The Golden State Warriors are an astonishing 56-6 through 62 regular season NBA games. On Monday night, they topped the Orlando Magic 119-113 for their 45th consecutive home win at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Led by last year’s NBA MVP Steph Curry, the Warriors have their eyes set not only on repeating as champs, but also claiming the regular season NBA record.
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls set the present mark of 72-10 during the 1995-96 season. That year the legend Air Jordan would go on to win his fourth of six NBA titles.
But through 62 games, the Bulls were 55-7, one game behind where the Warriors currently stand.
That means Curry and his fellow teammates must finish the season 16-4 to tie the Bulls, or 17-3 to establish a new NBA season record. According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, Golden State has a 36.3 percent chance of winning 73 games.
Loss Angeles Lakers
The Warriors seemed almost to be a lock to break the mark before Sunday’s game against the Los Angles Lakers. The Warriors were a game up on the ’95-96 Bulls and Chicago lost its 61st game.
The Warriors were expected to easily take down the lowly 12-51 Lakers. Instead, Curry and his “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson went cold, the duo shooting 13 of 40 including just one of 18 from the three-point line.
“I’m just as speechless as you are about tonight,” Lakers icon Kobe Bryant said afterwards.
According to Nevada sportsbooks, the upset was the biggest in the NBA since 1993 as the Warriors were favored by 17.5 points and lost by 17.
The defeat was certainly nothing short of extraordinary, but since the record Bulls team also lost their 61st game, the Warriors remained a game ahead in their quest for history.
However, should the Warriors fall short of beating or, at least, tying the Bulls’ record, the loss in Los Angeles will be cited as the most relevant footnote of the season.
Where Vegas Stands
The ESPN Power Index uses analytics to make predictions on game outcomes, meaning that 36.3 percent chance of the Warriors breaking the Bulls record isn’t to be taken lightly.
That being said, it might be more beneficial to look at where fans are putting their money.
Nevada sportsbooks opened lines on the Warriors potentially topping the Bulls’ mark in November as Golden State began the season by winning 24 straight contests. The initial odds still favored the Bulls retaining the top mark and the Warriors falling short.
Gradually, the odds shifted towards favoring the Warriors. That was until Sunday’s loss.
Westgate SuperBook Manager Jeff Sherman confirmed Tuesday that it’s now anyone’s guess.
Westgate’s latest odds of whether the Warriors will win 73 or more games is listed at Yes -110, No -110, meaning a correct $110 bet would return $100. Before the game against the Lakers, the odds were Yes -500, No +400.
What a difference a game can make.