The Golden State Warriors have been on an amazing run during the past four NBA seasons and counting. Three NBA titles in four years. They also lost the NBA Finals in 7 games in 2016. In other words, the Warriors are 5 points short of winning four straight titles. They’re favored to win their third straight and fourth in five years this season though there have been points during the campaign where the Warriors hardly looked like championship material. The reality, however, is that when Golden State plays focused and with energy they’re all but unbeatable.
Golden State’s success has not carried over to the betting window–at least not in the past couple of years. This is hardly a surprise. Their run of success has resulted in inflated pointspreads. The ability they have to extend leads into big margins when playing at their best also factors into this. Equally as important, with three titles in four years the Warriors have become the biggest ‘public’ team in the sport. In theory, you’ll get better line value almost every night by betting against Golden State than by backing them.
The Clippers, on the other hand, don’t have nor have they ever really have that aura. There was a brief time where they were a trendy team but that is definitely no longer the case. The public might not hate the Clippers the way they hated, say, the Phoenix Suns or Atlanta Hawks this season but they just don’t get the same amount of love from ‘squares’ that teams like Golden State or Boston do.
Despite a horrible stretch run which has the Clippers on a 2-6 ATS run they’ve been a very profitable betting proposition this season. They current sport a record of 47-38-1 against the spread for 55.29% or +5.2 units. This might not sound like much but it makes the Clippers the #6 most profitable team in the NBA in terms of units won. If you’re looking for the Warriors on the 2018-2019 NBA profit/loss table you’ll find them WAY down near the bottom. The Warriors are just 37-48-1 against the spread for a pitiful 43.53% or -15.8 units. The only teams that have lost more money for bettors this NBA season are the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. Even the miserable Phoenix Suns (-14.6 units) and Chicago Bulls (-14.5 units) were a better pointspread performer than the Warriors. The Cleveland Cavaliers (-10.3 units) look like a blue chip stock compared to Golden State’s pointspread performance.
Golden State has been at their worst from an ATS perspective on their home court at Oracle Arena where they’re 17-25 ATS this season for a -10.5 unit loss. Not that this is anything new–over the past two seasons, the Warriors are 38-54 ATS at home for a -21.4 unit loss. They’re on a 10-21-1 ATS run on their home floor and a 3-7 ATS run as a home favorite of 11 or more. As a favorite, they’re 33-45 -16.5 units. Head to head, the Clippers have covered 6 of the last 10 meetings and 5 of the last 8 at Oracle Arena. They’re also on a 6-2 ATS run as a road underdog of 11 or more and on a 9-4 ATS run following a SU loss. At this price, we don’t need a miracle performance out of the Clippers. Note the ‘inflation’ in the pointspread over the past few meetings between the Clippers and Warriors at Oracle Arena. On 12/23/18 and again on 4/7/19 the Warriors were -11 point favorites. In Game 1 of this series, they were -13.5 favorites and in Game 2 they were -14 point favorites. If the Clippers avoid a blowout we should cash this ticket.