2017-18 Golden State Warriors Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
I've waited until I was done previewing every other Western Conference team before I did this one for one simple reason - I was hoping the extra time would allow me to figure out what to say. I mean, what can you really say? A team that was very dominant en route to a title last year is largely intact and will likely be even better if they stay healthy because they have had more time to play together and because there is at least a good chance that their coach will be available for more of the season. How cutting edge and bold of me. But it's not like I can be contrary and find ways to be negative about the team. I mean, everyone in the league is chasing them, and several teams have mortgaged their futures and gone to great lengths to try to close the gap, yet the team is still -160 to win the NBA title. Think about that for a second - in a league of 30 teams and a long, winding season and grueling postseason you would have to bet $160 to win $100 if the Warriors win the title. And though I would never suggest locking up your money for that long, I can't suggest that it would be a completely horrible bet. It's Golden State's world, and they are quite probably headed for their third title in four years. And I still have to write 700 more words about what we all already know.
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2017 Golden State Warriors Betting Storylines
Alright, here goes - a negative about this team. They don't rebound very well. They finished 18th in offensive rebounding and 29th in defensive rebounding. Of course, the biggest explanation for that, especially on defense, is that they don't try to rebound. Their defensive approach involves forcing things before the shot much more than positioning themselves after the shot. So, saying they don't rebound very well is a bit like saying that Georgia Tech football doesn't pass very well - their option system could care less about passing. Still, I'm trying to find something to be even a little worried about. Teams are aware of this, and squads like San Antonio, Houston and Minnesota could have the horses to exploit the rebounding weakness. You'd have to look at what they would be giving up to do so, and why other teams largely haven't tried to do so consistently in the past, but it's as close to a glaring weakness as there is.
I could also go on about how Steve Kerr is one of the best coaches in the league - I'd put him in the top three without hesitation and probably a spot higher - but that his health issues mean that we don't know when he'll be available and how much time he could miss. That would be a concern for almost any team, but then you could just remind me that they went 12-0 in the playoffs - the freaking playoffs!!! - last year with an interim coach, so that argument doesn't work, either.
How about this - they have a target the size of California on their backs. Houston and Oklahoma City got very aggressive, with the sole purpose of closing the gap with the Warriors. Minnesota made big changes, and while making the playoffs for the first time in eons is the first goal, the Warriors are at least one of the bigger motivations. And Boston probably was driven by catching Cleveland first - because they have to do that to have a shot at Golden State - but the Warriors were a motivation as well. Golden State is still significantly better than each of their rivals - more talented, deeper, and with more current experience with success. But the gap is smaller in some cases, and it is only going to get smaller with the passing of time.
2017 Golden State Warriors Additions and Departures
The team's biggest priority was taking care of business, and they did just that by signing Curry and Durant and dealing with contracts for several other pieces as well. Nothing they did in that regard was unexpected. Then they added some more depth in Omri Casspi and Nick Young - because apparently their plan for world domination involves signing all of the shooters so that no other team can have any. They lost Ian Clark and James Michael McAdoo, but they won't lose even a wink of sleep about either. And they grabbed a draft bargain when they bought a second-round pick from Chicago to take Jordan Bell, a defensive specialist who has the luxury of developing slowly while learning his craft from Draymond Green and David West. It's like he's being paid to attend the best grad school there is. It was a very good offseason for a team that would have been just fine if they had only accomplished much less.
2017 Golden State Warriors Futures Odds and Trends
Golden State Warriors Futures Odds
NBA title odds (from BetOnline ) : -160
Western Conference title odds : -250
Kevin Durant MVP Odds (from Bovada ) : +550 (third best)
Steph Curry MVP Odds : +1200
Chris Paul MVP Odds : +10000
Season win total (from Bovada): 67.5 ("over" is favored at -125)
It's very hard for wildly-public teams to be profitable for bettors, and that was the case for these Warriors last year. They were 40-39-3 ATS despite 67 regular-season wins. There was, however, serious money to make on the totals - they went "under" 50 times and over 32.
2017 Golden State Warriors Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
I tried hard to come up with reasons to be worried. I didn't convince myself. The Warriors are going to be a better team than last year, and they are going to win their third title in four years.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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