The past two seasons weren’t kind to the Golden State Warriors.
They struggled badly through injuries in 2019-20, going 15-50. They were OK last season but lost in the play-in tournament to the Los Angeles Lakers. The glory days seemed to be over.
Then this season started and the Warriors became the best team in the NBA. The Warriors take their NBA-best 29-7 record to Dallas for a game on ESPN against the Mavericks. The Warriors are 6.5-point favorites at BetMGM.
Golden State's revival is reflected in the BetMGM future odds. The Warriors have the second-best odds to win the NBA championship behind the star-filled Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are +250 to win it all and the Warriors are +450. Steph Curry is the favorite to win NBA MVP at +120 odds.
Curry is having a great season and he's the headline for the Warriors' big season. But he has a lot of help. Draymond Green isn't scoring much but he's doing everything else, especially on defense. The Warriors are known for starting the 3-point revolution across basketball, but they're the best defensive team in the NBA this season.
The Warriors hit big in the draft on Jordan Poole, who is averaging 18.1 points per game. Andrew Wiggins has been playing perhaps the best ball of his career and is averaging 19.1 points per game. The Warriors are really deep and all the pieces seem to fit perfectly. It's a testament to Steve Kerr's coaching. And to think, five-time All-Star Klay Thompson is expected to return from injury Sunday.
The Mavericks aren't bad, especially now that Luka Doncic is back from the COVID-19 protocols. They have won three in a row. Perhaps it's tempting to take them getting plenty of points as a home underdog, especially on a night in which Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki will have his number retired. But do you want to fade the Warriors right now?
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
What else is on the NBA slate?
There are 11 games in the NBA, including two more top teams in the West in the second game of ESPN's doubleheader. The Utah Jazz play at the Denver Nuggets, with the Jazz as 4.5-point favorites. The Jazz and Nets are tied for the NBA's best road record at 13-3 this season. Utah's excellent play on the road makes them an even stronger contender to make a deep playoff run.
Perhaps the most fun game on the slate is the Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings. The Kings, who played the Los Angeles Lakers tough on Tuesday night before taking a late loss, are 1.5-point favorites. Hawks star Trae Young is coming off a career-high 56 points on Monday. This game has the highest total on the board at 229.5.
How about college basketball?
With conference play in full swing, we're getting some fun matchups most nights in the college game. Alabama at Florida is probably the highlight of the schedule, with the Gators as 1.5-point favorites. The SEC could have the best title race in college basketball this season and we'll see plenty of good games between the top teams.
Overall there are six games involving top-25 teams. The only game with two top-25 teams is No. 11 Iowa State hosting No. 25 Texas Tech. Iowa State is a 2.5-point favorite.
What's the best bet?
Always look first to the home team in college basketball. That's what I'll be doing with Iowa State. Texas Tech has been very good, especially on defense, but Iowa State has been a big surprise and Hilton Coliseum is always a great home-court advantage.