Warriors' big comeback against Spurs in Game 1 pays off in Vegas

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Monday, May 15, 2017

The Golden State Warriors pulled off one of the largest comebacks in NBA postseason history, overcoming a 25-point deficit and lengthy odds in Las Vegas to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 113-111on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Some bettors were more relieved than others. In the minutes leading up to tipoff, a bettor at Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology placed a $262,000 money-line wager to win $37,000 on the heavily favored Warriors, according to vice president of risk Jason Simbal.

Golden State delivered, but it wasn't easy.

Down 25 in the second quarter, the Warriors were listed as 9-1 underdogs at William Hill's Nevada sportsbook. Only one bettor got in at that price, risking $7 to win $63. But throughout the game, William Hill took 492 tickets on the Warriors at 2-1 odds or greater, including a $5,000 bet on Golden State to win straight up at 9-4 odds in the second half.

Before the game, the Spurs were around 5-1 underdogs to pull off the upset. They got off to a quick start, built the big lead in the second quarter and went into halftime up by 20.

San Antonio star forward Kawhi Leonard aggravated an ankle injury in the third quarter and had to leave the game. The Warriors took advantage.

The 25-point comeback was the largest come-from-behind win in the conference finals in 15 years.According to ESPN's In-Game Win Probability, the Warriors had a 3 percent chance of winning the game when Leonard left the game.

With Leonard's status unknown, the Westgate SuperBook opened the Warriors as 12.5-point favorites over the Spurs for Tuesday's Game 2.

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