Whatever doubts Draymond Green and Stephen Curry use to motivate them fourth NBA title since 2015 Thursday night certainly didn’t come from the trading floors of most sportsbooks.
“Last year I tried to play aggressively low with them, and now it’s even more true,” said Las Vegas Superbook NBA analyst Jeff Sherman.
Sherman selected the Golden State Warriors in the 8/1 preseason to win the title this year, and that mission was accomplished on Boston’s hardwood floor. Curry scored 34 points in series-sealing, 103-90 Win Game 6.
This time around, Sherman made the Warriors the 6/1 favorite to win the NBA title next year, with the Los Angeles Clippers (7/1) and a returning Celtics finalist, even Eastern Conference rivals Milwaukee and Brooklyn. both with 8/1. .
Bookmaker Tipico on Friday named the Warriors a +480 favorite, followed by Boston at +600, Brooklyn at +650 and the Clippers at +700.
A Caesars Sportsbook player from Colorado bet $10,000 on a Warriors repeat before the NBA Finals even started.
“Waiting for (Golden State betting) ring win support, combination of these three stalwarts (Curry, Green and Klay Thompson), new, young core (including Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins), return (of) James Wiseman (2nd overall 2020) got hurt with an injury, this team has the potential to improve on what it has just achieved,” Sherman said.
While LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers remain respected 20/1 players after appointing a new coach in Darwin Ham and positioning for unknown free agents, the rival Clippers are second on the Superbook rankings largely due to the upcoming Return 2019 NBA champion Kawhi Leonard suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that prevented him from playing last season.
“Putting them there[at 7/1]feels the same as I did at Golden State last year…the support for them will be there,” Sherman said.
While Leonard has been eager to play if the Clippers last another round of the playoffs, he’s already full on off-season training and is expected to be in top form for the first tip of the regular season.
The Clippers’ acquisition of forwards Norman Powell and Robert Covington to boost head coach Tai Liu’s scoring and defense, respectively, confirms the team received a boosted lead from Paul George and Reggie Jackson last season.
“All the details are in place,” Sherman said.
Sherman leans towards Boston as the best of the three 8/1 options.
“You saw how close they were to going up 3-1 in this last series,” he said, recalling that the Bucks are on watch-and-go for Chris Middleton’s health (knee) after he missed Game 7 against Boston and that Brooklyn too will see if Ben Simmons’ integration catches on.
“We’ll see what (Simmons, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) do as a unit. There was no reason to overestimate them,” Sherman said.
However, Caesars bettors are unimpressed, dropping last year’s preseason favorite and making it the 11th most popular ticket to the NBA’s future.
The former No. 1 seed in the Phoenix Suns Western Conference has already dropped from 10/1 to 12/1 after a 123-90 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks (15/1 at Tipico) in the Western Conference Semifinals.
“The perception of them…there is a bad taste of how they went out, how they were beaten at home, and there is the question of what is happening with DeAndre Ayton (center free agent),” Sherman said. “I don’t see people running to the windows on them.”
However, one Superbook bettor did run to the returning Eastern Conference No. 1 seed Miami Heat, placing a $10,000 bet on the Jimmy Butler-led team with a 14/1 record. Superbook then downgraded Miami to 12/1 and Tipico to 13/1.
“They are said to be aggressive and the fact that they were so close (lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals) probably means they are not going to rest on their laurels with Pat Riley and (coach) Eric Spoelstra – Sherman. said.
It’s possible the Heat will get Jazz quarterback Donovan Mitchell.
Superbook has taken some bold action against the Philadelphia 76ers, dropping them to 14/1 just ahead of drastically improved 15/1 Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets who are rehabilitating quarterback Jamal Murray from injury.
While the 20/1 Lakers will ponder how much they will spend to change their roster, there is a deep chasm between them and the next group, which includes returning playoff runners Utah and New Orleans (40/1) and Toronto and Minnesota. (50/1). followed by the Chicago Bulls (60/1) and the Atlanta Hawks (80/1).
Sherman likes the odds for Denver and Dallas, and said New Orleans is “on an upward trajectory” given former No. 1 pick Zion Williamson’s upcoming return.
In terms of the effect of Thursday’s NBA draft, Typico listed Auburn power forward Jabari Smith Jr. as the -160 favorite to become the Orlando Magic’s first pick, and Gonzaga’s 7-foot center Chet Holmgren, the +125 second pick obviously headed to Oklahoma. City, Sherman calls him “unfortunate.”
“The draft won’t affect the odds in any way,” Sherman said, with Tipico picking the Magic and Thunder 500/1. “None of these top drafted teams are going to move…these numbers were made in anticipation of the draft.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Golden State Warriors named favorites for 2023 NBA championship