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Odds to Win 2019-20 NBA Championship: Clippers Now Favored Over Lakers To Win Title

NBA Championship Betting Odds July 6, 2019

The one thing we can all agree on about the NBA offseason is it’s rarely boring. The Los Angeles Clippers pushed their chips to the center of the table, went all-in and completely shifted the gravity of the league by acquiring both Kawhi Leonard AND Paul George. These moves have not only given the Clippers the best duo in the NBA but have also placed them as the betting favorites to win the 2019-20 championship.

Online sportsbook BetOnline has the Clippers as +350 favorites followed by their neighbors, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Milwaukee Bucks, both at +500.

After the L.A. teams and Milwaukee, the Houston Rockets (+800) are next on the oddsboard, with the Philadelphia 76ers (+900), Golden State Warriors (+1400), Denver Nuggets (+1400), Utah Jazz (+1400), Boston Celtics (+2000) and Brooklyn Nets (+3300) rounding out the top 10.

Let’s process this move together and envision this new landscape of hoops in Los Angeles and the NBA going forward:

Bet on the 2020 NBA Championship here!

Clippers Are NOT EFFING AROUND

When the Los Angeles Clippers brought on Jerry West as an executive board member, a lot of NBA insiders consulted their “sources” (please retire this term) and figured with West on board, the Clippers had an inside track and would make a big push to get Kawhi Leonard in free agency from the Toronto Raptors.

Well, little did we know that West’s influence could not only persuade the Clippers brass to acquire Leonard but also make a huge trade for another dominant swingman in Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now, the Clippers have a stockpiled roster ready to unleash on the NBA and it makes perfect sense for them to be the championship favorites. Leonard is coming off arguably the greatest postseason run of all time with the Raptors while George was in the discussion for league MVP for a large portion of the season. With these two blockbuster moves, the Clippers’ odds to win the NBA title went from +1600 to +350.

I personally wouldn’t bet on the Clippers at this new price because a lot can happen in a playoff run (just ask the Warriors). However, this is a team that looks geared to be a championship contender for years to come. And they had better be because they gave up control of their first-round draft picks for the next seven years to get George.

Should the Lakers Be Dismissed?

No, the Los Angeles Lakers shouldn’t just be dismissed to win the 2019-20 NBA championship because they have their own star duo that can match up with the Clippers in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. (Side note: How insane are Clippers-Lakers games going to be next season?)

Will it actually mean the Lakers have to try now to win the title? Sure, but that will be easier said than done after sitting on their hands for most of free agency while awaiting Kawhi Leonard’s decision.

The Lake Show’s supporting cast is a dumpster fire compared to what their Staples Center roommates can put on the court and unless there are more veteran buyouts to come on board for the purple and gold (ahem, Andre Iguodala), the reality is that even with LeBron and the Brow, they’re simply outgunned.

I wouldn‘t touch them right now at +500 to win the title and I don‘t feel bad for any of the suckers who took them at +185 with some sportsbooks when it was projected they were getting Kawhi too.

Title Race Is Wide Open

Despite what the betting odds may say about the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, make no mistake about it, the race to win the 2019-20 NBA championship is truly up for grabs. I count nine teams that could legitimately make a case to win the title and offseason was kind to a few specific teams that could make a serious run to the ‘chip.

The Houston Rockets did a point guard swap with the Oklahoma City Thunder to bring Russell Westbrook to Texas, shipping Chris Paul and draft picks to OKC. The Rockets‘ title odds moved from +1400 to +800 with the move, which has put them right back in the thick of it in the Western Conference. 

The Utah Jazz solved their point guard dilemma in acquiring Mike Conley and also added a forward who fits their playing style in Bojan Bogdanovic. These two moves should elevate the Jazz to at least a 4 seed in a stacked Western Conference and I wouldn’t hate a bet on them at +1400 to win the NBA championship.

The third team that I think will turn heads, specifically due to their size, is the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers zigged while other teams were zagging and signed PF Al Horford to a four-year deal to pair him with Joel Embiid in the frontcourt. Those two along with Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson would be the biggest starting lineup in the NBA. They could simply overwhelm teams with size similar to how basketball was played in the ’90s.

At this stage, the Sixers are my pick to win the Eastern Conference and at +900 to win the title, the value is decent to lay some money on Philly. 

What team do you think will win the 2019-20 NBA championship? Will the Clippers or Lakers storm through the West? Will the Warriors regain their touch? Have your say in the comments.

Click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of July 12 at BetOnline

  • Los Angeles Clippers +350     
  • Los Angeles Lakers +500        
  • Milwaukee Bucks +500          
  • Houston Rockets +800           
  • Philadelphia 76ers +900        
  • Denver Nuggets +1400          
  • Golden State Warriors +1400
  • Utah Jazz +1400         
  • Boston Celtics +2000 
  • Brooklyn Nets +3300 
  • Portland Trail Blazers +3300 
  • Toronto Raptors +3300         
  • Dallas Mavericks +4000         
  • Indiana Pacers +4000
  • Miami Heat +5000     
  • San Antonio Spurs +6600      
  • New Orleans Pelicans +10000           
  • Sacramento Kings +12500     
  • Atlanta Hawks +15000           
  • Detroit Pistons +15000          
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +15000        
  • Orlando Magic +15000          
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +20000     
  • Chicago Bulls +25000 
  • Memphis Grizzlies +30000    
  • New York Knicks +30000       
  • Phoenix Suns +30000 
  • Washington Wizards +30000
  • Charlotte Hornets +50000     
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +50000

Not a day goes by that the NBA doesn’t try to stay in the spotlight. Only a few days after the Toronto Raptors won the 2019 NBA championship, the Los Angeles Lakers made a stunning trade by acquiring Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. As a result, oddsmakers have placed the Lakers as the favorite to win the 2019-20 NBA championship.

