The NBA odds say the Golden State Warriors are the favorites over the field to defend their NBA title. Apparently they didn't watch that game in San Antonio.
Jason's 2015-16 record as of March 21: 28-33-1 ATS, 6-3-1 Total
At this point, it feels like the Golden State Warriors are Ronda Rousey, and the San Antonio Spurs are Holly Holm. The NBA odds on the futures market at press time have the Warriors (63-7 SU, 39-39-2 ATS) favored to defend their championship – favored over the entire field, including the Spurs (59-11 SU, 41-29 ATS). The longest odds on both teams are at Ladbrokes, who have Golden State at –110 and San Antonio at +375.
This is after the Warriors played the Spurs Saturday night and lost 87-79 as 4.5-point underdogs. The who the what now? So against the spread, the market values San Antonio a shade higher than Golden State, assuming 3.5 points for home-court advantage. But on the futures market, it's the Dubs by a landslide? This is why you should always keep an eye on those futures when you're making NBA picks. They're cottony-soft.
They Seemed So Far Away
Of course, if the Spurs are Holly Holm, then the Charlotte Hornets (40-30 SU, 37-32-1 ATS) must be Miesha Tate. They handed San Antonio a 91-88 loss on Monday, cashing in as 6-point home dogs to improve to 18-5 SU and 15-8 ATS in their past 23 games heading into Tuesday's action. The Hornets have jelled very nicely over the past month, with center Al Jefferson (17.2 PER, –1.6 BPM) coming back off the injured list in a reserve role, and guard Courtney Lee (11.6 PER, –0.2 BPM) joining the club at the trade deadline.
So how do the Hornets stack up on the futures market? They're all over the map, from +6000 at GT Bets to +20000 at 5Dimes. Maybe winning a championship is a bit too much to ask from this franchise, but we've seen what they can do against the Spurs on a given Monday. At these payouts, Charlotte could be worth a spin – especially now that the playoffs are on the horizon.
Kyle Lowry Over Everything
It's not like the Hornets have the toughest path to the NBA Finals. The Eastern Conference may be much-improved this year, with 10 teams at .500 or better as we go to press, but the top two teams in the East are a couple of notches below their Western counterparts. The Cleveland Cavaliers (50-20 SU, 31-36-3 ATS) and the Toronto Raptors (48-21 SU, 38-31 ATS) each have their flaws. The Hornets have beaten both teams this year.
Yet the Cavaliers are still one of the top commodities on the futures market. They're even ahead of San Antonio at some locations, including +300 at Ladbrokes. SAWFT~! The Raptors are reasonably priced by comparison at between +1500 (GT Bets) and +3300 (BetOnline). Casual NBA fans know about LeBron James (26.7 PER, +8.4 BPM). Maybe they should get to know Kyle Lowry (23.6 PER, +7.8 BPM) while they're at it.