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The Golden State Warriors have a chance to return to the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight years. The Warriors opened as a slight underdog in Game 4, despite Golden State putting a death grip on the series with a dominant 109-100 win in Dallas. It's not a matter of "if" Golden State will advance, the only remaining question for bettors is whether it will happen Tuesday night. In NBA history, 146 teams have fallen behind 3-0 in the playoffs, and not one was able to survive. The Mavericks now sit as +2500 underdogs to win the series and are still a jarring +500 to extend the series past five games. Despite the allure of a juicy payout, I wouldn't go anywhere near putting my money on either of those bets. It's a hard sell that this Mavericks team, despite Luka Doncic's ability to take over a game, will have enough energy to avoid the sweep. I am betting this game two ways by adding a plus-money play that the brooms come out in Dallas.
Golden State Warriors ML (-105) at Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks look spent. The Warriors' offense is just too much for a defense that has been the engine of Dallas' remarkable run. It's not due to a lack of effort, it just appears that the tank is on empty for Luka's supporting cast outside of Spencer Dinwiddie. Per Tim Cato from the Athletic, Reggie Bullock has played more minutes than any other player in the postseason. And it doesn't end there. Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson have all logged massive minutes during the Mavericks' postseason run. The shots are just coming up short with Dallas shooting 41% from the floor and getting punished on the glass. Without the perimeter shooting that carried the Mavs past Phoenix, I can't see them fighting for the full four quarters of a close-out game.
The books correctly made an adjustment after the Warriors closed as 3.5-point underdogs in Game 3, but I still believe Golden State should be the rightful favorites in Tuesday night's game. I understand the logic in thinking that the Mavericks will give everything they have, but that's exactly where I disagree. We saw everything the Mavericks had left in Game 3 — and it wasn't nearly enough.
There is also plenty of motivation for Golden State to end this series and enter the NBA Finals rested. As bettors, we are fully aware of the impact rest advantages have on team performance at this stage of the season. Let the Eastern Conference teams beat each other up while Golden State awaits the winner for the start of the NBA Finals on June 2.
After committing to the Golden State money line, I let my mind create the most likely scenario in how a Warriors win would unfold. If Dallas is fatigued, it's hard to imagine a close-out loss coming down to the last possession. Even in a tight game, the final minute should consist of Dallas fouling in desperation while the Warriors extend their lead from the charity stripe. Golden State has +22 net rating in the 4th quarter of this series and is scoring 138 points per 100 possessions.
That's enough to convince me to grab an alternative spread to take advantage of the Warriors winning with a wider margin. Their margin of victory has been 14 points in this series, and 12 points previously against Memphis. Golden State -5.5 (+185) is another bet for me.