Online sportsbook BetOnline has the Lakers at +350 followed by the Milwaukee Bucks (+700), Houston Rockets (+900), Golden State Warriors (+1000), Toronto Raptors (+1000) and Los Angeles Clippers (+1000) to round out the top teams on the oddsboard. 

Let’s project what this trade means for the offseason and what’s next for the Lakers:

Lakers Get Their Man

A trade that has been brewing since the start of last season, the New Orleans Pelicans finally caved and agreed to take a package from the Lakers that involved multiple starters and first-round picks in exchange for Anthony Davis.

This has given LeBron James an additional all-star to play with along with the cap space to add a third starter in an NBA landscape that seems to be devoid of a true contender.

Los Angeles is rumored to be after everyone and anyone on the upcoming free-agent list, from Kawhi Leonard to Kemba Walker. And you know there will be players we’re not even considering who will likely sign there at the veterans’ minimum to complete the roster. So that begs the question, should you bank on them to win the title?

At this point, they have to be taken very seriously because the duo of LeBron and the Brow already rivals any twosome in the NBA and they will likely add another perimeter star who can add more scoring punch.

Should We Just Write Off the Warriors?

Yes, and it pains me to write it. This team has been head and shoulders above any team in the league for nearly five years but Stephen Curry and Draymond Green can’t do it by themselves. With Kevin Durant out at least for next season from a ruptured Achilles tendon and Klay Thompson likely out till March from a torn ACL, it’s hard to envision the Dubs overcoming those types of injuries to make it to the NBA Finals.

With all of that said, I think it’s best to take a cautious approach and see how this offseason all unfolds because no team has its roster set. The reality is there are still a lot of free-agent dominoes to fall for next season and outside of the Lakers, no team feels like a sure thing. 

The only team I’d even consider perhaps putting a few dollars on before free agency plays out is the Houston Rockets at +900 because that’s the only team I know for sure will have close to an identical roster when the new season starts.

James Harden is a top-five player and over the last two years, no team has more regular-season wins than Houston. Now, the Rockets’ nemesis, Golden State, has been all but castrated due to injuries to KD and Klay and we just witnessed during this Raptors run what a team can do when it doesn’t have a brick wall like LeBron James in the way.

What do you think? Do the Lakers roll to the NBA championship? Will the Raptors repeat? Have your say in the comments.

Click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of June 16 at BetOnline

  • Los Angeles Lakers +350        
  • Milwaukee Bucks +700          
  • Houston Rockets +900           
  • Golden State Warriors +1000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1000   
  • Toronto Raptors +1000         
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1200      
  • Boston Celtics +1400 
  • Brooklyn Nets +2000 
  • Denver Nuggets +2500          
  • Dallas Mavericks +3300         
  • Indiana Pacers +3300
  • New York Knicks +3300         
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +3300          
  • Portland Trail Blazers +3300 
  • San Antonio Spurs +3300      
  • Utah Jazz +3300         
  • New Orleans Pelicans +5000 
  • Sacramento Kings +5000       
  • Chicago Bulls +6600   
  • Orlando Magic +6600
  • Memphis Grizzlies +8000      
  • Atlanta Hawks +10000           
  • Charlotte Hornets +10000     
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +10000   
  • Detroit Pistons +10000          
  • Miami Heat +10000   
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +10000     
  • Phoenix Suns +10000 
  • Washington Wizards +10000

It’s rare that an NBA team will rest players in the NBA Finals but the Golden State Warriors took the play-it-safe approach in Game 3 and now are facing a 2-1 deficit vs the Toronto Raptors. As a result, the Raptors are slight title favorites in the NBA Finals at -125 with the Warriors coming back at +105.

The Warriors Threw Game 3

This may be considered a hot take by some but ask yourself this question: Would Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant be held out of Game 3 if the Warriors were down 2-0 in the series? The brashness of the Warriors to throw away a Finals game to rest their players just shows how much they think they’re still in control of this series.

Well, the Raptors showed in Game 3 that the Warriors will require a superhuman effort defensively from the Hampton 5 for the remainder of this series. Toronto shot 52.4 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from behind the arc and had six players score in double figures.

At this point, the value is all but gone for both teams to win the title so you may have to resort to live-betting or underdog plays to get better odds. Check out our betting preview for Game 4 to find the edge.

What do you think? Do the Warriors steamroll to another championship? Or can Kawhi and the Raptors take down Goliath?

Click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win 2019 NBA Championship
TeamOpening OddsCurrent Odds
Golden State Warriors-195+105
Toronto Raptors+1400-125

Odds as of June 7 at Bovada

The opening stanza of the NBA Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors seemed like a one-sided affair as the Raptors took Game 1 with a convincing home victory. The Raptors won 118-109 to kick off the series but the Warriors remain heavy favorites to win their third NBA championship in a row.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors at -140 to win the series and title while the Raptors come back at +120. Let’s examine what happened in Game 1 and what we could see in Game 2:

Spicy P Was The Difference

Pascal Siakam trained to be a priest until he was 15 years old and picked up basketball later in life than most of his North American counterparts. Well, for at least one game, he looked like the best player in the world as he scored 32 points and shot a blistering 14-for-17 from the floor.

The Warriors will likely adjust to him a little more now that they have some game tape to identify his tendencies, and previous opponents have done the same thing. Siakam has averaged 25 points per game in Game 1s this year but in Game 2s, that average drops to 16 points per game.

