The Golden State Warriors were worthy winners of the NBA Championship in the 2014-15 season given that they had the best regular season record of any side in the NBA, winning 67 and losing only 15 games. But can they keep their momentum as the 2015-16 season begins and will they live up to the bookies’ betting odds of just 4/9 in the Pacific Division outright winner betting market? Read on as we bring you our predictions and betting tips and we give you our opinion on which team will finish at the top of the Pacific Division.
When taking a look at our live betting odds comparison table for the Pacific Division outright winner, you would be forgiven for thinking this is a one-horse race. But is there any value in backing Golden State to top the division, or can one of the other teams step up to the plate and give the NBA champions a serious run for their money?
The only other side to make it through to the playoffs last season was the Los Angeles Clippers, and indeed they are the only team we give even a sniff of a hope of finishing above the Warriors. With a very respectable 56-26 record (the same as the Houston Rockets), the Clippers certainly earned their place in the playoffs, and when they got the better of the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, many pundits were predicting they could go all the way. A narrow 4-3 defeat to the Rockets followed in the semifinals, however, leaving Clippers fans dreaming of what might have been and their players distraught.
That defeat might actually have done the Clippers side some good, as counterintuitive as that statement might appear. Having got themselves into a position where they could almost taste the Conference Finals, they blew it. But that experience could make them more determined this season and given that the pressure is all on the Warriors in the Pacific Division, we wouldn’t be too surprised if the champions got off to a less-than-impressive start and if the Clippers stole a march. The Clippers won the division in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and if you think they can do so again you can back them at decent betting odds of 5/2 with Sky Bet, which is the value pick if Golden State do stutter.
Of course, there is every chance that Golden State won’t stutter, and given that – as mentioned – they cruised to a highly impressive 67-15 record last season, it would certainly not be the biggest shock in the world if the champions lived up to their billing and topped the Pacific Division again. The question is, do the betting odds of just 4/9 with Bet365 in the outright winner market offer real value? Well, in our opinion, that price is definitely worth snapping up before the season gets underway and the Warriors continue where they left off.
With Stephen Curry scoring almost 2,000 points last season – with a field goal percentage approaching 50% - and Klay Thompson not far behind with 1,668 points to his name, the Warriors have the capacity to blow teams away. With a 13-3 divisional record last season, even a rejuvenated Clippers side will be unlikely to get near them unless they have a disastrous hangover from the NBA Championship victory, but we can’t really see it, so our betting tip here is simply to back the favourites to top the division.Google+