Benjamin Franklin once said that in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. If Franklin was still alive, he’d have added the Golden State Warriors making the playoffs in 2018 to that list.
Las Vegas certainly seems to agree. The Westgate SuperBook is listing the Warriors at 1-1,000 odds to make the postseason.
For those unfamiliar with the process of making (or more often losing) money through gambling, that basically means that for a better to win $1 on an outcome, they have to place a bet of $1,000.
This is an absolutely absurd figure, and Westgate has never listed any NBA team at a price that high to make the playoffs.
Wagering on the Warriors to make the playoffs is the epitome of playing it safe. Bettors won’t find much value on the Warriors based on how much they have to bet, but the other side to this is that it’s essentially free money if they have the means to risk it.
Out of the core players of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, the only conceivable way the Warriors wouldn’t be a top-8 team in the Western Conference at the end of the season is if 3 out of those 4 were to miss a significant chunk of the season all at the same time, with a significant chunk probably being around 2 months.
Even with that calamitous hypothetical, the depth of this team is so impressive that they’d probably be able to patch together a lineup that could at least tread water in the upper half of the conference.
The 8th seed in the West last season was 41-41. The biggest pessimists would struggle with finding a way the Warriors could slip to that territory. They were able to clinch a playoff berth on the ridiculously early date of February 25 last season, after all.
Westgate Gives Warriors the Highest Win Total in the NBA
Westgate also has the Warriors’ win total at 67.5 as of now. Considering how their offseason played out, I’d take the over if I were a betting man.
The Warriors won 67 games last season despite a natural learning curve that comes with figuring out how to operate within a revamped roster and Durant missing a month and a half with a sprained MCL near the end of the regular season.
They’re coming off a championship together, and are returning 12 out of the 15 players from last year’s squad. Ian Clark, James Michael McAdoo, and Matt Barnes are gone, with Nick Young, Omri Casspi, and Jordan Bell being the new acquisitions.
Chemistry and fluidity should be expected to be improved after a full season of playing with one another, and the three players arriving are collectively better than the three departing.
Fatigue is the only factor besides injury that can prevent the Warriors from winning more than 67 regular season games. Guys like Curry, Thompson, Green, and Andre Iguodala have endured three-straight grueling playoff runs.
However, increased familiarity and a better overall roster make 68 wins an extremely viable possibility for this bunch.
Injuries can be unpredictable, but this team proved last season that they can withstand a major injury to one of their stars and still manage to win 67 games.
With a championship as the primary goal for every season, the Warriors sit as the favorites with Westgate to win the title, at -220.
No other team in the NBA made a compelling case this offseason that they closed the gap with the Warriors enough to possibly be considered championship favorites. For now, it looks like the Warriors’ biggest threat to another title is simply uncontrollable bad luck.