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The depleted Golden State Warriors (6-6) will host the young and exciting Oklahoma City Thunder (7-4) on Thursday.
Steph Curry is out with a knee injury, while Draymond Green is serving the first game of a five-game suspension. On the other side, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is playing at an All-NBA level once again, while Chet Holmgren is firmly in the Rookie of the Year race.
Here, we’ll go over the betting odds and share our best insights and betting picks for the Western Conference matchup.
The Warriors are slight underdogs at home, where they were excellent last year but are only 1-4 in the new season.
|Oklahoma City Thunder||-2.5 (-110)||-140||Over 227.5 (-115)|
|Golden State Warriors||+2.5 (-110)||+115||Under 227.5 (-105)|
The Warriors are not really the Warriors without Curry in the lineup. Add Green’s absence and they’re missing two massive components of their offensive and defensive structure.
They’re still 11th in overall net rating but have lost four straight games and are up against it without two members of their dynasty.
Up to this point, the Warriors have struggled to shoot the ball. They’re uncharacteristically 21st in three-point shooting (34.8%) and are in an even worse spot without Curry’s long-range prowess and the attention he demands, which opens up space for his teammates.
Klay Thompson will be the number-one option on Thursday and needs to use the opportunity to turn this season around. Through 11 games, he has not scored 20 points once and is shooting a career-low 34.2% from three.
Andrew Wiggins is also in a slump and averaging just 10.4 points and 4.0 rebounds. That’s a long way off his 17.2-point, 4.5-rebound standard he set during the Dubs’ championship run a couple of seasons ago.
Rookie first-round pick Brandin Podziemski played a career-high 39 minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday thanks to the minutes left available by Curry, Green, and Thompson (who was ejected within two minutes). He took the opportunity to put up 23 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, and likely played his way into the Thursday rotation.
The Thunder are 3-1 on the road and won four of their last five games. Their most recent outing ended in a 123-87 rout of the San Antonio Spurs, during which they shot 51.7% from the field and 38.5% from beyond the arc.
The Thunder are third in field goal percentage and sixth in three-point percentage. They’re also in the top eight in points in the paint and transition points and can find their offense in nearly any situation.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (29.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists) is the head of the snake in OKC. Reigning Rookie of the Year runner-up Jalen Williams is second in scoring at 17.3 points per night, while rookie Chet Holmgren averages 15.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, and shoots 46.3% from outside.
The Thunder don’t play with the same defensive aggression on the perimeter they did a year ago and are down in forced turnovers, yet they’re still seventh in defensive rating (six spots up from last year).
OKC is most vulnerable on the glass. Despite having Holmgren’s height and plenty of length, they’re second-worst in rebounding percentage. Golden State, a small team, is eighth.
The Warriors’ championship mettle was on full display during the Timberwolves game, as despite losing Green and Thompson for basically the entire 48 minutes, they led a majority of the way and only lost by three points.
Steve Kerr and Chris Paul also had a couple of days to plan for Thursday’s game and won’t have to adjust on the fly as they did against Minnesota.
That said, the Thunder are playing very solid all-around basketball and have a youthful swagger about them. They’re also going to benefit from Green’s absence specifically because Gilgeous-Alexander (who leads the league in drives per game) won’t have to face as much help defense when navigating the lane.
We like the Thunder here. The Warriors’ best players not named Curry are underperforming, and Curry himself is sidelined. OKC is in a rhythm and should keep rolling Thursday night.
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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