Raptors Feasted On Turnovers and Fast Break

It’s not very often that you will see a team out-transition the Warriors but the Raptors did just that. In Game 1, Toronto outscored Golden State 24-17 on the fast break and used a three-point barrage in the opening half to keep the Warriors on their heels with 21 attempts from behind the arc.

The Warriors were also really sloppy with the basketball and the biggest culprit was Draymond Green. He still managed a triple-double but he had six turnovers and got into foul trouble late in the second half, which is something that will likely not be duplicated in Game 2. As a whole, the Warriors had 17 turnovers in Game 1 and average 14.4 in the playoffs.

Raptors Still Offering Decent Value To Win Title

Usually, when a team has home-court advantage in a series AND wins Game 1, oddsmakers usually have to adjust and put the winning team as a large fave but the loser isn’t just some scrub. This is the Warriors and they still get to return home for Game 3, where they have destroyed the title dreams of multiple opponents over the last five years.

The Warriors’ odds at -150 seem accurate because even if they lose Game 2, they still get to go back to Oracle Arena, where they’re 6-2 SU in eight games in the playoffs. They also will likely get Kevin Durant back in the latter stages of the series so if you want to bet the Warriors to win the title, I’d likely wait and see what happens in Game 2 because -140 isn’t a great series price.

The Raptors, on the other hand, look like they have the momentum and you can still grab them at +120 to win their first championship. It’s not too late to get some value on Toronto and you know that no matter what happens in Golden State, the Raptors are guaranteed at least a Game 5 back in the Six.

What do you think? Do the Warriors come back and steamroll to another championship? Or can Kawhi and the Raptors take down Goliath?

Click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win 2019 NBA Championship
TeamOpening OddsCurrent Odds
Golden State Warriors-195-140
Toronto Raptors+1400+120

Odds as of June 2 at Bovada

The NBA Finals matchup is set and the two teams to make it to the summit of the mountaintop are the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. This will be the first Finals appearance for the Raptors in their franchise history while the Warriors are taking their shot at greatness by attempting to win their third title in a row and fourth in five years.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors as -280 favorites to win the NBA title while the Raptors come back at +230. With the series opener in Toronto on Thursday, the Warriors have opened as slight 1-point favorites to take Game 1, which seems like a huge discrepancy compared to Golden State’s series price.

Let’s dive into some narratives that could influence this series:

When Will Kevin Durant Return?

This will be a hot topic until he suits up for the Warriors again and the steam on this will only increase if the Raptors jump out to an early series lead. Durant’s calf injury seemed minor when it happened vs the Rockets in the second round but head coach Steve Kerr has confirmed that the injury was worse than initially anticipated, which is why he missed the entire Western Conference final vs the Blazers.

Durant’s future with the Warriors could very well be dictated based on how this series goes. Some in the media would say he’s already gone due to the infighting and turmoil between him and Draymond Green while GM Bob Myers has made it well known that the Warriors are intent on re-signing Durant.

This is likely one of the key reasons why sportsbooks have the series price with the Warriors at -280 despite not having home-court advantage. The expected return of Durant (a top-three player) could easily swing this series if the Raptors take an early lead and I expect him back by Game 3 at Oracle Arena.

Kawhi Leonard Is On a Historic Postseason Run

While some will contend that Durant or Stephen Curry is the best player in the NBA playoffs, that distinction belongs right now to Kawhi Leonard. The Klaw is averaging 31.2 points per game in the postseason and is shooting 50.7 percent from the floor. Raptors president Masai Ujiri looks like a genius for trading away fan favorite DeMar DeRozan to nab Kawhi and he rewarded that gamble by pushing the Raptors to the NBA Finals.

Most NBA fans and bettors will remember in Game 1 in the 2017 Western Conference final when the Spurs were up double digits on the Warriors at Oracle Arena in Game 1 with Kawhi leading the way. Although he got hurt and the Spurs eventually lost, Kawhi has historically played the Dubs tough. In his last 10 games vs the Warriors, he’s averaged 23.2 points per game and scored 20 or more in seven of those contests. If he can continue his torrid scoring pace while spearheading the Raptors’ terrific half-court defense, Toronto could very well win the title.

Raptors’ Bench vs Warriors’ Bench

This may be the edge where the Raptors can exploit the Warriors, who usually overwhelm teams with their high-end starting talent. Toronto got huge contributions from the likes of Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Norm Powell in the Eastern Conference final and the Raptors would need a full team effort if they want to take down the Dubs, even without Kevin Durant.

Usually, when the Warriors start to falter (which is rare), it’s because the supporting cast can’t match up. So, reserves like Alfonzo McKinnie, Jordan Bell and Quinn Cook could almost be unplayable when playing the Raps, which means there will be more emphasis on the Warriors playing their all-stars 40-plus minutes in each game. It’s been a winning formula so you can’t knock Golden State’s hustle but when trying to find an edge for either team, this stands out greatly.

What do you think? Do the Warriors steamroll to another championship? Or can Kawhi and the Raptors take down Goliath? Read our Game 1 NBA Finals preview here.

Click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win 2019 NBA Championship
TeamOpening OddsCurrent Odds
Golden State Warriors-195-280
Toronto Raptors+1400+230

Odds as of May 30 at Bovada

The NBA’s regular season has come and gone and we’ve finally made it to the playoffs. Bettors will be rejoicing by not having to cap games where motivations are questioned and players are being rested. The quest for the NBA title is underway and the Golden State Warriors are the favorite to win their third championship in a row.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors at +130 to win their fourth championship in five seasons. Oddly enough, this is the best time all season to bet on the defending champs.

