Open top menu
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Finals Game One – May 16, 2016

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Finals Game One – May 16, 2016

Oklahoma City-Golden State wasn’t the Western Conference Finals many expected. But no one’s complaining about this star-studded matchup, especially after seeing the Thunder shock the San Antonio Spurs in six games. Meanwhile, the defending champion Warriors took care of the Portland Trail Blazers in five with Stephen Curry in full MVP mode post-knee injury.

Can the Dubs grab an early series lead or will the Thunder take another big one on the road? Get a full breakdown of the Thunder-Warriors Game 1 below. And for more NBA Playoffs coverage, check out our preview of Game 7 between the Raptors and Heat here.

NBA News & Predictions

Thunder vs. Warriors Game One Preview

Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California

When: Monday, May 16, 2016, 9:00 PM ET

Line: Oklahoma City Thunder (+7.5) vs. Golden State Warriors (-7.5); total: 223.5 – view all NBA lines

TV Broadcast: TNT

Betting on the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder sure silenced their doubters with an impressive six-game series win against the San Antonio Spurs.


Kevin Durant (28.5 PPG on 50% shooting) and Russell Westbrook (25.2 PPG, 10.5 APG) had their typically excellent numbers, but their supporting cast came through in a huge way. Twin towers Steven Adams (11 PPG, 12 RPG) and Enes Kanter were unstoppable on the boards, while Dion Waiters provided surprisingly decent minutes on both ends of the court.

Their usually erratic defense was also unexpectedly outstanding. They held the ultra-efficient Spurs offense to just 96 points over the last three games.

Although the Thunder lost all three games against the Warriors this season, they were competitive in all those games. In fact, they led all three games entering the fourth quarter. They struggled in the fourth for most of the season, but they seem to have solved that persistent problem in the Spurs series.

Durant and Westbrook should be able to continue getting theirs against Golden State. They just love playing the Warriors. Durant has topped 30 points in five of his last six games against them. Westbrook has been even better, with 30 or more points in six of his last seven.

It remains to be seen just how effective Adams and Kanter will be against the small-ball Warriors, but head coach Billy Donovan can still turn to Serge Ibaka to hold his own against Draymond Green. And if the Thunder do opt to go small themselves, Waiters and Andre Roberson (14 points in Game 6 vs. the Spurs) have shown they can contribute in important situations.

The Warriors’ vaunted home-court advantage shouldn’t intimidate the Thunder. They took not one but two road games against the Spurs, who were the best regular-season home team at 40-1. The Thunder are 4-1 SU and ATS on the road in the playoffs.

The ability to win on the road will be crucial for the Thunder’s +325 series odds to pay off.

Betting on the Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors were given all they could handle by the Portland Trail Blazers, but Stephen Curry came to his team’s rescue to help end the series in five games. The first-ever unanimous NBA MVP averaged 34.5 PPG on 50 percent shooting in his two games back from the scary knee injury which sidelined him for over two weeks.

Of course, those numbers were with Curry still playing at less than full capacity. With a couple of games under his belt, as well as few more days’ rest, Curry should be much closer to his absolute best for Game 1 against the Thunder.

Curry saved some of his best performances for his matchups against OKC during the regular season. He averaged 35 PPG in three games against them, his second-highest scoring average against any team he faced at least three times this season.

Andrew Bogut’s adductor injury suffered in Game 5 against Portland doesn’t seem too serious, but even if he’s ineffective in Game 1, the Warriors still have plenty of lineup options – big and small – against the Thunder. Their deadly small-ball lineup with Green at center can hurt the Thunder’s Adams-Kanter lineup much more than the struggling Spurs offense did, especially if/when they force Kanter to guard pick-and-rolls.

Meanwhile, it goes without saying that the Warriors are close to untouchable at Oracle, where they went 39-2 in the regular season. They’re 6-0 (5-1 ATS) at home in the playoffs, and 5-0 (4-1 ATS) in their last five at home against the Thunder. That home-court advantage is a huge reason why Golden State is a -450 favorite to win the series.

Writer’s Prediction

The Warriors (-7.5) draw first blood as they win and cover at home.

Create a betting account now and cash in on all the awesome NBA Playoffs action.




Written by Brad

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis