For the first time in nine meetings, the road team won a match between the Cavaliers and Raptors and as a result, LeBron James is heading the the NBA Finals for a sixth consecutive year. Today their opponent may be confirmed, if the Oklahoma City Thunder can get the job done in Game 6, at home. The Big Dog has decided to move completely away from result markets for this game, for the simple fact that it’s impossible not to believe in the greatness of the defending NBA Champions, who also happened to win 73 games in the regular season. No doubt that you have to favour the Thunder, after the way they won the last two games at Chesapeake Arena but bookies also seem to have a few reservations about the result of this game. Oklahoma City have been installed as modest 3.5-point favourites, despite home wins by 28 and 24 in this series. Instead, The Big Dog has examined the potential scoring contributions of the game’s three biggest stars, for a Sunday triple treat.
Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder
It’s do-or-die again for the Golden State Warriors but this time they need to fend-off elimination in enemy territory. The spotlight will be on the game’s trio of superstars, who all finished in the top five of MVP voting for 2016. Steph Curry, the unanimous MVP, has had a rocky postseason. While dealing with injury to his ankle, knee and elbow, at various times, Curry has averaged almost five points a game less in the playoffs (25.2) than he did when leading the NBA through the regular season (30.1). His points line has been set at 30.5 for Game 6, which on the surface would appear friendly, considering his deadly three-point shot. However, his 31 points in Game 5 were a series high and he has scored just 43 points in the two road games. If the Warriors are going to force a Game 7, they will need significant contributions outside of Curry, who will be dealing with a tenacious Russell Westbrook all night. Speaking of Westbrook, his scoring as quietly improved as this series has gone on. The Thunder’s triple-double machine bounced back from having only 16 points in Game 2, to produce three straight nights with 30 or more. Russell Westbrook is the ultimate competitor and will be in “attack mode” for every second he is on the court. Take advantage of his points line being set at just 28.5 and pick overs with confidence. Finally, let’s not forget about Kevin Durant. KD has been in career-best form of late, thanks in large part to being able to get himself more free-throws. He has averaged 37.0 points, with a low of 33, when attempting at least 11 shots from the charity stripe and Game 5 was the first such game that the Thunder did not also win. If Durant’s three-point shot is on, he could easily have back-to-back 40-point games and the Oklahoma City Thunder will be heading to their second NBA Finals in franchise history. Either way, The Big Dog is prepared for one hell of a game!
Under 30.5 (Stephen Curry Total Match Points) @ $1.95 (William Hill)
Over 31.5 (Kevin Durant Total Points) @ $1.96 (CrownBet)
Over 28.5 (Russell Westbrook Total Points) @ $1.88 (CrownBet)