They’re followed on the oddsboard by the Milwaukee Bucks (+225), Houston Rockets (+400), Toronto Raptors (+900), Denver Nuggets (+2200), Philadelphia 76ers (+2200) and Portland Trail Blazers (+3000) to round out the field. 

Sixers, TRail Blazers Force Game 7s

The Milwaukee Bucks will have to wait for one more game to find out who they will be tipping off against in the Eastern Conference final as the Philadelphia 76ers earned a 112-101 victory over the Toronto Raptors, staving off elimination and forcing a Game 7. Ben Simmons had arguably his best game of the series, scoring 21 points with eight rebounds and six dimes. The Raps shot a measly 25 percent from long range but will have their home fans behind them on Sunday.

In the West, Denver and Portland are heading back to the Pepsi Center to decide who will play in the Western Conference final with the Trail Blazers picking up a 119-108 triumph in Game 6. Portland’s backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 62 points while shooting 49 percent from the floor. The Blazers also outrebounded Denver 64-47. Game 7 goes from Denver on Sunday.

Click here to see NBA Playoff Series Prices and click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of May 10 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors +130
  • Milwaukee Bucks +225
  • Houston Rockets +400
  • Toronto Raptors +900
  • Denver Nuggets +2200
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2200
  • Portland Trail Blazers +3000

The NBA’s regular season has come and gone and we’ve finally made it to the playoffs. Bettors will be rejoicing by not having to cap games where motivations are questioned and players are being rested. The quest for the NBA title is underway and the Golden State Warriors are the favorite to win their third championship in a row.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors at +110 to win their fourth championship in five seasons. Oddly enough, this is the best time all season to bet on the defending champs.

They’re followed on the oddsboard by the Milwaukee Bucks (+180), Houston Rockets (+400), Toronto Raptors (+750), Denver Nuggets (+1800), Philadelphia 76ers (+4000) and Portland Trail Blazers (+6500) to round out the field. 

Bucks Advance, Dubs Odds See Shift From Durant Injury

They may have taken a 3-2 series lead over the Houston Rockets but the Golden State Warriors’ odds have gone from -110 to +110 with the uncertainty surrounding Kevin Durant. The all-star hurt his calf in Game 5 and his status is up in the air for Game 6 and beyond, which is why you can now get the Warriors at plus-money for the first time in years. Game 6 will go in Houston on Friday.

In the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks continued to show their dominance with a beatdown of the Boston Celtics to win the series four games to one. The Bucks will face the winner of the Raptors-Sixers series and have seen their odds shift to +180 to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. 

Click here to see NBA Playoff Series Prices and click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of May 9 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors +110
  • Milwaukee Bucks +180
  • Houston Rockets +400
  • Toronto Raptors +750
  • Denver Nuggets +1800
  • Philadelphia 76ers +4000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +7500

The NBA’s regular season has come and gone and we’ve finally made it to the playoffs. Bettors will be rejoicing by not having to cap games where motivations are questioned and players are being rested. The quest for the NBA title is underway and the Golden State Warriors are the odds-on favorite to win their third championship in a row.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors at -130 to win their fourth championship in five seasons. Oddly enough, this is the best time all season to bet on the defending champs.

They’re followed on the oddsboard by the Milwaukee Bucks (+400), Houston Rockets (+450), Toronto Raptors (+800), Boston Celtics (+1800), Denver Nuggets (+2000), Philadelphia 76ers (+2800) and Portland Trail Blazers (+3500) to round out the field. 

Just Eight Teams Remaining

On Saturday, the Denver Nuggets finally eliminated the San Antonio Spurs, ending an up-and-down season for Pop’s squad. Earlier in the day, the second round tipped off with the Toronto Raptors exorcizing some Game 1 demons with a statement win against the visiting 76ers.

Click here to see NBA Playoff Series Prices and click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of April 28 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -130
  • Milwaukee Bucks +400
  • Houston Rockets +450
  • Toronto Raptors +800
  • Boston Celtics +1800
  • Denver Nuggets +2000
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2800
  • Portland Trail Blazers +3500

The NBA’s regular season has come and gone and we’ve finally made it to the playoffs. Bettors will be rejoicing by not having to cap games where motivations are questioned and players are being rested. The quest for the NBA title is underway and the Golden State Warriors are the odds-on favorite to win their third championship in a row.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors at -200 to win their fourth championship in five seasons. They’re followed on the oddsboard by the Milwaukee Bucks (+450), Houston Rockets (+550), Toronto Raptors (+1200), Boston Celtics (+1400), Philadelphia 76ers (+2300), Denver Nuggets (+3500), Oklahoma City Thunder (+4000), Portland Trail Blazers (+5000) and San Antonio Spurs (+6600) to round out the top 10.

Plenty of teams taking commanding series leads

The Raptors rebounded from an awful Game 1 to win their second in a row over the Magic on Friday and take a 2-1 series lead in the process. Meanwhile, the Celtics grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead in their series with the Pacers to push Indiana to the brink of elimination, while the Thunder outlasted Portland 120-108 at home to win their first game of the series. OKC moved all the way up from +5500 to +4000 after the victory.

The 76ers rebounded from an ugly Game 1 showing against the Brooklyn Nets to win three in a row, with the latest triumph coming in the form of a 112-108 victory on Saturday. Elsewhere, the Nuggets won their first game in San Antonio since 2012 to even their series with the Spurs, the Bucks crushed the Pistons 119-103 to go up 3-0 and the Rockets accomplished the same feat in a 104-101 road win over Utah to move one win away from advancing to the second round.

