The Golden State Warriors are not even a month removed from winning the 2017 NBA title, but preparations for the 2017-18 season are well underway. The draft and the bulk of free agency are a wrap. The Warriors retained their entire core of players, and added Nick Young to an already deep bench. Things are looking good for the Bay Area’s basketball team.
On Wednesday, oddsmakers began releasing win total bets for the NBA. BetOnline has installed the Warriors win total at 67.5. A year ago, after signing Kevin Durant, they were installed at 66.5. Given their success in spite of Durant missing regular season time, it is not surprising to see them get the slight bump.
The release of the win total got me thinking back to a couple years ago. In November 2015, the Warriors had jumped out to a 16-0 start to the regular season. At the time, time San Francisco 49ers were 3-7, and looking at their first double digit loss season since 2010. I approached the fine folks at Bovada, and we created a prop bet. The NBA record for wins was 72-10, and with the 49ers looking at double digit losses, and the Warriors threatening the Chicago Bulls record, we set up a wager of who would finish with more regular season losses. The Warriors were installed as the favorites at -300, with the 49ers at +200. The 49ers ended up being the winning bet, going 5-11 while the Warriors finished 73-9.
Last year, the Warriors win total was 66.5, while the 49ers win total was 5.5. We didn’t get the wager created again, but the final result was close again. The 49ers finished the season 2-14, while the Warriors regular season record was 67-15. One loss away!
As the 49ers and Warriors prepare for their upcoming seasons, we’re back to ask once again, who will finish with more losses. The 49ers could improve considerably and go 7-9, and this Warriors team could still finish with fewer losses. This year, Steve Kerr was more comfortable resting players and forsaking a shot at their regular season wins record. They won 73 games during the 2015-2016 season, but came up short in the NBA Finals. This team is ridiculously stacked, but maybe they decide to lay off the gas for stretches during the regular season.
On the other side of it is how the 49ers may or may not do in 2017. Their win total is set at 4.5, but early wagering has been heavy on the OVER. It has reached the point where oddsmakers have adjusted the vig to give the OVER a notable edge (-150 vs. +120). If the 49ers can get over 4.5 wins, it puts things in play to finish with fewer losses than the Warriors.