Sheridan: PointsBet Posts 2021 NBA Title Odds With Warriors As A Top 5 Favorite

Posted By Chris Sheridan on August 31, 2020
Golden State Warriors NBA odds 2021 Steph Curry James Wiseman

Steph Curry will be back, Klay Thompson will be back, the No. 2 pick in this fall’s NBA Draft will be on the roster (if that pick is not traded), Draymond Green should be back, Andrew Wiggins should be back, and Steve Kerr will have a chance to lead his team to the NBA Finals for the fifth time in six years.

Why are we talking about the Golden State Warriors and what will happen next season when we do not even know how the rest of this season will shake out?

Because odds on winning the 2020-2021 NBA championship were posted this past week by PointsBet, the start of the 2020-21 season is likely now just over three months away, and the team that plays in San Francisco is the fourth choice (+500) behind the Los Angeles Clippers (+350), Milwaukee Bucks (+350) and Los Angeles Lakers (+375) to emerge as the champion.

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2021 NBA title odds

In the past, the NBA futures odds were set every summer by LV SportsBook, and everyone in the sports gambling industry used that as the baseline. But ever since the United States Supreme Court overturned PASPA on May 14, 2018, there has been sort of a race to be the first to post odds for the upcoming season.

We are in late August of 2020, we are not 100% sure of when the 2020-21 campaign will start (it had been tentatively set for Dec. 1), yet the opportunity for gamblers to peer far, far into their crystal balls has been provided by the up-and-coming book that is doing its utmost to take on the biggest players in the legalized US sports gambling industry.

“We have our own in-house technology with the analytics and quantitative capabilities to do this, and we believe in the math we are doing,” said Andrew Mannino, senior sports content analyst at PointsBet. “So we are confident with these odds going up now regardless of what other books are doing.”

Boston, Brooklyn, Houston and Toronto are tied for fifth-lowest odds at +1500, followed by Dallas (+2000), Denver and Utah (+3000), Miami (+4000), Philadelphia (+5000), New Orleans and Portland (+6000), Oklahoma City (+8000), Indiana (+10000), Memphis and Phoenix (+12500). The longest odds are on Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit and the New York Knicks at +25000.

“There are going to be bettors who see value in the way certain teams are listed here, and this is an opportunity to find something to be right about,” Mannino said.

NBA Championship Winner 2021

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
LA Lakers
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+350
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+375
LA Clippers
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+400
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+350
Milwaukee Bucks
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+500
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+350
Golden State Warriors
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+600
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+500
Brooklyn Nets
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+900
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+1000
Miami Heat
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+900
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+500
Boston Celtics
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+1200
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+1500
Toronto Raptors
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+1600
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+1500
Denver Nuggets
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+2000
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+3000
Dallas Mavericks
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+2200
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+2000
Houston Rockets
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+2200
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+1500
Philadelphia 76ers
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+3000
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+4000
Utah Jazz
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+4000
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+3000
Portland Trail Blazers
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+5000
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+6000
New Orleans Pelicans
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+7000
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+6000
Oklahoma City Thunder
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+8000
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+8000
Indiana Pacers
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+10000
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+10000
Phoenix Suns
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+10000
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+12500
Atlanta Hawks
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+15000
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+15000
Chicago Bulls
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+15000
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+20000
Memphis Grizzlies
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+15000
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+12500
Minnesota Timberwolves
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+20000
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+15000
Orlando Magic
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+20000
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+15000
Washington Wizards
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+20000
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+20000
Sacramento Kings
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+25000
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+15000
San Antonio Spurs
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+25000
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+15000
Charlotte Hornets
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+50000
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+25000
Cleveland Cavaliers
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+50000
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+25000
Detroit Pistons
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+50000
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+25000
New York Knicks
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+50000
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+25000

Revival of the Golden State Warriors

Lest anyone forget, the Warriors squared off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in four consecutive NBA Finals, winning three times and losing once. Their 2019-20 season went up in smoke during the 2019 Finals when Thompson blew out his knee (he has not played since), Kevin Durant ruptured his hamstring (he also has not played since), and then Curry went down with a broken bone in his left hand in the fourth game of the season.

Curry returned to the lineup just three games before the NBA was shut down because of the pandemic, but by then the season was a lost cause, and Golden State finished an NBA-worst 15-50. They won the second pick in the NBA Draft lottery, and many expect them to choose 7-foot-1 James Wiseman of Memphis to help plug a gaping hole at center, where their top player on the current roster is Marquese Chriss.

The teams ranked ahead of the Warriors, the Bucks, Clippers and Lakers, are expected to return with similar rosters to the ones they have now, although there is a possibility Anthony Davis could leave the Lakers if he declines his $28.7 million player option – which is considered highly unlikely.

“That possibility is there, but we are going with the assumption he’s going to stay,” Mannino said.

Dubs could take several different paths

What remains to be seen in the weeks ahead is whether Golden State general manager Bob Myers decides to trade the No. 2 pick in the hopes of landing as established center to play in a starting five that would presumably include Curry and Thompson in the backcourt, Wiggins at small forward and Draymond Green at power forward.

The Warriors have $145 million in committed team salary for next season not counting what they will have to pay the No. 2 pick, and they do not have much veteran experience on their bench as they did in their championship years when they could bring someone such as Andre Iguodala off the bench to be a defensive stopper and spot-up shooter (Miami has been enjoying his services in the current postseason).

Some would say that gives the Warriors further incentive to trade the No. 2 pick, although if they were going to bring back a big man and a bench player that had much value, they would likely have to include Wiggins for salary-matching reasons. And with Wiggins’ body of work not exactly the strongest over his seven-year career, that could be a tough sell.

Wiggins started 12 games for the Warriors after they acquired him from Minnesota, averaging 19.4 points and 4.6 rebounds, and there are some in the Warriors organization that believe he will benefit greatly from not having to be the No. 1 or No. 2 option on offense as he was with the Timberwolves.

Given Wiseman’s small body of work (he played only three games for the Tigers before withdrawing from school as a byproduct of an NCAA investigation), he is somewhat of an uncertain commodity.

His college coach, Penny Hardaway, believes Wiseman should go No. 1 overall to Minnesota.

“I feel like he’s the No. 1 pick in the draft,” Hardaway said during a recent media availability. “I think he has a high upside. He didn’t get to play this year. There are question marks, but he works his butt off, man. He’s a unicorn, that’s what he calls himself. He’s rare.

“He’s a guy that he’s gonna be the fastest up and down the floor, and protect the rim,” Hardaway continued. “He’s definitely an instant-assist under the rim because of his athleticism. He’s going to work on getting his shot, to where he can get out to the 3-point line and be a threat from out there as well. I’m not just saying that because I coached him, I just know the NBA and what they’re looking for.”

If Minnesota were to take Wiseman No. 1, that would likely mean that Anthony Edwards of Georgia would go No. 2 to Golden State – but that would not solve the Warriors donut problem (a hole in the middle).

Still, a healthy roster build around Curry, Thompson and Green is a proven commodity, and that – combined with the high draft pick – is what has the Warriors ranked so highly in the futures market.

Time will tell if +500 is too high or too low, but people are certainly not counting the Warriors out after their lost season. Every team has them, and many teams bounce back from them. Golden State certainly will. It is just a question of to what degree.

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