Click here to see NBA Playoff Series Prices and click here for up-to-the-minute NBA futures odds changes. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of April 21 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -200
  • Milwaukee Bucks +450
  • Houston Rockets +550
  • Toronto Raptors +1200
  • Boston Celtics +1400
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2300
  • Denver Nuggets +3500
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +4000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +5000
  • San Antonio Spurs +6000
  • Brooklyn Nets +15000
  • Orlando Magic +20000
  • Utah Jazz +25000
  • Detroit Pistons +30000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +35000
  • Indiana Pacers +50000

Are the Warriors Vulnerable?

Likely not but this is the first time in close to four seasons that I feel like they could collapse in the postseason. There was so much drama this year between Kevin Durant and the old guard of the Warriors roster that I think if they get down in a series in the second round or the conference final, they could implode. The Warriors weren’t as dominant this season as evidenced by their +6.1 point differential, which is the lowest it’s been for a full season since 2013-14.

I get that some bettors would just peg the downturn as the Dubs being bored and they’re probably right. Many Warriors players have been cited as saying that it was hard to get up for games during the year against bottom-feeders like Memphis or Cleveland and they had their sights set on the postseason by December. There are a couple of teams that I think can take them down (more on that below) but I think as long as everyone is healthy, no one should be able to stop the Warriors from claiming their third NBA championship in a row.

So, Who Can Take Down the Warriors?

That’s a tough call but I think only two teams can pull off the upset and that’s the Bucks and the Rockets.

Although they don’t have the same top-end talent as the Warriors, the Bucks were hands-down the best team in the NBA this season. They had the league’s best home record, were the top-scoring team and have a matchup nightmare in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is near impossible to guard.

Another reason why I’m very high on the Bucks is the roster depth. This team is much more than just Giannis and Milwaukee’s ability to defend the perimeter could give the Warriors fits. They can put Eric Bledsoe on Steph Curry and Giannis on Kevin Durant and have Brook Lopez step out and hit the three-pointer to bother Draymond Green. This is all easier said than done but no other team can offer the type of counterpunch that the Bucks are putting out there.

As for the Rockets, this is mainly a pick from the heart because after last year’s debacle and falling short in Game 7, it would be the ultimate redemption for them to topple the Warriors. It also helps that James Harden is playing the best basketball of his career and that the Rockets have been completely reshaped on the fly to be more of a defensive team.

While Houston is still a three-point shooting team, the key to Houston’s chances is the health of Chris Paul. Paul may have slowed down a bit this season but his postseason experience and lack of fear facing the Warriors proved vital in last year’s Western Conference final. If you genuinely think the Rockets can win the title, get them now at +1100 because that value will be all but gone after the first round.

Do you think there’s another team that could upset the Golden State Warriors in the postseason? Let us know in the comments section. Below is the full oddsboard for teams to win the NBA championship:

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of April 11 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -225
  • Milwaukee Bucks +650
  • Toronto Raptors +950
  • Houston Rockets +1100
  • Boston Celtics +1600
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1600
  • Denver Nuggets +1800
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +3500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +4000
  • Utah Jazz +6000
  • Indiana Pacers +8000
  • San Antonio Spurs +8000
  • Orlando Magic +10000
  • Brooklyn Nets +12500
  • Detroit Pistons +15000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +15000

As we embark on the final week of the regular season with teams moving up and down the standings for playoff seeding, oddsmakers continue to have the Golden State Warriors as the odds-on favorite to win their third straight NBA championship.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors (-220) at the top of its list followed by the Milwaukee Bucks (+750), Toronto Raptors (+1000), Houston Rockets (+1100), Philadelphia 76ers (+1300), Denver Nuggets (+1800), Boston Celtics (+1800), Oklahoma City Thunder (+3500),  Portland Trail Blazers (+5000) and the Utah Jazz (+6500) to round out the top 10.

Instead of boring you by gushing about Golden State, let’s take a look at some of the teams behind them on the list and see what team might be able to play “David” to the Warriors’ “Goliath.”

Milwaukee Bucks +750

My personal favorite of the nine teams listed, the Bucks have made a believer out of me. They own an outstanding 32-6 SU home record, have a transcendent superstar and matchup nightmare in Giannis Antetokounmpo and will likely have home-court advantage in the NBA Finals if they continue winning at this pace.

Giannis will need to improve on his three-point shooting (24.6 percent) if they want to seriously contend with Golden State but Milwaukee’s offense has been so good this season that it almost gets lost in the shuffle that the Bucks also lead the league in opponent field-goal percentage. With those factors combined, the Bucks lead the NBA with an excellent +9.3 point differential. It’s also worth noting that the Bucks are 20-9 SU in 29 games vs Western Conference teams and beat Golden State on its home floor early in the season.

Toronto Raptors +1000

The trade for center Marc Gasol could be a home-run swing by GM Masai Ujiri and you have to give him credit for going for it this year with the uncertainty of Kawhi Leonard’s return. The Raptors are an excellent 31-9 SU in 40 home games and, on paper, have a starting lineup that could give the Warriors’ defense fits. Being able to have a shooter like Gasol, who can also play serviceable defense down low, should be able to give the Raptors the edge in most matchups in the East to get to the NBA Finals.

But like any team challenging the Dubs, can they limit the Warriors from the three-point line? The Raptors have ranked in the top 10 in opponent three-point percentage and attempts allowed this season but that’s easier said than done in a seven-game series against arguably the greatest shooting team in NBA history.

Houston Rockets +1100

The one West team that actually gave the Warriors a scare during their four-year run of dominance, the Rockets barely resemble that squad from last season. For one, Chris Paul looks to have slowed down and is not the impactful force in the backcourt like he’s been in past years. His regression along with the James Harden Show taking over Houston has effectively made the Rockets a volume three-point shooting team that is playing basketball’s version of Moneyball.

