- The Warriors are sporting their shortest NBA Championship odds of the season at Bovada
- Golden State has now lost back-to-back games for the first time since February 28th
- Is the Warriors’ title defense in legitimate jeopardy?
It took 92 games and nearly seven months, but the oddsmakers at Bovada seem to be losing faith in the Warriors. Golden State’s 2019 NBA Championship odds have slipped from -165 on May 6th to -120 today at the online sportsbook.
Steve Kerr’s squad remain the odds-on favorite to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy this June, but their present odds are the shortest they’ve been since winning their second consecutive championship in 2018.
2019 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||2019 NBA Championship Odds at Bovada|
|Golden State Warriors||-120|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+3300|
*Odds taken 05/07/19
Golden State’s Flaws Were Exposed in Houston
The Warriors looked more like chumps than champs during their two games in Houston. Golden State lost Game 3 by five points as they allowed themselves to be pushed around. Their overtime collapse, in which they were held to just two field goals, showed a genuine lack of heart and hustle.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 5, 2019
Game 4 followed a similar script as Houston continued to play physically. Their refusal to concede open shots and willingness to crash the boards resulted in a 112-108 win.
Rockets-Warriors Game 4 was physical from start to finish 😳 pic.twitter.com/jR8Kkez7qJ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 7, 2019
Kerr applauded the Rockets afterwards for playing to their strengths – both literally and figuratively. “They’ve got a lot of middle linebackers on that team,” he said. “They’re sturdy and we’re like volleyball players, long and lean … everybody tries to be physical with us because they should. That’s the best way to try to beat us.”
Curry Has Lost His Touch
A big factor in Golden State’s slide has been the inefficiency of Steph Curry, who hasn’t been the same player since dislocating the middle finger on his left hand in Game 2. The two-time MVP has shot just 39% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc over his past three games. He refuses to make any excuses, but it’s clear that his wonky digit is adversely effecting his touch.
— Stadium (@Stadium) May 6, 2019
Iguodala Came Up Lame in Game 4
Already down a man since the opening round, the Warriors could be short another starter following an injury to Andre Iguodala. The former Finals MVP is dealing with a hyperextended left knee after Rockets guard Chris Paul appeared to undercut him with 10 seconds remaining in Game 4.
Weird knee injury for Andre Iguodala. Looks like Chris Paul clipped his left knee from behind and from the outside. Guessing it won’t keep him out but obviously it’s not optimal. pic.twitter.com/zquOCNkbEd
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) May 7, 2019
Losing Iguodala would be a huge blow to Golden State’s championship defense as the versatile swingman has been averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and three assists in the second-round. The Warriors are at their best when Iggy is on the court thanks to his exceptional court-spacing and aggressive help defense.
Golden State Has Been Unable to Match PJ Tucker’s Energy
James Harden may be Houston’s star, but PJ Tucker is the team’s heart and soul. The undersized grinder has kept the Warriors on their heels all series with his relentless hustle and balls-to-the-wall energy.
Much like Patrick Beverly in Round 1, Tucker has proven that the Warriors can be consistently outworked.
Tucker led both teams in rebounding in Game 3, despite being generously listed as 6’6″, and he recorded a huge 17-10 double-double in Game 4. Much like Patrick Beverly in Round 1, Tucker has proven that the Warriors can be consistently outworked.
The Warriors Look Vulnerable
We shouldn’t be shocked that the Warriors are struggling in the playoffs after their uneven regular season. Golden State lost seven games by 20 points or more in 2018-19 and spent weeks seemingly sleepwalking through contests against inferior competition.
Losing two games to the Clippers should have been a wake up call, but the Warriors continue to play with a cool detachment that has led to their first back-to-back losses since February 28th.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 7, 2019
If you’re looking for a better return on your investment, we recommend the Bucks. Milwaukee steamrolled Detroit in their first round sweep and has dominated Boston in their last three wins, averaging 119.6 points per outing. The Bucks are the only playoff team ranked in the top three in offensive rating, defensive rating, and net rating and they appear to be gelling at the right time.
There’s still work to be done, but Milwaukee looks like the one team that’s actually playing like a champion. Take a flier on them now before their +300 odds get any shorter.