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The Lede: How the West was Won

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By Katie Haugland (Flickr: Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story, and how it impacts the way you should bet. Miss yesterday’s? See it here.

San Antonio Takes the Top Spot in the West from Golden State

After a victory over the Atlanta Hawks last night, the San Antonio Spurs have officially taken over the top seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs and Warriors have identical 52-14 records, but San Antonio clinched the tiebreaker by beating Golden State’s reserves on Saturday night. The two will meet one more time (March 29) before the regular season concludes.

Does seeding really matter? Should you start worrying about that Golden State NBA Title future bet you made back in September? Yes, you absolutely should. Without Kevin Durant, the Warriors look like a team that may not even get out of the first-round. Steph Curry and co. are 5-5 in their last ten, with losses to the lowly Bulls and Timberwolves in that time. Fortunately, Kevin Durant is likely to return in time for the playoffs. But how effective will he be?

Even if Durant does return and lifts his team back to championship contention, they have likely forfeited home-court advantage to San Antonio. On top of another game with the Spurs, the Warriors also have to play the Rockets twice, as well as the Grizzlies and Thunder once down the stretch. At this point, just about anyone looks like they can play with the Warriors. This is problematic for Golden State, as they are 26-10 on the road this season, versus 26-4 at home. The back-to-back Western Conference champs also sent a message on Saturday when they rested all their stars: they are scared of the Spurs. Steve Kerr knew his team was going to lose, and chose to protect them from another embarrassing defeat.

I wouldn’t be laying any future money on the Warriors right now. And if you’ve waited this long to jump on San Antonio, you’ve lost a ton of value.

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