Warriors’ NBA Title Odds Fall After DeMarcus Cousins Quad Injury

Warriors’ NBA Title Odds Fall After DeMarcus Cousins Quad Injury article feature image
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Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DeMarcus Cousins

  • Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins went down last night with a non-contact injury and may be out for the remainder of the playoffs.
  • As a result, the Warriors' NBA title odds have shifted down this morning from -225 to -180 at Westgate.

If you want to bet the Warriors to win the title, now might be your time.

Starting center DeMarcus Cousins went down with a non-contact injury last night against the Clippers, and reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski are that the two-time defending champions fear he is done for the rest of the season with a quad tear. An MRI Tuesday confirmed the diagnosis.

To add insult to injury, the Warriors fell apart last night, squandering a 31-point lead to the 8-seed Clippers and eventually losing the game, 135-131. Kevin Durant fouled out after going into ISO mode at the end of the game and racking up offensive fouls, and the overall scene in the locker room afterward didn’t sound very positive:

As a result, the Warriors have moved from -225 odds to the win title at Westgate yesterday before the game to -180 currently. A $180 bet would win $100.

Again, this could be bettors’ time to buy the two-time defending champs. There have been other locker room kerfuffles even earlier this year, and over time they didn’t seem to affect the trajectory of this team.

It’s also unclear that Cousins’ absence really affects their on-court projections. With him on the court, the Dubs have actually been 3.8 points per 100 possessions worse than with him on. They’ve been 7.3/100 worse specifically on offense, as Cousins’ high 28.4% usage rate likely isn’t optimal in a lineup with Stephen Curry, Durant and Klay Thompson.

The Warriors’ best lineup this season, no surprise, has been the Hamptons 5 group, with Draymond Green playing center and Andre Iguodala at the wing alongside Durant. That unit has outscored teams by 32.0 points/100, albeit in limited minutes — something that could change if needed in the playoffs.

Even without Iggy on the court, however, they’ve been just fine. Their most-used lineup this season — due to Cousins playing just half the year — has been the four main guys plus Kevon Looney at center. That lineup, in a big sample of 675 possessions together, has blitzed teams for a +18.7 Net Rating.

The Warriors have plenty of options. Ah yes, the benefits of having a superteam.

Their true title odds likely shouldn’t change much with Boogie out, and it’s possible that after a strong showing against an undermatched Clippers team in Game 3 that they’ll be back in the -200 range. Public perception has dropped this line, so if you want to buy them before a possible Rockets matchup, now is the time.

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