I don’t think this current formula can beat the Warriors, and the Rockets’ defense has been awful compared to last season when they had the best record in the NBA. Houston held opponents to 103.9 points per game and its ability to switch and close out on shooters was a key factor in holding the Warriors to 107 points per game in the Western Conference final, even though they lost in seven. But I have my reservations that Houston can hit the shots when it matters and its window to win a championship may be closed.

Philadelphia 76ers +1300

Adding a fourth piece to the puzzle has gotten some mixed results thus far in the City of Brotherly Love but since the NBA’s main adversary is overwhelming teams with talent, the Sixers decided to fight fire with fire. Adding in Tobias Harris should give Philly an added boost in the shooting department and complement pass-first guard Ben Simmons in running the offense.

On paper, the Sixers should be destroying teams because no other team (even the Celtics) can put that much talent on the floor at one time but the system that coach Brett Brown has implemented has made Jimmy Butler a bystander on offense. Butler is averaging 18.8 points per game since arriving in Philly and, similar to the Celtics, I’m not sure the Sixers have the team chemistry to get out of the East, let alone beat the Warriors.

Denver Nuggets +1800

One of the more pleasant surprises of the NBA season has been the Nuggets, who missed the playoffs by one game last year. The Nuggets are an outstanding 32-6 SU in 38 home games this season and have gone 14-3 SU in their last 17 games at the Pepsi Center.

Home-court advantage will be crucial in the Western Conference playoffs and I expect the Nuggets, led by center Nikola Jokic, to be in the thick of it in the postseason. The Nuggets are 20-4 SU in 24 home games this season vs West teams but when it comes to the second round and the West final, I worry about their lack of experience. Denver’s most experienced postseason player is Paul Millsap and he’s been a shell of himself since coming over from Atlanta. I think they could possibly get to the West final but I am highly doubtful they can beat the Warriors in a seven-game series.

Boston Celtics +1800

Coming into the season, the Celtics were the darlings of the East with some analysts predicting they would win 60 games and dominate the Atlantic Division. They have enough talent to put out two NBA starting lineups and made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final last year WITHOUT Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Well, winning 60 games is out of the question considering they have 32 losses already and they might now be the third-best team in their own division.

So, what went wrong? Stat comparisons from this season to last don’t show much variance as they actually average nine more points a game on offense and only allow just over three more points on defense but this actually comes down to a team chemistry issue. You don’t need to look further than the Celtics’ road record as they finished last year at 28-13 in 41 road games but this season, they’re 19-20 SU through 39 away games.

Oklahoma City Thunder +3500

Based on value alone, bettors should take a hard look at the Thunder. OKC has the goods and at one point was third in the West standings with Paul George being on a tear but they’ve regressed hard since the all-star break. I think they can match up well with the Warriors but the Thunder’s chances will hinge on Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook in his career may be averaging 23.1 points per game vs Golden State but his three-point shooting is atrocious (27.4 percent) and he’s only hit 28.6 percent from deep this season. He has too high a usage rate to trust in big games and if the score is close, we’ve all seen the moments where he has an awful shot selection and essentially shoots his team out of the game. Maybe this year, things will be different but that’s not something I’m willing to count on given the 11-year sample size we have of Westbrook’s game.

Portland Trail Blazers +5000

I won’t spend too much time on the Blazers because that snap you heard of Jusuf Nurkic’s leg was also the one for the Trail Blazers’ title hopes. Portland is now severely undermanned to compete in the West because Nurkic was an essential part of the team with his stout defense and ability to score in the post. When you factor in that CJ McCollum is also on the shelf likely until the playoffs, I can’t endorse a Blazers’ title bet at this point of the campaign.

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of April 4 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -220
  • Milwaukee Bucks +750
  • Toronto Raptors +1000
  • Houston Rockets +1100
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1300
  • Boston Celtics +1800
  • Denver Nuggets +1800
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +3500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +5000
  • Utah Jazz +6500
  • Los Angeles Clippers +7000
  • San Antonio Spurs +7000
  • Indiana Pacers +8000
  • Detroit Pistons +10000
  • Orlando Magic +10000
  • Brooklyn Nets +12500
  • Miami Heat +20000
  • Charlotte Hornets +40000

With the NBA’s all-star break just around the corner, oddsmakers haven’t changed their minds on having the Golden State Warriors as the odds-on favorites to win the 2018-19 NBA championship.

The Warriors’ odds moved from -190 to -230 since our last update in January and with DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins in the lineup, the Dubs look even more formidable.

After the Warriors on the oddsboard are the Toronto Raptors (+750), Boston Celtics (+950), Milwaukee Bucks (+950), Los Angeles Lakers (+1100), Philadelphia 76ers (+1200), Houston Rockets (+1300), Oklahoma City Thunder (+1800), Denver Nuggets (+2000) and Utah Jazz (+7000) to round out the top 10.

Let’s dive in one contender from each conference and see why their odds have dramatically improved since our last update:

Denver Nuggets – Opened at +12500, Now at +2000

At 37-18 SU in 55 games, the Nuggets’ success has seen their odds plummet for futures bettors. Denver was at +4000 in our last update after opening the season at +12500 and bettors who got in on the Nuggets early should be patting themselves on the back. The Nuggets are 23-4 SU in 27 home games this season and if it wasn’t for a 31-point beatdown by the Warriors last month would have won 18 straight home games.

