Crown ’em Already! Bookies See Golden State as Favorites Against Entire Field for NBA Title

Kevin Durant #35 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors pose during a media shoot at the Warriors Practice Facility on September 26, 2016 in Oakland, California

Vegas sees the Golden State Warriors as the favorite against the field to win the NBA championship.

The Warriors set an NBA record by winning 73 games last season. They got better in the offseason by signing 2013-14 MVP Kevin Durant, the best available (Was LeBron James ever really available?) player in free agency. The powerhouse team gives them not just the best shot to win it in the eyes of bookies, but makes the combined 29 other teams underdogs against the Warriors for the NBA title.

A $150 bet on the Warriors to win the NBA championship pays out only $100. The stacked Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls of the mid-1990s won the imprimatur of the bookies in a similar way. But it’s unusual for oddsmakers in any sport to say that a single team sees a better chance of winning a title in the upcoming season than every other team combined.

Here are the odds from

Golden State Warriors 2/3
Cleveland Cavaliers 13/4
San Antonio Spurs 11/1
Boston Celtics 25/1
Los Angeles Clippers 35/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 70/1
Toronto Raptors 75/1
Memphis Grizzlies 80/1
Chicago Bulls 85/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 85/1
Atlanta Hawks 100/1
Indiana Pacers 100/1
New York Knicks 100/1
Portland Blazers 125/1
Utah Jazz 125/1
Detroit Pistons 150/1
Miami Heat 150/1
Milwaukee Bucks 150/1
New Orleans Pelicans 150/1
Washington Wizards 150/1
Houston Rockets 200/1
Orlando Magic 200/1
Dallas Mavericks 400/1
Charlotte Hornets 500/1
Denver Nuggets 500/1
Los Angeles Lakers 500/1
Philadelphia 76ers 500/1
Sacramento Kings 500/1
Brooklyn Nets 1250/1
Phoenix Suns 1250/1

Oddsmakers set the win total for the greatest team that never played a game at 66.5. So, the Warriors merely need to win 67 games, six less than last season but still more than all but a handful of teams in league history, for their backers to win their bets here.

The NBA season, a perfunctory exercise in the eyes of many degenerate gamblers, tips off Tuesday night with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the revamped New York Knicks, the the Utah Jazz traveling to Portland to face the Trail Blazers, and the Golden State Warriors opening at home against the San Antonio Spurs, one of nine teams to beat them during their historic regular-season run in 2015-2016.