Following a wild Game 7 victory over the Denver Nuggets, the Portland Trail Blazers advanced to their first Western Conference Finals since the 1999-00 season. Their reward for doing so? A date with the defending champion and No. 1 seed Golden State Warriors, who topped the Houston Rockets in six games to advance.
The Blazers are big underdogs in the series and will have a tall task right out of the gate, but they are facing a shorthanded Warriors team. Steve Kerr’s squad is without both Kevin Durant (calf strain) and DeMarcus Cousins (torn quad) at least for the first few games of the series. There’s a chance both players could be back at some point against Portland, but Golden State got the job done without both in Game 6 against the Rockets.
The key storylines will feature two electrifying backcourts in Damian Lillard/CJ McCollum against Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson, which should be must-see television for NBA fans. We’re going to take a look at the betting line along with a prediction and pick for Game 1, which takes place Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Blazers vs. Warriors Game 1 Betting: Western Conference Finals Line
*Note: All odds and betting information courtesy of Odds Shark.
- Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (-7.5 at -110)
- Over/Under: 219
The line has hung around -7.5 in favor of the Warriors since opening, moving to -8 in just a few select spots. It appears many believe the Blazers can cover this spread as well, with 55 percent of the public taking the points with the road team, per Odds Shark.
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They also show that Portland and Golden State have split the last 10 games against the spread, with the Warriors winning six of 10 matchups. But in the last three meetings, it’s been the Blazers who have had the edge, winning two games and covering twice as well. Lillard and company have gone 24-23 against the spread away from home this year, while the Warriors are just 18-28-1 ATS on their home floor.
Blazers vs. Warriors Prediction & Pick: Game 1
While I do expect this series to go beyond four games and possibly even push to seven, the Blazers are going to have a tough time turning around after defeating the Nuggets just two nights prior. The Warriors enter this game well-rested and ready to defend their title after an impressive finish to the last series.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Portland steal a game in the Bay Area, but I can’t see it being Game 1. Fresh legs prevail here, and I’m taking the Warriors to get the job done. The Blazers had to scratch and claw for their win on Sunday, and facing a team with the type of offensive explosion that Golden State has immediately after is less than ideal.
Game 1 goes to the Dubs, and I believe they cover the spread in the process.
Prediction: Warriors 104, Blazers 93
Pick: Warriors -7.5