Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:45 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Golden State -1 over Utah
Best Odds: -105 at Pinnacle
9:10 PM EST. One month ago prospects looked abysmal for the aging dynasty that "was" the Golden State Warriors. Rotations by Steve Kerr were constant, leaving starters and bench players frustrated, Draymond Green missed over a month of NBA action after another egregious flagrant foul, and Klay Thompson looked like a shell of himself. That version of Dub-Nation didn't look capable of even making the playoffs, let alone contending for another title run, and it seemed the writing was on the wall for change in the Bay Area.
Then their assistant coach died. We're not here to capitalize on someone's death, but we can objectively point something out that's very important - since then, the Warriors have been an entirely different program. Golden State is not just winning again, they're playing like one of the best teams in the association. In their 10 games, we've seen marked improvement from Kerr's team across the board. Steph Curry is in-rhythm, averaging 33 ppg. They're 5th in offensive rating, 3rd in defensive rating, and 2nd in net rating. Even better, Draymond Green seems to have figured out how to play with emotional intensity without committing many serious gaffes. And while Klay Thomspon is still up and down, he's exhibiting humility as his minutes have decreased. Guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga, the latter of whom averaged 23.4 ppg in the same span, are elevating the rest of the roster when Thompson and others can't. And most importantly, they're playing with the same team-chemistry and moxie of their previous championship runs. We're not saying we're putting down futures on the Warriors just yet, but we are saying this is a team we should feel confident betting on right now.
Fresh off another epic Steph Curry memory on Saturday night, when he hurled a last second three pointer to put Phoenix away, Golden State faces off against Utah on Monday. And while northern California is buzzing over their Dubs, the Jazz are going in the opposite direction. For a moment it seemed like coach Will Hardy and his young squad was figuring things out. In late December/early January they were averaging well over 140 ppg and running the hardwood with supreme chemistry and efficiency. They knocked off elite teams like Philly, Milwaukee, and Denver. But lately all signs point towards a franchise still in flux. They've lost 7 of their last 11 contests, much of that because of a virtually non-existent defense, and they've only covered ATS in 5 during the same span. Their offense is still a fringe top-10 unit, Hardy has seemingly solved that puzzle, but their defense is dead last (aka 30th, for the layperson) since January 20th.
Some handicappers may see this as a spot for regression for both teams. We do not. The Jazz are still developing, still learning how to play consistent, winning basketball together as one unit. The Warriors have been there done that, with many of the same parts, for over a decade. Momentum is on their side. Steve Kerr and his roster is settling in, and we're not stepping in front of it.
Golden State -1 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)