You know what is fun? Good basketball. On Thursday night, the NBA’s best will go head-to-head. The Boston Celtics (13-2) will host the Golden State Warriors (11-3) in TD Garden. The Celtics have won 13 straight and are off to a historic start against-the-spread. In a potential NBA Finals preview, look for the Warriors to end Boston’s ATS streak.

The 2014-15 season was magical for the Warriors. Golden State went 67-15, just the tenth team to win 67 games in NBA history, and won the team’s first title in 40 years. Bettors profited as the Dubs covered the spread in 58.8% of their games (43-27-2 ATS as a favorite). However, it has been difficult the last few seasons for recreational bettors to make money on the defending champs.

Despite leading the league in wins (150-27 since 2015-16) Steve Kerr’s team is 53.1% ATS. The problem for Curry, Durant and the rest of the super team is motivation. If you win every game, does it matter by how much?

The Warriors play to their competition. Against teams with a losing record the Dubs are 38-43-1 (46.9%) ATS since 2015-16 but when they face a good team (winning record) the ATS record jumps to 47-34-2 (58.0%).

The better the competition, the more profitable the Warriors become.

Opponent Win%ATS ResultsROI
All teams with winning records47-34-2+13.2%
60% or better29-20-1+15.4%
70% or better15-8-1+25.8%

What the wiseguys think

Sharp money has driven the line from Golden State -6, when it opened, to -7.5. Looking at the free odds page from Sports Insights we can see that 52% of spread tickets are on the C’s, but 68% of dollars wagered have taken the Dubs.

An interesting wrinkle, in the last three years when the Warriors aren’t an overwhelming public side (<60% of bets) they have gone 27-15 (64.3%) ATS.

Kerr called the Celtics the “team of the future” in the East. That might be true but the league belongs to the Warriors and professional bettors agree.