Written by Rohit Ghosh
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Western Conference Finals: Game 1
The Western Conference Finals. We finally made it to the WCF matchup most expected to get, the Spurs and Warriors with a chance to secure a trip to the NBA Finals. Given the talent difference and just overall style of play, it's not tough to see why Golden State is such a heavy favorite to win the series.
They've been at about -1100 on the money line this week to win the series, suggesting over a 91 percent chance of winning. San Antonio, at about +700, is being given about a 12.5 percent chance of winning.
Let's take a closer look at what AccuScore simulations have to say about the series, and Game 1.
Vegas Odds vs AccuScore Simulations
AccuScore data actually bumps the Warriors' 91 percent chance of winning up to 94-to-94 percent, suggesting the money line pick on the Warriors has some value.
How quickly do the simulations expect this series to end? There's nearly a 68 percent chance the Warriors win the series in four or five games, with the most likely outcome being five games.
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Game 1 Outlook
At the time of publication, the Warriors are listed as 10.5-point favorites at home, with the total listed at 211.5. There hasn't been any movement on line or total since it opened.
While the simulation percentage doesn't indicate much of a value, the Warriors covering the spread is a three-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend. In the past 30 days, the Spurs are 3-3 covering the spread on the road.
We have another situation where simulation data is going against recent betting trends. Sims suggest taking the OVER, with nearly 57 percent of simulated matchups staying UNDER 211.5, a four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend.
• The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the Spurs' last 9 games vs the Warriors.
What to Watch For
Point Guard Battle - The Spurs were one of two teams who won their regular season series vs the Warriors, winning two-of-three matchups. The Warriors didn't have everyone healthy, though, so looking at those games to indicate future results is largely futile. Given the discrepancy in top-level talent between the two teams, a big variable will be the play of Patty Mills and Dejounte Murray - collectively replacing Tony Parker. Mills is averaging nearly 15 points per game and 4.5 assists per game over his last four contests. There's a very good chance Warriors guard Stephen Curry feasts on these two, one of many obstacles the Spurs will have to overcome or strategize around.
Offensive Rebounding - If the Spurs are going to win any games, they'll have to dominate the glass, especially the offensive boards. The Spurs will more than likely stay big with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, and will need to take advantage of a team that gave back 25.1 percent of opposition's missed shots. The Warriors are down to below 18 percent in the postseason, No. 1 in the league, but keeping that number low against the Spurs won't be the same as doing it against Portland and Utah.