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What's Draymond Worth To The Spread?

I think everyone was a little shocked when the NBA announced Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. 

It wasn’t so much that he was suspended, it was the timing of it. The news of the Flagrant 1 resulting in suspension started trickling out nearly 48 hours after Green’s altercation with LeBron James. It smells a little fishy and it’s hard not to wonder why the NBA took so long to make an announcement when most of us didn’t even know the play was under review. 

The good news for bettors might be that sportsbooks were caught off-guard as much as bettors. 

At the time of the news, many books were at Golden State -6 and since the suspension they’ve only moved the line one point to -5.5.  

That doesn’t make sense for me considering Green was favored to win the playoff MVP award before Game 4 and was set at -140 to win the award before Game 3.

Green is the leading rebounder and third leading scoring for Golden State in the playoffs and is easily their most important defender. He leads the Warriors in steals and blocks in the postseason and his ability to guard any position is what makes him impossible to replace. 

I’d say Green is actually worth more like 3.5 or four points to the spread. Books can’t adjust that much though because they already opened Golden State at -8 before getting hammered with Cavs money. If they move the line any further than the 2.5 points they've gone already, the middle gets even bigger and they are left exposed. I'm also not sure they need to go that far anyway because public opinion is that Green isn't worth that much to the spread. 

This is a different situation than Game 3 where I felt the books weren’t surprised at all about Kevin Love being ruled out . I believe they are now sweating Game 5 and they can’t be thrilled to be giving away 5.5 or 6 points when the Warriors don’t have Green to rely on. He is just too vital to Golden State defensively.  

So now what do you do? 

Tougher play at both ends of the court is what won it for the Warriors in Game 5. I loved the adjustment and it’s why I felt the Warriors were going to win and cover in Game 5. It’s why I also liked the UNDER again. Now I’m not so sure.

I believe Golden State should be more like a 2.5 or 3-point favorite here and I think this game could go OVER now with their top defender out. (The total has moved up slightly from 206.5 to 207.5.) 

Ultimately it’s a stay away for me. There’s too much unpredictability with Green out and we know the NBA isn’t going to be upset if this series continues beyond Game 5 due to the incredible popularity of it.    

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