Warriors to enter playoffs as overwhelming favorites

Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports

Set to earn their 70th win of the season at some point soon, the Golden State Warriors are wrapping up one of the best regular seasons in the history of the NBA.

This would normally lead to the team being major favorites heading into the playoffs. The one issue here are the San Antonio Spurs, who have put up a franchise record 64 wins thus far this season.

This has led some to question whether the Warriors are in fact the odds-on favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy for a second consecutive season.

One such outlet not questioning Golden State’s standing is the WestGate SuperBook in Las Vegas, who has the defending champs with a 61.8 percent chance of repeating (via CBS Sports).

In terms of straight odds, the Warriors come in at 4-to-5. This means that if you were to bet on them winning the title, you’d win less money than you initially wagered.

That’s something we rarely see in the professional sports world. It also tells us a story of a gambling industry that’s going all in on the Warriors.

San Antonio comes in with 3-to-1 odds while the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers boast 3-to-1 odds as well. Cleveland’s odds of winning the title stand at 18.6 percent with the Spurs coming in at 12.6 percent.

Cleveland’s standing atop San Antonio makes sense here considering the Spurs have to get past the Warriors to even reach the NBA Finals.

Interestingly, Golden State’s odds have increased a great deal from a preseason line that had it at 5-to-1 to repeat as champs.

On the verge of clinching home-court advantage in the playoffs, Golden State is definitely in prime position to defend its title. After all, here’s a team that’s won 74 of its past 76 regular season home games.

Meanwhile, San Antonio is undefeated at home on the season with a 39-0 mark and has won 48 in a row on its home court during the regular year.

Needless to say, it sure looks like the winner if this likely Western Conference Finals series will be winning the title.

In the meantime, we can enjoy the two remaining regular season games between Golden State and San Antonio coming up over the next several days.