The NBA season edges closer to its climax as Western Conference Finals get underway on Sunday night. After some fairly humdrum encounters so far during this post-season, the first real clash of the titans begins in San Antonio, where the Spurs host the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of their seven-game series.
San Antonio have been a juggernaut, sweeping both the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers aside with almost frightening ease. They’ve now won 18 consecutive games to return to the conference finals for the first time since 2008, becoming the darlings of the league in the process.
OKC were expected to be here all season, after losing out to Dallas at the same point in 2011. They’ve had a slightly tougher play-off run, taking revenge on the Mavericks with a 4-1 victory in the first round before despatching the Lakers by the same margin.
Those two losses account for San Antonio’s tag as 1.50 favourites to advance onward to meet either Miami or Boston in the Finals. Oklahoma City are back at 2.60, a generous price, given that there really is very little difference in either quality or depth between these two Western powers.
The Spurs, with home advantage at the outset, are favoured by 5.5 points at 1.91 on the handicap. Their points line is 101.5, with the Thunder forecast to score 99.5. OKC are incredible value at 3.10 to steal Game 1 in regulation, and, with two offensive goliaths on show, it’s worth going over the total points line of 204.5 at 1.91.
Bet of the Day: It’s a tough call but take the Thunder to win this series at 2.60