Warriors-Kings Playoff Odds Making Betting History

Warriors-Kings Playoff Odds Making Betting History article feature image
Credit:

Via Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors looks to drive past Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center on April 07, 2023 in Sacramento, California.

The Warriors' NBA Playoffs resume under Steve Kerr pretty much speaks for itself:

  • 4 NBA titles
  • 22-2 series record (favored in all 24 series)
  • Won road game in all 24 series (37-23 SU, 34-25-1 ATS)

So when series odds came out Sunday into Monday this week and everyone got their first glance at the series odds for the 6 seed Warriors facing the upstart 3 seed Sacramento Kings — it became a story right away.

The 6 seed Warriors are -300 on the series price to beat the 3 seed Kings (+230) in the first round.

Since 1990, no top-3 seed has been this big of a series underdog .. by a wide margin. pic.twitter.com/JaKhWc9k91

— Evan Abrams (@EvanHAbrams) April 10, 2023

As of now, the Warriors are -275 series favorites over the Kings, who are +210 to knock off the defending champs. Yesterday, the Warriors were as high as -300.

Looking back in history, the first question I asked myself was "have we ever seen a top-3 seed this big of an underdog?"

Going back to 1990, no top-3 seed has closed with a series price above +160 in the first round of the playoffs.

Highest NBA Series Odds — Top-3 Seed Since 1990

2023 (3) Kings: +210 vs. (6) Warriors

2015 (3) Clippers: +160 vs. (6) Spurs — Clippers won series, 4-3

2021 (2) Suns: +155 vs. (7) Lakers — Suns won series, 4-2

2019 (3) Blazers: +145 vs. (6) Thunder — Blazers won series, 4-1

2006 (3) Nuggets: +145 vs. (6) Clippers — Clippers won series, 4-1

2021 (3) Nuggets: +110 vs. (6) Blazers — Nuggets won series, 4-2

2014 (3) Raptors: +110 vs. (6) Nets — Nets won series, 4-3

2005 (3) Sonics: +100 vs. (6) Kings — Sonics won series, 4-1

Looking at the results of the seven previous series where the better seed was listed as a series underdog in the first round of the playoffs, the series underdog went 5-2.

The two biggest underdogs prior to the 2023 Kings, were the 2015 Clippers against the 6 seed Spurs and the 2021 Suns facing LeBron James and the Lakers. Both underdogs went on to win the series.

The 2015 Clippers ended up losing in seven games to the Rockets in the next round, while the 2021 Suns made it all the way to the NBA Finals and led 2-0 in the series before falling in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The difference in 2023 vs. previous years in this spot is most likely the resume of the team listed as the big favorite. The 2023 Warriors have won four titles, and their core is healthy, here and ready to play a young Kings team.

  • The 2015 Spurs team was Tim Duncan's penultimate run, plus they were the defending champs. Maybe a bit too much respect? Also ironic Kawhi Leonard was on the Spurs and lost to the Clippers.
  • 2021 Lakers were also the defending champs and were up 2-1 in the series before Anthony Davis got hurt, and they ended up losing in six games.
  • 2019 Thunder had some expectations, but overall they were just ousted in the playoffs in five games due to Damian Lillard and this absurdity.

🗓️ April 23, 2019: 1 year ago today…

OKC Thunder vs. POR Trail Blazers (-4 | O/U: 222.5)

DAME TIME ⏰

Damian Lillard (50 PTS) calls series from the parking lot and waves bye to the Thunder 🔥 👋 pic.twitter.com/yhJ9SFpa2s

— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 23, 2020

  • The 2006 Clippers were the first team on the list to actually win the series as a 6 seed over a 3. It was the Clippers' first series win since moving to California in 1978.
  • The 2021 Blazers were Portland's last playoff appearance and led to Terry Stotts being fired at the end of the season. Portland actually won Game 1 and was even tied 2-2 in the series before losing in six games.
  • 2014 Nets beat the Raptors in seven games, becoming the second 6 seed in this list to advance to the next round. At the time, the Nets had Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and company, which led to them being the favorites in the series with a worse seed. Nets ended up losing in the next round to the defending champion Heat.
  • Finally, the 2005 Kings may have been the most unique team as they traded away a ton of their top players. Doug Christie was traded to the Orlando Magic for Cuttino Mobley in January, All-Star forward Chris Webber was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers for Kenny Thomas and former Kings forward Corliss Williamson in February. They still finished second in the Pacific Division and ended up losing to Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and the Sonics in five games.

Historical odds history via Sports Odds History

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