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Warriors To Win In…?

From a handicapping point of view, generating interest in the NBA regular season is part of my job. I can make money off of it. You can make money off of it. The whole thing is really fun and full of drama. It’s great. But it’s hard to escape what feels inevitable – the Golden State Warriors repeating as NBA Champions.

It’s such a probably outcome that the Warriors aren’t just favored in the NBA Finals futures, the bookmakers have lofted up odds on what game the Warriors will win the series in. You can check them out in our NBA playoff specials sections, which also distributes odds for which bubble teams will make the playoffs.

Odds per

Golden State Warriors in 4 +400
Golden State Warriors in 5 +300
Golden State Warriors in 6 +500
Golden State Warriors in 7 +1000
FIELD (any other outcome) +140

Seems pretty brazen, right? Well, it’s not a bad bet. The Warriors dispatched of the Cleveland Cavaliers so casually in the 2017 NBA Finals that they made LeBron James look relatively inept while he averaged 33-12-10 during a five game series. That’s probably why the Warriors in 5 is favored in this market at +300. It’s the best bet you can make because of how easily the Warriors could squash Cleveland, Toronto or Boston in the Finals.

I’m not trying to suck the air out of the room. This is just a casual reminder that the Warriors are still the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to being built for a seven game tilt against any opponent. They’re the league’s best offence, running an obnoxiously impossible +10.0 net rating with 113.7 points per 100 possessions that completely offsets a defence that ranks 22nd in the league overall.

To be fair, the Warriors aren’t the same team that they’ve been in the past when they steamrolled through 2015-16 and 2016-17. They’re a half-game back of the surging and unreasonably optimistic Houston Rockets in the standings as we ramp up the second half. Kerr has talked about how run down the team is, and they certainly didn’t help themselves by having four-fifths of their starting lineup running around in the All-Star Game.

But nobody doubts that they’re the team to beat…except maybe the oddsmakers? The interesting part about this market is that the field (i.e. any other outcome) is listed at +140. That’s because a lot of things could happen. Durant could break his leg. Curry might snap his ankle. The Rockets could actually beat them in the Western Conference Championship. Even the Thunder could get smoking hot and deliver a stiff playoff challenge if the stars align right.

Maybe Cleveland actually puts it all together? Toronto and Boston could…I don’t know. This seems hyperbolic to me. It’s so hard to bet against the Warriors winning the championship because that memory of them cake walking through a bullish LeBron James is still so fresh. But if you have an inkling that something zany happens in the playoffs to disrupt the Warriors enough off the throne, then that +140 bet is just staring at you in the face. Just to be clear, that also includes the Warriors losing in the NBA Finals.

The Western Conference is more competitive than these odds suggest, and there’s always a breaking point for teams that routinely extend their seasons in to the NBA Finals constantly. Look at the Miami Heat, who went 2-2 overall in the Finals, losing to San Antonio and Dallas (of al teams!). It’s the NBA playoffs and as a great man once said, “anything is possible”.

The question is whether you’re willing to bet against the inevitable.

Check out all of our daring for the upcoming playoffs, as well as our regular daily lines for NBA!

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