The Golden State Warriors are the overwhelming favorites to win the NBA championship (-220 at the Westgate SuperBook) and the major statistical categories like point differential and net rating all crown the Dubs as the league’s top team.
But between the player injuries, resting and general indifference to the regular season, bettors are left with near-impossible conditions to correctly determine the right time to bet on the Warriors and the right time to bet against them.
The Dubs have four streaks of three or more consecutive ATS losses and another poor run might be on the horizon because of a trend NBA bettors may not be aware of. Golden State struggles when facing opponents from the opposite conference as the Detroit Pistons demonstrated when they won outright as 14-point underdogs at Oracle Arena.
The defending champions are 7-9 against the spread versus Eastern Conference foes this season and 33-40-3 ATS over the last two and a half years. The Warriors begin a five-game road trip this week with stops in Milwaukee, Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago and finish up Houston.
The fun starts on Friday where the Warriors are 6-point faves against Milwaukee – a club that is 3-1 against the spread in its last four games against them.
Steve Kerr’s crew is 33-9 straight up and just 19-22-1 against the spread and the head coach has had all four of his All-Stars in the lineup in just 21 games in the season’s first half. Expecting the team holding the single-season wins record to care about losing a game in January is like asking Selena Gomez to worry about losing a follower on Instagram.
“The biggest challenge is complacency,” Kerr told the Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II back in September. “We’ve been to the Finals three years in a row. And for our core group… that’s a long haul and you just cannot lose your edge in this league.”
Stephen Curry is questionable to play on Friday because of a sprained ankle but all other Warriors players are expected to suit up. Golden State is 5-9 in 14 games with Curry watching in street clothes.