Three Reasons to Bet against the Golden State Warriors down the Stretch
by Dave Schwab - 3/27/2012
This year’s trade deadline in the NBA came and went without much fanfare especially when Dwight Howard decided to stay in Orlando for at least one more year. However, there was one trade that completely alienated a team’s fan base to the point where the crowd continually booed its owner during a recent team celebration.
Golden State’s decision to send Monta Ellis and two other players to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson earlier this month could have created an ideal environment to makes some money by betting against the Warriors over the final month of the regular season for NBA handicapping, and here are three reasons why:
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The Trade Itself
Ellis is no doubt a rising star in the NBA, but the fact that he shared the same backcourt with Stephen Curry, creating a duo of smallish guards that both love to shoot the ball, meant that one of them had to go. In return, the Warriors received a big man they so desperately needed in Bogut. However, his overall health remains an issue, especially considering he is currently out with a broken left ankle. Golden State then decided to turn around and ship Jackson off to San Antonio for Richard Jefferson, T.J. Ford, and a conditional first-round pick.
This is where things get interesting. The Warriors get to keep the Spurs’ first-round pick if it is higher than the 14th spot in the draft, which is pretty much a given with San Antonio owning the second-best record in the Western Conference. Golden State’s own No.1 pick in next season’s draft is controlled by Utah but top-seven protected, which means the Warriors would retain the rights if they draw the No.7 or less pick in the lottery. In simple terms, by tanking the rest of the season, the Warriors would enhance their position to potentially have two first-round picks in one of the most talent-laden drafts in recent memory.
The Team Itself
Golden State was not a very good team before the trade and the loss of Ellis probably brings it down a notch or two even lower in the Western Conference food chain. Before the trade, the Warriors were 18-21 straight-up and 15-24 against the spread. Since the trade on March 14, they are just 2-6 SU and 5-3 ATS. Golden State is now 11-13 both SU and ATS overall at home this season and 1-3 SU (2-2 ATS) at Oracle Arena since Ellis departed for Milwaukee. The lone victory came this past Saturday over Sacramento, which is even worse off than the Warriors.
The Remaining Schedule
Golden State has held-up fairly well ATS since the trade, but the SU losses keep piling-up. This will only further erode any desire and effort to remain competitive over the 19 games left on the NBA schedule. Nine of the games are at home with six coming against playoff-caliber teams. The hometown crowd has already jumped ship on this team, so how long do you think it will take before the players do the same? These nine games present a golden opportunity to bet against this team.
The Warriors are 9-14 SU on the road this season, but 14-9 ATS. They will most likely continue to put forth some kind of an effort in the final 10 road games, but seven of them are against teams that would be in the playoffs right now if the season ended today. The value in wagering against Golden State in these 10 games is not as high as the ones at home, but they still present an opportunity given that things are bound to only get worse for this team over the next month or so.
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