NBA Western Conference Futures Betting Exposure at Bovada
The Golden State Warriors have been one of the NBA's laughingstock teams for the most part over the past two decades.
The franchise has reached two postseasons in the past 20 years (1993-94 and 2006-07) and has won one series. The Warriors have had a winning regular-season record in three seasons and not since 2007-08. Last year, Golden State finished 23-43 in the lockout-shortened season and was 13th out of 15 Western Conference teams, only two losses from the bottom.
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Yet despite all that negativity, the book fears Golden State this upcoming NBA season more than any other to win the Western Conference title. Currently the Warriors are at 60/1 to win the West and the book has the most exposure there of any Western team.
Bettors apparently are banking on center Andrew Bogut finally being healthy. The Warriors have been looking for a quality center for years and Bogut is one when he's on the court. The Aussie and former No. 1 overall pick was acquired last March from the Bucks in a package that included Monta Ellis going to Milwaukee.
The Warriors felt the high-scoring Ellis was expendable because of the emergence of rookie shooting guard Klay Thompson last season. Plus an Ellis-Stephen Curry backcourt simply couldn't stop anyone. Curry is a star-quality player when he's healthy but was limited to 26 games last season because of ankle problems that have been an issue in his short career.
The Warriors also have high hopes for this year's lottery pick, small forward Harrison Barnes from North Carolina. Many believe Barnes has the highest upside of any rookie outside of the Hornets' Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick. A starting five of Curry, Thompson, Barnes, David Lee and Bogut looks good on paper. Golden State is 125/1 to win the franchise's first NBA title since 1974-75 but the book isn't exposed there.
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired two future Hall of Famers this offseason in point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard to create a super-team alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to rival NBA champions Miami's. The Lakers are the 13/10 favorites to unseat Oklahoma City as the West champs, but the book isn't exposed there. It is, however, on L.A. at 5/2 (second only to the Heat) to win the NBA title.
The Los Angeles Clippers also were busy this offseason, adding veterans such as Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill to supplement the superstar tandem of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Perhaps no coach is under more scrutiny than the Clips' Vinny Del Negro as this club is built to win now because Paul is set to become a free agent after this season. The book is exposed on the Clippers at 12/1 to win the West but not at 25/1 to win the NBA title.
The Denver Nuggets were part of that four-team trade that landed Howard with the Lakers, with the Nuggets essentially giving up Arron Afflalo to get Sixers All-Star swingman Andre Iguodala. The super-athletic Iguodala, one of the top perimeter defenders in the NBA, should thrive in Denver's up-tempo game.
Add in full seasons of JaVale McGee and Wilson Chandler, and Denver might be the most athletic, deepest team in the league. The Nuggets have advanced past the first round of the playoffs just once since 2004 but certainly appear lined up to do so this year. The book is exposed on the Nuggets at 33/1 to win the West.
Finally, the book also will be keeping a close eye on the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2012-13. The franchise looked like it might be a playoff team last year until rookie point guard dynamo Ricky Rubio went down with a season-ending torn knee ligament in March. The club fell apart after that. Minnesota is hoping Rubio can return by mid-December.
The Timberwolves also welcome former Trail Blazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy back to the NBA this season. Bettors must have plenty of optimism on Minnesota as the book is exposed on the Timberwolves at 40/1 to win the West and 75/1 to win the NBA championship.
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