NBA Betting: Future bets to make, avoid on the Warriors

ByEric Moody ESPN logo
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

We live in a sports world where Father Time is undefeated, but many can be quick to close the door on certain players or teams and move on to the next thing when they reach a certain age or face a few bumps in the road.

Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and head coach Steve Kerr have accomplished so much statistically over the last decade, including four NBA championships but might be overlooked this season. Some of it may be due to the numerous challenges the team has faced this season including multiple injuries, Green's indefinite suspension, Andrew Wiggins' regression and the death of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic. However, this Warriors team appears motivated and is building momentum. There is a strong possibility they will go on a run and make the playoffs.

Golden State has won five straight games, boasts a 26-25 record, and is currently 10th in the Western Conference heading into a showdown against theLA Clippers on Wednesday night (10 p.m. ET on ESPN). The Warriors also rank 11th in offensive rating and 18th in defensive rating. This break came at a perfect time for the Warriors, being a veteran team, as they'll go full steam ahead for the rest of the season to try to close the gap with other teams in the Western Conference. History is on their side when you look at teams with a similar profile to the Warriors over the last 20 seasons.

What should you be betting on this team?

Golden State Warriors to Make Playoffs (+120) -- Absolutely

The Warriors have made the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons and should do it again this year. The two seasons Golden State failed to qualify for the postseason was back in 2019-2020. I wouldn't bet against Curry and this Warriors team making the playoffs.

Stephen CurryMVP (+50000) -- Pass

Although Curry has had his ups and downs this season, he has been phenomenal. He's averaged 28.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.9 APG while playing an average of 33.4 MPG. Curry maintains a usage rate of 31.3%. Also, he has been lethal from beyond the arc this season. As Curry turns 36 next month, he remains one of the league's best players and was recently named to his 10th All-Star game. With two regular season MVP Awards to his name, we are accustomed to watching him perform at an elite level. However, other players with better odds are also in the midst of magical seasons, such as Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic.

Jonathan Kuminga for Most Improved Player (+9000) -- Yes

Kuminga's ability to aggressively attack the rim has added a new dimension to a Warriors' team that has relied heavily on outside shooting in recent years. He has been particularly impressive over the past 13 games, has averaged 22.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 32.9 MPG. The only other person to average more PPG and have a higher usage rate than Kuminga over that time frame is Curry.

Small forwards and power forwards have won the award a high percentage of the past 20 seasons. When it comes to MIP winners, the standard for statistical improvement has remained steady during the past two decades; 19 of the last 20 winners saw their points per game increase by at least five points as well as an increase in their rebounds per game. Eighteen of the 20 winners also increased their assists per game. Kuminga meets these criteria.

The MIP winners' teams have averaged 45 wins over the past six years, so being on a competitive team is also important.