Powerhouse teams, regardless of sport, tend to naturally attract equally impressive money at sportsbooks. Since the dawn of legalized sports betting in New Jersey last year, multiple operators have opted to leverage that popularity to build some goodwill with their customers, albeit while taking on some risk.
PointsBet became the latest to jump on the trend. The operator announced it will be rewarding all Golden State Warriors futures bettors early following the short-handed defending champs’ impressive four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals that wrapped up Monday:
Warriors’ “three-peat” looking increasingly likely
Granted, Golden State (-228 to win the championship at PointsBet) comes off looking like a relatively safe bet after disposing of Portland without the services of Kevin Durant (calf) and DeMarcus Cousins (quadriceps) throughout the entire series. They were also missing Andre Iguodala in Monday’s Game 4 due to his own calf issue.
Then, there’s hardly a more battle-tested unit than the Dubs. This year’s Finals appearance will be their fourth consecutive. They’ll be on a quest for a third straight championship, having cruised to their second consecutive last season with a 4-0 sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sure, they could well face more resistance in this year’s edition if the Milwaukee Bucks (currently +200 on PointsBet to win the Finals) ultimately serve as their opponent. Yet, the Warriors will clearly be the more rested squad after wrapping up their conference series in minimum time. The extra layoff that affords is particularly valuable at this point in the long season. And, it will give Golden State’s aforementioned walking wounded additional opportunity to work their way back to health.
But, is there such thing as a sure bet?
However, it’s worth noting that seemingly low-risk scenarios have already turned sour on one New Jersey operator. In early December, FanDuel Sportsbook opted to pay out all futures bets on the Alabama Crimson Tide winning the National Championship that following January.
At the time of the decision, Dec. 2, Nick Saban’s boys were looking similarly dominant to the Warriors. They’d finished their regular season with a 12-0 mark and then upended Georgia and Oklahoma in the SEC Championship Game and the Orange Bowl semifinal, respectively, heading into their showdown for all the marbles against the Clemson Tigers.
As we all know by now, the Tigers subsequently made Alabama look considerably overmatched on their way to a 44-16 win on Jan. 7. And they weren’t the only ones on the losing end. The egg the Crimson Tide laid was a rather expensive one for FD Sportsbook. They ended up approximately $400K in the hole due to their early payout decision.
The odds are likely much more on PointsBet’s side, considering Golden State’s Finals track record and the fact we’re dealing with a series-based format as opposed to a single game, where unexpected results are more likely. Coupled with the positive all-around vibes an early payout always generates, the likely win-win scenario ultimately seems like a smart bet.