If you want easy money, don't bet on the Golden State Warriors. ESPN reported Friday that final scores in Warriors games this season are an average of 10.5 points off of their predicted point spread — a nightmare for bettors.
In point-spread betting, gamblers bet on the difference, aka "spread," of a game's final score. And while the defending NBA champions win most of their games, their quality of play fluctuates drastically from night to night, which means the scoreboard's final tallies are extremely unpredictable. Professional bettor Erin Rynning summed up the issue to ESPN: "It's a headache. You do all this research and you want to think you're going to get 100 percent effort ... [but they] are bored. They have bigger fish to fry."
In order to minimize fatigue in the long 82-game regular season — not to mention conserve energy for an expected lengthy postseason run — the Warriors generally rest one or two key players per game under the guise of a minor "injury." These rests rarely lead to actual losses for the Dubs, but the absence of a star player like point guard Stephen Curry can lead to reduced margins of victory that mess with the spread. The Warriors are also notorious for playing possum in the first half of games and then either racing to huge leads in the second half or squeaking out victories in a game's final minutes.
While the Warriors' ability to "flip the switch" makes for great TV, it doesn't make for good predictions. In a season where the Warriors' actual win-loss record is 23-6, their record against the point spread is only 14-15. Read more at ESPN. Kelly O'Meara Morales
NBA legends and former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson have never seemed a lot alike — in playing styles or in personality. In an interview with The New York Times, Abdul-Jabbar, 68, offered up some candid commentary as to why Johnson drew more support from both fans and the press in the '80s.
"I understood why people liked him," Abdul-Jabbar said. "He had that great smile, so white people thought his life was okay. They thought that racism had not affected him. They were wrong, of course. But that's what they saw when they saw him. Magic made white people feel comfortable. With themselves."
Abdul-Jabbar, now a prolific columnist on racial justice, said he regrets not cultivating a better relationship with reporters over the years in the interest of appearing more likable to fans.
Watch Stephen Curry sink a ridiculous last-second three to cap a monster fourth-quarter playoff comeback
Stephen Curry showed us all last night that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. After bricking a wild shot to tie Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors' first-round playoff series with the New Orleans Pelicans, he took an even wilder shot to send the game into overtime and cap a 20-point comeback in the fourth quarter, the third-largest in playoff history. The Warriors would go on to win 123-119 in overtime. —Ryu Spaeth