Injuries to Star Guards Continue to Shift NBA Playoff Odds

March 27th, 2018


Injuries to Star Guards Continue to Shift NBA Playoff Odds

The Golden State Warriors have been the favorites to win the NBA Championship for the entirety of the 2017-‘18 season according to Betway, and still hold that designation. But a major recent injury to their leader and star point guard Stephen Curry has shifted their odds and brought their competition closer to striking distance.

Curry suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain Friday in a 106-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks when Warriors center Javale McGee crashed into his leg after attempting to defend a shot. In a painful twist of fate, the sprain came in Curry’s first game back for the Warriors after missing six contests with an injured ankle.

Coach Not Expecting Curry Back Soon

While Curry will be reevaluated in three weeks, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was not optimistic for a quick return placing a tentative timetable that completely ruled out at least the first round of the NBA Playoffs which begin in a few weeks:

“Oh, there’s no way he’s playing in the first round. There’s no way. So yeah, we have to be ready to play without him and see how he’s coming along. The good thing is, we’ve been through this. We should feel good about our ability to play through this stuff. We also know that Steph has a history of coming back strong from injuries. So there’s a good chance, if all goes well, he comes back during the playoffs at some point, we’re at full steam. So that’s the goal and that’s our plan.”

First-Round Opponent Could Challenge Warriors

Sitting firmly in second place in the Western Conference with 54 wins and 9 games left to play, Golden State’s position in the playoffs looks certain, but their opponent in the first round might not be clear until the final day of the season. If the playoffs started today the Warriors would play the upstart Utah Jazz (42-32) and rookie phenom Donovan Mitchell who defeated Curry-less Golden State 110-91 Sunday night.

The race for the spot right behind the Warriors, however, is close and far from over. The currently third-place Portland Trail Blazers (45-28) hold the lead, but five other teams (Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder) all have at least 42 wins putting them just three games back.

Obviously the matchup the Warriors eventually get will end up ultimately dictating the best prediction of whether they'll get through the first round, as they certainly would prefer to play some teams on that list rather than others. But the overall diagnosis remains that without their leader in Curry, an early exit looks more likely now than it has any time in the last two years.

Looking at Betway's online sportsbook, the Warriors still enjoy 21/20 odds of winning a second-straight NBA Championship but their challengers the Houston Rockets (7/4), Cleveland Cavaliers (8/1) and Toronto Raptors (17/2) are inching closer behind. Former NBA small forward/shooting guard and Warrior Stephen Jackson discussed Golden State's chances on a recent episode of Fox Sports’ Undisputed. Jackson admitted that if the Warriors “ever were vulnerable, they’re vulnerable now.”

Celtics Optimism Dwindling With Irving Out

In other NBA injury news, Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving suffered a major setback in his recovery from a knee issue that was aggravated on March 11 in a 99-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers. He since has undergone a “minimally invasive procedure” in order to remove a tension wire in his left knee that was inserted during a 2015 surgery that repaired a broken knee cap.

The setback specifically is an updated injury report that means Irving could be absent anywhere from the start of the playoffs through the second round. The news continues to tamper the excitement that started at the beginning of the season for Celtics fans. After putting together a new-look roster by trading for Irving and signing Gordon Hayward, Boston was a favorite to at least contend with Lebron James’ Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference crown and maybe even the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Hayward broke his leg six minutes into the first game of the season, however, and hasn’t returned. While rookie Jayson Tatum’s emergence in his place has been a huge spark for the Celtics, Kyrie’s injury troubles have put a serious damper on Boston’s hopes at an 18th title. Their official odds are listed on Betway at 9/1 to win the Atlantic Division behind the Raptors, 3/1 to come out of the Eastern Conference playoffs and 16/1 to win the whole thing.

Boston has a six-game cushion on the third-place Cavs and an easier schedule than the Raptors who have one of the hardest remaining slates in the league. With that in mind, they could conceivably still win the top seed in the Eastern Conference and thus improve their odds, but as of right now the main contenders for the NBA crown ahead of the Celtics are the Raptors, Cavaliers, Rockets and Warriors.

Betting News Articles

Against All Odds Las Vegas Now Favourites for Stanley Cup
Against All Odds Las Vegas Now Favourites for Stanley Cup

In their first ever season of existence, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have brought their own glitz and glam to tinsel town and kept the party going late. Later than anyone could’ve possibly imagined ... Read More

Gronkowski Buys Stake in Kentucky Derby Horse Named for Him
Gronkowski Buys Stake in Kentucky Derby Horse Named for Him

NFL superstar Rob Gronkowski’s future playing football may be in question, but one thing is for certain. The New England Patriots’ tight end will be watching the upcoming Kentucky Derby closely ... Read More

Bookmakers Favor Nurmagomedov in Potential McGregor Clash
Bookmakers Favor Nurmagomedov in Potential McGregor Clash

The undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov is now UFC lightweight champion after presiding over a challenging win at UFC 223 last weekend and the attention-grabbing victory actually has bookmakers placing ... Read More

McGregor v Mayweather Part 2 Coming to an Octagon Near You?
McGregor v Mayweather Part 2 Coming to an Octagon Near You?

Could an MMA-style fight between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather be in the cards? That’s what many in the sports world are trying to find out after a ... Read More

Paddy Power Suspending Betting with Royal Baby on the Way
Paddy Power Suspending Betting with Royal Baby on the Way

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their third child, and bookies have been fielding a wide variety of bets since it was announced by ... Read More

Shifting Odds Could Suggest a Future Female James Bond
Shifting Odds Could Suggest a Future Female James Bond

Bookmakers believe there could be a dramatic casting change for a future James Bond film. On Tuesday, top betting sites slashed odds of a female lead in the next 007 film after a surge of bets. Emily ... Read More

Betting Navigation


Sign up for the free Newsletter to stay on top of all the best bonuses!
We will never share or misuse your personal information. Privacy Policy

Latest Betting News

Betting Guides

Country Guide

DISCLAIMER: Online Wagering is illegal in some Jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to check your local regulations before playing online. GDC Trading Ltd takes no responsibility for your actions.
© 2011-2018 GDC Trading Limited. All Rights Reserved. is a registered trademark of GDC Trading Limited.
Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy

Asset 4AndroidGET IT ONfacebookDownload_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_RGB_blk_4SVG_092917twitter