NBA betting: Are the Warriors a good bet to make the playoffs?

ByTyler Fulghum ESPN logo
Saturday, March 16, 2024

The Golden State Warriors have been a Western Conference playoff mainstay for more than a decade. We're talking about a franchise that has qualified for the playoffs in 10 of the past 12 seasons, winning four NBA titles in the process.

Yes, they had a two-year blip from 2019-21, but injuries played a massive part. Stephen Curry only played five games in the 2019-20 season and Klay Thompson didn't suit up for a single game in either of those seasons.

This year, however, the Big 3 of Golden State (Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green) have largely been healthy. Chris Paul certainly hasn't, and Green has missed games due to his antics, but age and deteriorating skills may finally be catching up with this core group.

Should you bet them to make the playoffs?

"Yes" is a +140 proposition, while the "No" is a -180 prop

I can't advise betting the Yes. The Warriors currently sit 10th in the West. They're only a game behind the Lakers in the ninth spot, and 4.0 games removed from the Kings in the 6th spot. However, the Suns and Mavs also sit between them and qualifying as one of the top-8 seeds.

Never say never with Curry, who has been out since injuring his ankle March 7 and expected to return Saturday against the Lakers, but I'm not sure they're going to be able to win back-to-back Playoff Play-In games against some combination of these five teams: Pelicans, Suns, Kings, Mavs, Lakers. They currently sport a 5-8 record against this group of teams.

I don't see them getting hot enough, either, to jump into one of the top two spots for the play-in, which would require just one win to qualify for the playoffs. The Warriors' matchup against the Lakers could be a preview of the playoff play-in. The Lakers are playing some of their best ball of the season, including wins this month against the Thunder, Bucks and Timberwolves.

They also were responsible for ending Golden State's playoff run a season ago. I'd bet they do the same thing this year as well.