The Golden State Warriors are going through their worst spell in years as they are 5-5 in their past 10 games and on a three-game losing streak. After going 146 games without suffering back-to-back defeats, it has happened twice this month. The downturn in form has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant to injury, and suddenly the Warriors have gone from near certainties to win the NBA Championships to a team in real trouble. It has blown the battle to win the Western Conference wide open and the NBA is looking more unpredictable and exciting than it has all season.
Golden State finished the 2015 regular season with a win percentage of .817, the seventh best record in NBA history. Last season they finished on .890, breaking the Chicago Bulls’ 20-year record to post the best regular season stats of all time. They looked like putting in another record-shattering season this time around, but the wheels have really come off this month. They are now down at .788, well below their levels of the previous two years, as they have lost half of their last 10 games. That seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago, and it shows how much they have relied on Durant this season.
As the Warriors have faltered, the San Antonio Spurs have continued to be sensational. They are 9-1 in their last 10 games, they are now .785 and if they win their game in hand they will have an identical record to Golden State. The momentum is with them and they are now likely to claim top seed in the west. The 4/1 Paddy Power and 888 Sport are offering on the Spurs to win the Western Conference suddenly looks really interesting. It could even open the door for the Houston Rockets (12/1 with William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral), who are led by MVP frontrunner James Harden, scoring of 30-plus points in three of his last four games.
Golden State seemed invincible, but their recent struggles have made things a lot more interesting in futures betting. They have gone out to 5/6, and interest is building on the Cleveland Cavaliers (14/5 with Bet365) and the Spurs (7/1 with 888 Sport). The Cavs are defending champions but have lost three straight too and have been horribly inconsistent all season. They have the best record in the east, at .672, but that record would leave them down in fourth if they were in the west, below the Warriors, Spurs and Rockets. They may be saving themselves for the playoffs, but these are worrying signs.
An interesting long shot from the east could be the Washington Wizards. They are 7-3 in their last 10 and on a five-game winning streak. They are second in the standings and could soon overhaul the Cavs for top seed if things continue in this vein. They have all the momentum after starting the season at 2-8 and turning it around to leave them 42-24. It has been a remarkable improvement, and they are in with a chance, so 33/1 at Bet Victor, Paddy Power and Boyle Sports looks great.
On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers travel to California to face an out of sorts Golden State. Philadelphia has the best record in spread betting this season, and backing them to beat the spread here looks a good idea. On Thursday, the Spurs host in-form Portland and should put an end to the Trail Blazers’ streak by winning comfortably. On Friday, the Wizards host the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics are in Brooklyn to play the Nets. Boston and Washington are the form teams of the east and should both win against poor opposition, so that might make a nice double.