The Golden State Warriors are already the owners of the best start to a season in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and now Las Vegas and bookmakers around the world are starting to wonder if they can break the all-time season-long record set by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls.
Led by Michael Jordan and complimented by Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr and Dennis Rodman, the Bulls went 72-10 during that season, a mark that hasn’t even come close to being overtaken, until now.
The defending champion Warriors are 23-0 so far this year, five games clear of any other team in the NBA.
Assuming injuries don’t get in the way, many analysts are now finally coming to terms that 2015-2016 might include a record-setting performance from the team out west.
Breaking the mark set by Jordan has long been considered an impossible feat, but the man from Davidson College is looking to change that.
MVP Steph Curry isn’t just leading his team in dominating one team after another; he’s also leading the NBA in scoring with over 32 points per game. Paired with his wingman Klay Thompson, affectionately known as the “Splash Brothers,” Curry’s squad seems unbeatable.
“Who knows?” Curry said recently. “Nobody thought we could start 19-0. Why not keep it going?”
The odds at sports books have tightened recently, so much that betting on the Warriors to break the Bulls’ mark won’t make you rich.
In fact, the betting opportunity is about even money.
The Westgate sportsbook has the Warriors +130 to win 73 or more games, and -150 to win 72 or less.
That means a $100 wager on Golden State breaking the record would award the bettor $130, a net profit of just $30.
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is keeping it simpler for its customers, listing the odds to win 73 games at 5/6 and not to win 73 at 5/6. A $100 wager in that scenario would return $183.
LeBron & Cavs Struggling
While everything is swell for the Warriors, LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers have are swollen with injuries. The team has started its journey back to the NBA Finals without star point guard Kyrie Irving, and starter Iman Shumpert has also missed the entire season to date.
Still, the Cavs are 14-7, good for first in the Eastern Conference. In Vegas, Cleveland remains the favorite to win the NBA title behind only the Warriors.
Due to the East’s relatively weaker makeup than the West, the Cavs are expected to cruise through the playoffs should they be healthy for a rematch against Golden State.
Odds to win the 2015-16 NBA Finals
Golden State Warriors 7/5
Cleveland Cavaliers 7/2
If the Cavs get healthy, those odds might be more appealing than the near even money being offered on the Warriors’ season-long chances. But for now, the gamble to witness history is too appealing for many in Vegas.
“The Warriors are an exciting team,” Westgate oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told the Review-Journal. “People like their style of play … so they just want to go with this team rather than against it.”