Home-court advantage will be crucial in the Western Conference playoffs and I expect the Nuggets, led by center Nikola Jokic, to be in the thick of it in the postseason. However, like placing any futures bet on a team in the West, you know what awaits you at the end of the tunnel and that’s a date with the Golden State Warriors. I wouldn’t put too much stock into one regular-season game but if that stomping is any indication, Denver will fall short just like every other Western Conference team has over the last four seasons. At +2000, the value isn’t terrible but it’s all but gone at this stage.

Milwaukee Bucks – Opened at +10000, Now At +950

Another team similar to the Nuggets, Milwaukee’s value to win the championship is at a season low. The Bucks have a lot of traits similar to Denver like owning a 23-5 SU home record and having a transcendent superstar, and some would argue that their route to get to the NBA Finals is easier through the East, hence their odds are at +950. Well, I disagree because the top half of the Eastern Conference is arguably stronger than the West with the Bucks having to go through the Raptors, Sixers, Celtics or Pacers just to get to the Finals and one of those teams, the Raptors, has better odds than the Bucks right now.

My concern with the Bucks to get out of the East, let alone win the title, is that Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t a good enough shooter from the perimeter to lead the team to the promised land. Giannis is averaging an ugly 21.6 percent from three-point range and in the playoffs, teams will pack the paint and take away his driving lanes to ensure he doesn’t continue to shoot nearly 60 percent near the basket.

That means secondary scorers like Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe will be relied on to win playoff games and those two don’t measure up compared to the talent that these other teams boast. I think they have a great shot to get to the Eastern Conference final but would fall short to a team like the Celtics in a seven-game series. But if you disagree, get on them now because the Bucks’ odds are only going to continue to drop barring injury.

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of February 11 at Bovada

  • Phoenix Suns +300000
  • New York Knicks +300000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +300000
  • Chicago Bulls +300000
  • Atlanta Hawks +200000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +35000
  • Orlando Magic +25000
  • Sacramento Kings +20000
  • Washington Wizards +17500
  • New Orleans Pelicans +17500
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +17500
  • Dallas Mavericks +15000
  • Brooklyn Nets +15000
  • Miami Heat +12500
  • Los Angeles Clippers +12500
  • Indiana Pacers +12500
  • Detroit Pistons +12500
  • Charlotte Hornets +12500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +10000
  • Utah Jazz +7000
  • San Antonio Spurs +7000
  • Denver Nuggets +2000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +1800
  • Houston Rockets +1300
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1200
  • Los Angeles Lakers +1100
  • Milwaukee Bucks +950
  • Boston Celtics +950
  • Toronto Raptors +750
  • Golden State Warriors -230
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Moving close to the meat of the 2018-19 NBA season, it’s time to check out the betting oddsboard for what movers and shakers could be a decent value to wager on outside of the Golden State Warriors, who remain the odds-on favorite to win the NBA championship.

The Warriors are listed at -155 at online sportsbook Bovada followed by the Raptors (+750), Celtics (+950), Rockets and Sixers (both at +1500) to round out the top five.

While an argument can be made that the Warriors are almost a lock to win their third NBA championship in a row, the beauty of sports is that nothing is set in stone so let’s look at some of the biggest shifts in odds for the other 29 teams:

Clippers, Thunder and Grizzlies See Biggest Jump

Most of the odds movement is happening in the Western Conference with the scrappy Los Angeles Clippers among the leaders, going from +10000 to +5000. The Clippers sit fourth in the West at 16-9 SU in 25 games and are only one game back of the Warriors in the standings. All five of their starters are averaging double digits in points with Tobias Harris making his case for an all-star bid by averaging 21 points per game. The Clip-Show is fourth in the NBA in scoring and with its current nucleus could give some teams fits in the playoffs.

Another team with a big rise in the board is the Memphis Grizzlies from +15000 to +8500. The Grizz defense has been outstanding through 25 games, ranking second in points allowed per game and fourth in forced turnovers, which is impressive as I expect most bettors would have a hard time naming their entire starting five. I wouldn’t rush out any time soon to wager on the Grizzlies but their inside-out game with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol has shown (when they’re healthy) that it can be a force.

The team that may get overlooked by bettors that I would put my money down on is the Thunder, whose odds have jumped from +3000 to +2100. The Thunder are 16-8 SU in 24 games and Paul George is playing out of his mind. George’s play and adjustment to being in an offense with Russell Westbrook has made them look completely different after bowing out of the first round in last year’s playoffs. Outside of the Warriors, this is the only other team in the West that I would consider to win the ’chip.

Spurs and Hornets Sliding

You can’t fault the Spurs for trying to recoup costs after the Kawhi Leonard debacle but so far, they're looking like a team in shambles. San Antonio’s odds dropped from +4000 to +6500 and at 13-14 SU in 27 games, they may not even make the playoffs given how deep the Western Conference is. Defensively, the Spurs rank 24th in points allowed per game and are allowing almost 50 points per game in the paint. I honestly think the only reason their odds aren’t longer is due to the respect in the NBA (and betting) circles they have earned over the years. Stay away!

Another team that got off to a hot start but has since tailed off is the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets have fallen back to 13-13 SU in 26 games and can’t seem to sustain success for too long as they win a couple, then lose a couple, which is no man’s land for success in the NBA. Outside of Kemba Walker, this team doesn’t have anyone who will strike fear into the East contenders like the Raptors, Sixers, Bucks and Celtics and with this being a contract year for Walker, the chances of him being dealt before February’s trade deadline increase by the day. Outside of the top five on the oddsboard at the top of the article and the Thunder, I wouldn’t waste my money on any other team.

