The Golden State Warriors won 67 regular season games last year en route to one of the most impressive title runs in NBA history. However, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, the Warriors are not the best bet to win the championship in 2015-16.
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In the latest update from VegasInsider.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites at 5-2, followed by the San Antonio Spurs at 19-5. Golden State has the third-best odds at 13-2. Similarly, Bovada.com lists the Cavs at +275, the Spurs at +300 and the Warriors at +500.
Reigning MVP Stephen Curry is currently in Las Vegas with Team USA, along with Golden State teammates Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes. Via CBS Sports NBA Insider Ken Berger, Curry said on Wednesday that he finds it “funny” his club isn’t expected to repeat (although it’s worth noting Berger says he brought up the topic, not Curry):
"We obviously are the champs, and you’ve got to think that we’re gonna be a better team next year with our experiences that we’ve had, and we’re not the favorites. Obviously there’s been a lot of noise, teams retooling and trying to boost their lineups. You have teams that haven’t set foot on the floor yet and are heavily favored to kick us off our throne.We obviously know what’s going on. And it’s up to us to keep our momentum that we built."
Curry makes a good point–the champs should get respect. But the Spurs added LaMarcus Aldridge, and the last time I checked the Cavs still have a guy by the name of LeBron James. And as Berger points out, the Warriors’ offseason has been quiet, which leaves them out of the spotlight for the time being.
It’s also important to remember that betting odds don’t actually reflect a team’s perceived chances of winning it all, but rather what the public is expected to wager money on. People are going to lay down cash on the revamped Spurs and the world’s undisputed best player, so the numbers must take that into consideration.
Regardless, this can only help Curry and the Warriors, who now have a little extra motivation for their title defense.
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