Warriors Remain Ahead Of The Chasing Pack

Thursday, March 28, 2019 7:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019 7:10 PM UTC

Five teams have clinched their playoff spots in the Western Conference, but the Golden State Warriors remain top favorites across the board in NBA betting markets.

It’s an all too familiar picture in recent NBA history, the confetti falling down with the Warriors left standing as the supreme champions.

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Western Conference Finals Champion @warriors! pic.twitter.com/3U9fTo1s2n

— NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
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However, the Western Conference race is really heating up at the top between the Warriors and Nuggets and bettors and fans alike can’t take anything for granted, even NBA betting markets that would have it all in the bag for the defending champions.

Warriors top betting markets BetOnline installs the Warriors as the -200 favorites to win the NBA Championship and the whopping -300 faves to win the Eastern Conference title. Their nearest threat in either field is trading in plus-money and a good distance off. Gives a rather misleading impression about how the table stacks up doesn’t it.

In terms of the Conference picture, Houston Rockets emerge as the second faves at +500 while the rest of the field from Denver Nuggets to Portland Trailblazers – both incidentally nipping at their heels in the current table (as of March 28) – are trading in four-digit obscurity depending on your choice top sportsbook.

As it is, five teams have clinched their places in the postseason – Golden State, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets and LA Clippers. Four teams are in the so-called hunt Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings. That said, the latter trails by seven wins from eighth-placed San Antonio Spurs with just seven or so games left on the season. It simply is an impossible gap to close.

One could argue we now know all eight teams that will represent the West in the NBA playoffs, it’s just not official. Moreover, there could still be a shuffle in the order of seeding as the gap between the eight is quite narrow in certain current rankings.

The Warriors (51-23) edge the Nuggets (50-23) by just a win, the Trailblazers and Rockets are locked on 47 wins apiece, the Jazz and Clippers are neck-and-neck on 45 wins while Thunder sits at 44-31 SU and San Antonio Spurs are propping up the playoff frame with 43-32 SU record.

If this isn’t the quintessential slugfest down the stretch, what is? Last week things did get rather close at the top with the Warriors and Nuggets tied in the win column. It was enough to get Nugget nation all a twitter…

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@nuggets win and clinch a playoff birth for first time in 6 years....@warriors lose to San Antonio, and now are tied with Denver for top seed in west....this is incredible stuff guys, can’t make it up.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaasssssss pic.twitter.com/zG26FR1zdc

— Sports Informal (@SportsInformal) March 19, 2019
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What is most fascinating about this furious battle for the top seed is yet another date looms on the schedule between this pair with high hopes in the West. Next week, Tuesday April 2, Golden State Warriors will host the Denver Nuggets – a game that is sure to have far-reaching consequences should the play of the field remain so tight.

Before this ominous date, the Warriors are set to play Minnesota on the road (March 29) and Charlotte at home (March 31). Denver Nuggets, meanwhile, look ahead to Houston Rockets on the road tonight, Oklahoma City Thunder (March 29) and Washington Wizards (March 31) before their all-important date with Golden State.

It’s easy to see the Nuggets have a more challenging trek with two road games and three games altogether before they descend on the Warriors. But if they hope to keep this battle alive they’ll need to win out before next week’s clash.

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@ALawRadio The #Nuggets Clinch a Playoff spot and tie #Warriors once again for top playoff seed!! pic.twitter.com/BA6DcIKbbq

— Rob Lansen (@dvolance) March 19, 2019
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Form is close with the Warriors boasting a 7-3 SU record and the Nuggets an 8-2 SU record. Nevertheless, the Nuggets have a lot of motivation seeing as they’ve clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2013 and it would be foolish to discount them at this late stage.

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