Western Conference Finals: Spurs vs Warriors Betting Odds

The San Antonio Spurs, without Kawhi Leonard, knocked off James Harden and the Houston Rockets and will advance to the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. This is a match-up we have been waiting two years for as these were the two best teams in the West last year as well. Of course, things are lot different now with Tim Duncan retiring, Harrison Barnes moving to the Mavericks and some guy named Kevin Durant coming to the Warriors.

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That move has made the Warriors a huge favorite in this year’s playoffs and that continues in this series with Golden State being a -1250 favorite. That is a first round number and here we are seeing it in the Conference Finals in a match-up of the two best regular season (and only 60+ win) teams. That is crazy and speaks to just how much better the Warriors are than every other team in the league right now.

San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors – Western Conference Finals
Sun 5/14San Antonio Spurs (Series)+800
3:30PMGolden State Warriors (Series)-1250

An interesting thing to see going forward will be whether or not Steve Kerr is able to coach in this series. The difference between Mike Brown and Steve Kerr is huge and there is a chance that Greg Poppovich will really be able to take advantage of some of Brown’s decisions. For instance, there are times when the Warriors play without either Curry or Durant on the floor. That is cute and can work against the Jazz and the Blazers, but is not something that you want to do against San Antonio. Every possession matters with them.

The Spurs got a huge game six out of LaMarcus Aldridge and they’ll need that version of him to show up if they hope to have any chance in this series. I think the Spurs can create some problems with Aldridge going at Green with Kawhi guarding Durant. That still leaves the issue of what to do about Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but that’s the kind of problems you have to answer when you are trying to beat the Warriors.

San Antonio took two out of three in the regular season from this team, but that record is a bit dubious. One win came on opening night and the other came with all the stars resting. The Warriors 110-98 win was the closest we saw of these two teams playing at full strength.

Golden State is the best team in the league for a reason, they are a big favorite like this for a reason. They have more talent than anybody in the league and more three-point shooting than anyone in the league. They have that, but they also have an elite level defense led by Draymond Green. If the Spurs want to have a chance in this series they’ll need big performances on the fringes. Manu Ginobili, Jonathon Simmons, Danny Green and Patty Mills will all need to step up big for them to have a fighting chance. I would never count the Spurs out and I think this will be a good series, but it’s hard to imagine anything stopping Golden State this season.

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Early look at NBA Net Rating vs Finals Odds

Net Rating is a good stat to figure out how good a team really is. You take the estimate of points produced per 100 possessions (offensive rating) and subtract from it the point allowed per 100 possessions (defensive rating) and you get the Net Rating. The NBA is a league in which the best team wins the title very often. Here’s a look at the past ten years of champions and Net Ratings.

YearChampionNetRtg RankNet Rtg LeaderOutcome
2007Spurs1stSpursChampion
2008Celtics1stCelticsChampion
2009Lakers3rdCavaliersLost in Conf. Finals
2010Lakers5thMagicLost in Conf. Finals
2011Mavericks8thHeatLost in Finals
2012Heat4thBullsLost in Round 2
2013Heat2ndThunderLost in Conf. Finals
2014Spurs1stSpursChampion
2015Warriors1stWarriorsChampion
2016Cavaliers4thSpursLost in Round 2

 

It’s not perfect, but four of the ten years we’ve seen the #1 team in NetRating also win the championship. There was one other year that the top team lost in the Finals. Outside of 2011, which is a huge outlier for many reasons, the champion has been in the top 5 of Net Rating every single year. When you really take a close look at the teams who finished 4th or 5th (2010 Lakers, 2012 Heat, 2016 Cavaliers) you see teams that likely coasted in the regular season for stretches as they knew they would be making a deep playoff run. This isn’t perfect by any means, but it is a good gauge to figure out who actually has a chance to win this thing this year.

 

RankTeamNetRtgOdds
1Golden State Warriors12.73-140
2Los Angeles Clippers10.9+1350
3Cleveland Cavaliers9.49+290
4Chicago Bulls6.38+6600
5San Antonio Spurs6.14+850
6Toronto Raptors5.18+3300
7Houston Rockets4.42+6600
8Utah Jazz4.31+8000

 

Now, before you go placing that big bet on the Bulls +6600 you should remember that it is ridiculously early in the season. They haven’t even played the Cavs yet this season, but that is a pretty big number. We’ll be monitoring that going forward, but I think it is simply a team coming out hot and beating up on lesser teams.

The same can be said about the Clippers who have started to show signs of trouble as they’ve lost the last two games to the Pistons and the Pacers. This is an older team with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin getting up there who might not be able to hold up this pace without resting some of the key stars. That should also bring this number down.

Really, if anything this current ranking shows that the Cavaliers and Warriors rematch may just be as inevitable as everyone thinks it is. The Warriors are beating last season’s Net Rating by over two points per game and look to be the best team in the league since teaming Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. Lebron James and the Cavaliers are clearly the class of the East this season and, unless the Bulls are for real (which is highly doubtful), we’re looking at yet another rematch.

Of course, as the first table shows anything can happen in the NBA. Winning in the playoffs is hard and to make it to the Finals three years in a row is even harder. We’ll keep looking at this throughout the year to see where we’re at.

For complete NBA Championship Betting Futures check out http://www.5Dimes.com 

NBA Draft Lottery Betting Odds

5Dimes has posted a list of betting odds for the top three in the NBA Draft Lottery that takes place next Tuesday. This is a pretty comprehensive list and shows just how hard it is to nail the top three teams in the draft. The 76ers, Lakers and Nets have the best lottery odds of going 1-2-3, but that bet is over 50/1 to come in. There is so many ping pong balls and so many potential orders that this just seems impossible to bet on with any sort of certainty.

There are tons of betting options here, but there are actually some potential outcomes that aren’t even listed. For instance, if you wanted to bet the Milwaukee Bucks to get the number one overall pick, you can’t. The Bucks have just a 1.8% chance of moving to the number one spot and the bookmakers deemed that not worth the potential loss. You also can’t make a bet involving the Chicago Bulls who have just a 0.5% chance of the #1 pick and a 1.8% chance of a top three pick. That makes sense, from an odds perspective, but we have seen these things happen before and we will see them again. The lottery is exactly that.

Complete odds are below. Make a bet on any of these at http://www.5dimes.com Continue Reading…