As Kurt Helin of NBC Sports reported on May 19, 2014, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs play Game 1 of their NBA playoffs Western Conference Finals tonight from the AT&T Center. Opening tipoff is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET (8:10 p.m. CT/6:10 p.m. PT) and it will be broadcast on TNT (national TV) and online via TNT Overtime free live stream (Games 1 and 2).
For the Thunder, while most experts are dismissing this team’s chances following Serge Ibaka’s injury, a May 19 USA Today Sports piece explains how OKC shouldn’t be taken lightly in this matchup. Sam Amick points to all the times the Thunder have given the Spurs fits, dating all the way back to the 2012 Western Conference Finals.
For the Spurs, ESPN’s J.A. Adande offers great insight on how San Antonio can earn a second straight trip to the NBA Finals. In his May 19 report, Adande details the Spurs evolution through the years, going from having to depend on Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, to being a “team” in the complete sense of the word.
As far as NBA playoffs betting odds for Game 1 of this best-of-seven series are concerned, most Las Vegas sportsbooks favor the Spurs to defeat the Thunder by a minimum of two baskets. The latest spreads have San Antonio at -6, Oklahoma City at +6, and the OVER/UNDER set at a combined total of 210 points.
Determining an against-the-spread winner for the opening game of the 2014 Western Conference Finals will not be an easy task. In fact, moments removed from tipoff, statistics show that most bettors are on the fence about this game.
The latest general consensus indicates that 55 percent of the betting population actually believes that OKC is best equipped to cover the spread +6. For the record, 840 units were accounted in favor of the road team, which would surprise most basketball aficionados.
In contrast, while most people believe San Antonio will win this series, only 45 percent have them winning by seven points or more this evening. This is evidenced by the fact that only 490 units were tallied in favor of the Spurs’ -6 ATS. Now, let’s take a look at the betting action for how many points these teams are likely to combine and score in Game 1.
For starters, NBA playoff oddsmakers have set their O/U line at even 210 points. Betting action shows that 890 people believe these teams will go OVER that mark, compared to just 490 people who think otherwise (UNDER). Finally, I leave you with some interesting figures to consider for what should be a great game between San Antonio and Oklahoma City:
ATS Trends Prior to TV Scheduled Start Time
Thunder is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games versus a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.
Thunder is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Western Conference Finals games.
Thunder is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
Spurs are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games following an A.T.S. win.
Spurs are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games following a S.U. win of more than 10 points.
Buzzer-Beating Stats Prior to TNT Overtime Free Live Stream Online
OKC is 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
UNDER is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
OKC is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in San Antonio.
Favorite is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
Home team is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings.