I wanted to write a column and talk to you all about NBA futures betting. Specifically, I’d like to focus on the Golden State Warriors. You see, a lot of people lay a lot of money on the Warriors simply because of how great they are historically. They will go down as one of the best teams ever assembled. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be betting your mortgage on them to win the NBA championship this season.
While the odds may indicate that the gap between the Warriors and the rest of the league has narrowed, Jeff Sherman, a sportsbook manager who oversees the NBA odds for the SuperBook, cautions that the league is far from being wide open. Here is what he said to ESPN about this very subject:
"If the NBA was more wide open, or at least perceived that way, [betting] handle would be greater than what we are seeing now," Sherman told ESPN in an email. "So many teams have little to no chance of winning the title with the lack of parity. At this point, our handle on NHL outrights [odds to win the Stanley Cup] is greater than NBA outrights."
Sherman noted to ESPN that the hometown betting interest on the Vegas Golden Knights has played a role in more money being wagered on the Stanley Cup odds than the NBA title odds, but said the Warriors' lofty odds have caused some bettors to stay away from early action on the NBA.
But here’s the thing. Not everyone is scared to lay the hefty price odds on the Warriors, though. In late September, a bettor at the SuperBook placed a $67,736.25 bet on Golden State to make the playoffs at -10,000 odds. If the Warriors reach the postseason, the bettor will win a net $677.35.
I would not be inclined to bet big money on the Golden State Warriors this season. They still have a fantastic team who is capable of winning it all, but there is now a lot more parity in the NBA. The Rockets and Lakers should be able to give Golden State a run for their money. And the Celtics are looking extremely favorable in the Eastern Conference.
I don’t expect it to be a cakewalk for the Warriors this season and neither should you. They are a great team and deserve to be a favorite to win the title. But blindly throwing money at the Warriors to win it all again is not a smart thing to do. All things come to an end at some point, and again, there are a lot of other talented teams in the league right now.
DO NOT pencil in Golden State as the guaranteed pick to win the title again this season. It’s one thing to have confidence in them, but it’s not smart to simply expect them to keep winning the title year after year after year. It should be a very exciting NBA season.
The Warriors open their season Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Warriors are 13-point favorites.
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