The Golden State Warriors are two things.
One: They are one of the current betting favorites across multiple sportsbooks to win next year’s NBA title.
Two: They are the closest thing to a dynasty the Association has seen since the 1990s-era Chicago Bulls.
Simply, the Warriors squad is elite. Three-point record holder and 2022 Finals MVP Steph Curry is the heart of the team and currently has the sixth-best odds at FanDuel to win league MVP next season at +1200. Klay Thompson averaged 20.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in his first season after a two-year injury sabbatical. And Draymond Green, one of the team’s most passionate players, is as gritty a defender on the court as he is personable on podcasts.
From a betting perspective, the Warriors were good to gamblers who backed them straight-up last season. They went 53-29 over the course of the year. So if you believed in Warrior magic even when oddsmakers lengthened their championship odds, you could have cashed in handsomely after they hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.
Now that the fresh regular season is on the horizon and the path to the finals starts anew, we are looking at 10 must-watch Warriors matchups that you need to circle on your calendars.
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Warriors vs. Lakers — Oct. 18
Ahhh, Oct. 18, also known as the date of the Warriors’ ring ceremony. If there’s a betting market on the Over/Under of salty Lakers fans tweets that will emerge on game day, a word to the wise would be to take the over.
But fandom aside, on the court, what can we expect from this matchup? LeBron James finished last season averaging 30.3 points and a league-best 8.3 rebounds. And in Year 20, the four-time MVP will likely be on a mission to prove he still has gas in the tank. Russell Westbrook, if he’s still on the roster by opening night, will be trying to silence naysayers and cement his Laker legacy as a difference-maker. And Anthony Davis, who definitely moves the needle when healthy, will likely start the season off hoping to get through the year without major injuries.
An opening-night matchup between one of the league’s most storied franchises and a franchise that’s still penning its newfangled legacy. Wouldn’t miss this game for anything in the world.
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Warriors vs. Clippers — Nov. 23
At FanDuel, both the Clippers’ and Warriors’ odds to win the title next year are +700. Those are the fourth-best odds behind the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brooklyn Nets. The reigning champion Warriors are returning their core, so it makes sense that they are near the top of the oddsboard. But what about LA?
For Los Angeles, this should be the year that the team is finally fully healthy. Kawhi Leonard is expected to return after missing all of last season with an ACL injury. Paul George finished the season last year averaging 24.3 points and 5.7 assists, so he should be ready to roll. Additionally, the Clippers signed John Wall in the offseason which will give LAC another scoring option.
The Nov. 23 contest could feature Steph, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, and Draymond facing off against a very well-rested Kawhi, a focused PG, and newly signed Wall.
Can you say Western Conference Finals preview?
Warriors vs. Celtics — Dec. 10
It’s almost cruel that the NBA is forcing fans to wait until Dec. 10 to watch the rematch of last season’s NBA Finals. And if this game has any of the energy of that six-game series — and it should — prepare for an exciting ride.
After Boston went up 2-1 over Golden State, the Celtics’ championship odds shortened, and at several sportsbooks, they were the favorites to win it all. The Warriors obviously didn’t get oddsmakers’ memos as they stormed back, winning three consecutive games to capture their fourth title in seven seasons.
Not only is this one to circle on the calendar, but it very well might end up being the most fascinating NBA game to watch in the second half of the calendar year.
ESPN's newest power rankings heading into the NBA season
How do we feel about this? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/BnYi4a80FE
— The Sportsletter (@TheSportsletter) August 22, 2022
Warriors vs. Hawks — Jan. 2
Trae Young and his Atlanta Hawks were the second-best 3-point shooting team in the league last season. The Warriors were fourth in that category. And while gamblers might consider taking the under on this game based on these teams’ trends last season, bettors also might consider budgeting on taking the over on players’ 3-pointer props.
What better way to tip off the new year than with a Monday night, cross-conference matchup of two teams who ride or die by the 3?
Steph Curry x Trae Young. 🔥
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 29, 2022
Warriors vs. Nets — Jan. 22
In the words of Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, “Hello, Brooklyn.” However, that should read more like, “Hello? Brooklyn?” because from Kyrie Irving’s indecision to Kevin Durant’s stalemate-turned-concession, what’s really going on in the Borough?
Well, whatever it is, if the third-best betting favorites Nets are still sorting through personnel personality issues in January, the Warriors could eat Brooklyn alive like a subway rat eats pizza.
Warriors vs. Timberwolves — Feb. 26
Between Anthony Edwards’ explosiveness and charisma and Karl Anthony-Towns’ determination and commitment, the T-Wolves have become a fascinating fan favorite of NBA loyalists. From a betting perspective, their 52.9% cover rate last season was just above average, so they aren’t a huge hit with gamblers yet. But they’re still fun to watch, nonetheless.
And watching this young, hungry squad compete with the Warriors fresh off the All-Star break should be must-see TV. Especially with the offseason addition of Rudy Gobert.
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Warriors vs. Bucks — March 11
Debating which two teams will come out of their respective conferences is always good fodder. But when you’re talking about teams like the Warriors and the Bucks playing one another in the Finals, that’s more than fantasy. It’s actually plausible.
While our short-term memory reminds us that the Celtics are the kings of the East, we cannot forget that Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks dominated the conference two seasons ago and won the first title for Milwaukee in 50 years. And with the second-best odds at FanDuel to win the championship, it’s fair to assume that this late-season matchup between two likely contenders will be as electric as ABC will advertise.
Warriors vs. Suns — March 13
March marks the last full month of the NBA regular season, and as fans and bettors know, these critical games down the stretch are typically important in determining playoff seeding.
At approximately that point in the season last year, oddsmakers were still hot on the Suns, as most sportsbooks had Phoenix with shorter championship odds than Golden State. When March rolls around next year — based on current rosters and save for devastating injuries — the Warriors and Phoenix could be battling it out for the top spots in the Western Conference and on the odds boards.
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Warriors vs. Pelicans — March 28
The Pelicans are not a team that should be underestimated. Brandon Ingram and Co. defeated both the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers in last season’s play-in tournament to land a spot in the official postseason for a date with Phoenix.
While they ended up losing the series to the Suns 4-2, BI put up game-high points of 37, 34, and 30 in three of those games and reminded fans why, even without a healthy Zion Williamson, New Orleans is no joke. While Ingram’s impossibly long MVP odds of +13000 are probably not worth a sprinkle, it is worth watching this game as the Pelicans try to prove that they’re a playoff-worth squad in back-to-back seasons.
Zion Williamson WILL bring back bully ball next season btw💪
— mike (@mikelovesherb) August 29, 2022
Warriors at Nuggets — April 2
The Nuggets finished last season as the 6-seed and got themselves a first-round date with the eventual Finals champs. While they did manage one win in the first round against Golden State, the Warriors’ moxie outmatched Denver’s relative playoff inexperience.
How the playoffs ended last season will be heavy on the minds of Nikola Jokic and his teammates as they square off late in the season with the team that bounced them from contention in the postseason a year before.