8% from the field and 38.5% from three point range. The Clippers shot 54.1% from the field and 38.2% from three point range. The only upside for the Warriors was a playoff career high 45 points for Kevin Durant. Golden State coach Steve Kerr gave much of the credit to the Clippers Patrick Beverly who “came in, just kicked our butts right away. He came out with more energy than we had and that set a tone.” Kerr punctuated his comments with an emphatic statement: “We’ve got to bring it if we’re going to beat them.”

The Warriors players were all saying the right things after Game 5–how they can’t overlook the Clippers–but they appeared to do exactly that during the game. Los Angeles’ Lou Williams said his team’s focus was coming in to ‘extend the series and get another game on our home floor’ and suggested that the Warriors were ‘looking ahead’ to their potential second round matchup with the Houston Rockets. In some ways it’s hard to blame Golden State for that–reports indicate that Houston has already traveled to the Bay Area in preparation for the meeting with the defending champs.

From a pointspread perspective, we’re pretty much back to the same place we were before Game 5. The Warriors have played much better on the Clippers’ home court than they have on their own. Golden State has done very well at the Staples Center against the Clippers for several years now and enters this matchup on a 7-1 SU/6-2 ATS run. The overall pointspread tally in head to head play has become much more interesting as the series has progressed. With covers in 3 of the 5 games the Clippers have narrowed Golden State’s pointspread advantage in the past three seasons to 9-8 despite a 13-4 straight up edge for the Warriors. Golden State was very good this year in ‘revenge spots’ off a home loss going 7-3 ATS and they’ve already covered once in that situation during this series. They’ve covered 6 of their last 7 after a straight up loss. Since the midway point of the season they’ve been a horrible pointspread investment overall going 14-22 ATS. The Clippers, meanwhile, are on a 22-14 ATS run during the same time frame.

Ultimately, the betting strategy is the same as in Game 5. The NBA basketball pointspread favoring the Warriors by 9.5 is just too high. With the urgency of the win here it’s creeping even higher. When Golden State visited the Clippers early in the season they were -4 point road favorites (11/12/18). On their next visit (1/18/19) they were -7.5 point chalk. In Game three and four of this series they were favored by -9 and -9.5 respectively. They’re -9.5 here and it won’t be a surprise to see them at -10 or higher by tip off. This is precisely why Golden State is a pitiful 37-49-1 ATS for -16.9 unis this year. With their status as a ‘public’ team and the lofty expectations that accompany winning three titles in four years the line is excessively inflated and the Clippers remain the value side.


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