I obviously follow sports betting for a living, but even I get surprised when I research a game and find a betting streak that I was unaware of. I certainly didn't know that Golden State has been an excellent home underdog play against the spread over the last few seasons. The Warriors carry a 14-game ATS winning streak has home dogs into Thursday night's matchup against Oklahoma City, which is -2.5 on the SportsLine consensus, The Thunder are a good team but would not be favored if the Warriors weren't without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
Curry will miss a second game in a row with a knee injury. He got an MRI on the knee, and the scan didn't reveal any structural damage. The two-time MVP is second in the league in scoring at 30.7 points per game and first by far in 3-pointers made at 5.6 per game. Curry's 11 straight games of making at least four 3-pointers to start a season is an NBA record. Curry has made a season-high-tying seven 3-pointers four times this season. No other player has more than one such game.
Golden State was a solid 14-12 without Curry last season but is 0-1 this year after he missed Tuesday's 104-101 home loss to Minnesota. It was the Warriors' fourth straight defeat and third in a row at home, which used to be unthinkable.
Tuesday was memorable for all the wrong reasons as the teams got into a major scuffle before a point was even scored. Green, Klay Thompson and the Wolves' Jaden McDaniels were all ejected. Frankly, it was a surprise McDaniels was not suspended for Minnesota's game Wednesday, which means Thompson will not be tonight – both were fined. It was the first game in the past 25 seasons in which multiple players were ejected before either team scored.
Green got a five-game suspension for his role in the chaos, mainly for putting Wolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock – naturally, Warriors coach Steve Kerr somehow defended it: "Rudy had his hands on Klay's neck. That's why Draymond went after Rudy."
Replays didn't really show that -- Gobert had his arms around Thompson, but not around his neck. Green would have been suspended regardless but perhaps would have only gotten a game or two if not for his checkered past and multiple previous suspensions.
I'm not going to sit here and say Green is a better player than Curry but in some ways he's more important because he's the heartbeat of the team and does all the little things to free up Curry to focus on the offensive side of the court. Golden State was 3-6 straight up last season without the future Hall of Famer Green and 1-2 this year.
It's not clear how Kerr may adjust his starting lineup on Thursday. Chris Paul started for Curry on Tuesday but the one player who benefited most was rookie Brandin Podziemski. The former Santa Clara star set career highs in points (23), assists (five), 3pointers made (three) and attempted (eight), field goals made (nine) and attempted (18) and minutes (39) to go along with seven rebounds. He should get a lot of run Thursday even with a full game from Thompson. There's no props available yet on Podziemski, though. At DraftKings, Thompson Over 21.5 points at -110 is one of the most popular wagers on the two-game NBA slate. I played that.
That Wolves game was the first time this season Golden State was a home dog and it covered the 3.5-point spread on a Moses Moody 25-foot 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left. While that was a straight up loss, the Warriors are an astonishing 12-2 SU in their past 14 as home dogs. Also note the Under has hit in nine straight in that scenario. The Warriors' last ATS home loss as a home dog was March 26, 2021 at +7 vs. Atlanta, which won 124-108.
Oklahoma City is listing no one on the injury report for Thursday's game as the Thunder look for a bit of payback for a 141-139 home loss to Golden State on Nov. 3 in one of the NBA's highest-scoring games of the season. Curry scored 30 points, including the winning layup with 0.2 seconds left. Curry's final shot was initially ruled no good because of offensive goaltending against Green, but the call was overturned. OKC star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was out then but is set at O/U 31.5 points for Thursday.
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