The Warriors were the first team since Michael Jordan’s Bulls to be favored against the field in the preseason for a championship. Whether or not its odds actually were that high, Golden State made the betting odds look correct, dominating its way to the 2017 NBA title.
The Warriors are already favored to repeat in 2018 – but the degree is astounding.
The Warriors, fresh off Monday night’s 129-120 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to clinch the NBA title, are listed as -200, odds-on favorites to win next year’s championship, a historic price on a preseason favorite.
“They’re going to be the highest favorite we’ve ever had going into a season, any team in any sport,” Jeff Sherman, NBA oddsmaker at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, told ESPN.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are free agents, and I can’t even begin to argue with Golden State as overwhelming favorites. Both players appear all but certain to return with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – and in a way that allows Golden State to retain Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston if it spends.
Is this a problem for the NBA? Commissioner Adam Silver has given simplistic responses about making other teams better, and TV ratings were up for the finals. But Silver previously said the perception of overwhelming favorites was bad for the league, and betting odds reflect perception.
Maybe people will just appreciate greatness, but if the Warriors become too predictable, it’s hard to see sustained interest.