Since Steve Kerr took over for Mark Jackson, the Golden State Warriors have essentially been the NBA's version of the Boogie Man. Of course, their reputation as the most dominant team in basketball grew exponentially after signing Kevin Durant in 2016.
But now that the 6-foot-11 star has been ruled out of Friday's Game 6 against the Houston Rockets, the Warriors are 7.5-point underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. In fact, the Warriors are the biggest underdogs they've ever been in the playoffs in the Kerr era.
The Golden State #Warriors are 7.5-point underdogs to the Houston #Rockets in Game 6. The Warriors have never been this large an underdog in the playoffs under head coach Steve Kerr. https://t.co/YbvL7d6Gfe— The Duel (@TheDuelSports) May 9, 2019
While this stat is certainly jarring, it does make some sense. Durant has been ruled out for the remainder of this series against the Rockets, Klay Thompson is still dealing with a foot injury and Steph Curry hasn't looked like himself in this series.
Additionally, this Rockets team is dangerous, having almost beaten Golden State in last year's Western Conference Finals before Chris Paul strained his hamstring.
Another reason for this massive line is likely the Rockets' dominance at home. Houston went 31-10 at home in the regular season, and they're undefeated at the Toyota Center in the 2019 NBA Playoffs thus far.
“The Warriors have no chance of winning without Kevin Durant. This series or any other series.” ?— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 9, 2019
-Charles on Golden State pic.twitter.com/0KN2KDhb01
Overall, it would certainly be a shame if a key injury swung this series in back-to-back seasons, but this line clearly illustrates how valuable Durant is to the Warriors.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.