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What Kevin Durant Is Worth To The Point Spread

Oddsmakers have been busy on the Fourth of July holiday thanks to Kevin Durant’s signing with the Golden State Warriors. 

Durant inked a deal for two years and $54 million, a move that dropped the Warriors from +150 favorites to win the NBA title to -150. Early in the afternoon, you could still get the Warriors at -115 at BetOnline but that’s about the best you can do. 

It makes the Warriors the biggest preseason faves in recent memory in NBA futures markets and it has had an effect on other teams' prices too. The OKC Thunder saw a big move from 8-1 to 30-1 at the Westgate Superbook and the San Antonio Spurs moved from 6-1 to 8-1 when reports of Tim Duncan’s retirement trickled out Monday also. 

The Warriors already were a steep price to take to win the 2017 title and with the Durant move I just don’t know how you can do it at the adjusted price. 

Bettors will still line up to take Golden State. Keep in mind Durant has missed 65 games over the last two seasons and we truly don’t know yet how he’ll mesh with this already star-studded lineup. 

The Superbook has put the Warriors’ OVER/UNDER season win total at 68.5 wins and I’m sure they expect to attract OVER action. No doubt many bettors will look at the Dubs’ 73 wins from last season without Durant and think the OVER is a gimme now with him. 

Professional bettor and former oddsmaker Adam Chernoff had a great point on Twitter though when he said this: 

“That Warriors win total is equivalent of an MLB team at 136 wins or an NFL team at 14 wins. What a ridiculously overpriced number. Insane.” 

It’s a good thought and you won’t see my money going on the OVER at that skyscraper of a number. I am interested, however, in how much Durant is worth to the spread so I had our numbers guy dig into it. 

I have Durant worth four to 4.5 points to the point spread and Dave Mason from BetOnline told me he has Durant valued at 3.5 to four points. 

When our OddsShark numbers came back, we found those numbers made sense. Here are the average OKC point spreads with Durant in and out of the lineup over the past two seasons: 

OUT: -1.54
IN: -5.88 (missed 65 games) 

So we’re looking at around a tangible 4.5 points to the spread. Even with the bigger numbers OKC proved to be a better bet with KD on the court. 

With Durant out of the lineup the last two seasons, the Thunder were 30-35 SU (straight up), 29-35-1 ATS (against the spread) and 33-29-3 OVER/UNDER (he missed 55 games in the 2014-15 season with injury). Just this past season he only missed 10 games and the Thunder were 3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS and 5-5 OVER/UNDER. 

With Durant in the lineup over the last two seasons, the Thunder were 81-36 SU, 56-57-4 ATS and 54-63 OVER/UNDER. That still didn’t make them a profitable bet but they were 49.5 percent against the spread with Durant in the lineup compared to 46.1 percent with him sidelined. 

What’s intriguing is that the totals seem to be a little inflated with Durant in the lineup. The UNDER hit at 53.8 percent with Durant in the lineup compared to 46.7 percent with him out. 

Might be something to watch next year along with inflated lines. I don’t think Durant can still be worth four or 4.5 points to the spread with all the talent running around for the Warriors. 

I do think the recreational bettor is going to be uncomfortable betting against the Warriors though so there may be some value in the early going. We’ll see.   

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