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of December 10 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -155
  • Toronto Raptors +750
  • Boston Celtics +950
  • Houston Rockets +1500
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1500
  • Los Angeles Lakers +1600
  • Milwaukee Bucks +2000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +2100
  • Denver Nuggets +4000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +5500
  • Utah Jazz +5500
  • New Orleans Pelicans +6500
  • San Antonio Spurs +6500
  • Detroit Pistons +7000
  • Indiana Pacers +8500
  • Memphis Grizzlies +8500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +9000
  • Charlotte Hornets +9500
  • Dallas Mavericks +10000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +10000
  • Washington Wizards +10000
  • Miami Heat +12500
  • Orlando Magic +12500
  • Sacramento Kings +15000
  • Brooklyn Nets +30000
  • New York Knicks +50000
  • Atlanta Hawks +100000
  • Chicago Bulls +100000
  • Phoenix Suns +100000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +200000

Archived Articles

After being held hostage for the first part of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Minnesota Timberwolves have dealt all-star Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers. The package reportedly involves Sixers’ Robert Covington and Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2020 second-round pick for Butler and forward Justin Patton.

This has shifted the Sixers’ odds to +1400 to win the 2018-19 NBA championship, which is behind the Golden State Warriors (-155), Toronto Raptors (+850), Boston Celtics (+950) and Houston Rockets (+1400), with the Milwaukee Bucks (+2000) right behind Philadelphia. 

Let’s examine the new-look Sixers and if it’s worth investing in their NBA title chances:

Butler Completes A Big Three in Philadelphia

This is a huge get for the Sixers. After some small struggles coming out of the gate, Philly should now feel comfortable competing on the same stage as the Celtics, Raptors and Bucks in a very top-heavy Eastern Conference.

Butler will give the Sixers a firm option on the perimeter who can create his own shot and provide tough defense to allow Ben Simmons to be even more of a playmaker going to the basket. Even in limited time with the Timberwolves this season, Butler averaged 21.3 points, 4.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds on a team he clearly didn’t want to play for anymore. Now, he gets to play with two of the best under-25 players in the NBA and can get the long-term contract he’s been aching for.

What Philly backers should worry about

Where this may not go well for Philadelphia is in the shooting department. Robert Covington and Dario Saric may not be hitting shots from deep like in years past but they were decent complementary pieces who could drain jumpers when given space. While Butler is a decent shooter, he may not get the space he needs now with sometimes having two non-shooters on the floor in Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons.

This team already ranked 21st in the NBA in three-point percentage and the only way you are beating teams like the Celtics and Raptors is quality three-point shooting which means Philadelphia may not be done tinkering with its roster. At +1400, the Sixers are priced appropriately but bettors need to be aware of where this team’s shortcomings lie. 

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of November 12 at Bovada

Archived Articles

UPDATE: ESPN is reporting all-star Jimmy Butler has been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a package that includes Robert Covington, Dario Saric and draft picks. NBA championship odds will be added once available.

We’re only a few short steps into the NBA season and the oddsmakers have shuffled their board with some new teams moving into the top 10 in odds to win the 2018-19 NBA championship.

The Golden State Warriors are still the odds-on favorite at -165 followed by the Boston Celtics (+500 to +700), Toronto Raptors (+1400 to +900), Houston Rockets (+850 to +950) and Los Angeles Lakers (+1000 to +1800) to round out the top five.

These are the same five teams favored to win the title prior to the season but there are some teams in each conference that are making noise in the early stages of the season.

Let’s look at the Eastern and Western Conferences and see where the odds have shifted:

Eastern Conference 

The Raptors are the talk of the East after getting two huge home wins over the Celtics and Sixers and the addition of Kawhi Leonard has changed the whole team’s championship outlook. Kawhi is averaging 27.3 points per game and his usual brand of lockdown defense has put him firmly in the conversation for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. The Raptors’ only loss this season came when Leonard sat out against Milwaukee, which may be a good call to keep him rested as the Toronto brass should know that you can’t win championships in October.

Speaking of the Bucks, they’ve also turned heads as the only undefeated team left in the NBA. Their championship odds have jumped massively from +10000 to +3500 to win the title. New head coach Mike Budenholzer has harnessed Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of the roster to push them to become the fourth-best team in the league in points allowed per game while putting up 120 points per night. I’m not sure if Giannis and Milwaukee have enough firepower to get out of the East but the Bucks have let the world know they’re a rising force.

Another team in the East that has made waves is the Detroit Pistons, who are 4-2 SU this season with their only two losses coming to the Boston Celtics. The Pistons are getting an MVP-type season from Blake Griffin, who is averaging 27.7 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists and as long as he stays healthy, Detroit could be a tough out in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

I still think if you’re betting on a team from the East, you go with the Raptors or Celtics because of the strength of their rosters but the Bucks and Pistons will be heard from in the postseason.

Western Conference

The Warriors and Rockets are the usual suspects coming out of the West but squads out of New Orleans and Denver have seen the biggest change in odds after two weeks of the season.

Anthony Davis and the Pelicans have carried over their strong play from last year’s postseason when they swept the Blazers in the opening round and are shooting the lights out by averaging 122.5 points per game with Davis making his case for the title of best player in the world. The Brow has missed some time recently and it’s no surprise that the Pellies lost the two games he didn’t play in. Their odds prior to the season were at +12500 but the good start has pushed them to +4500. While I think Davis is an incredible talent, in order for this bet to hit, they need to beat the Warriors and one player cannot beat four of the top 15 basketball players in the world.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, are doing something that no basketball analyst could’ve seen coming and that’s play defense. Denver is ranked fifth in points allowed per game this season (105.2), which is a huge jump since they ranked 22nd in that same category last season. Nikola Jokic is another big man throwing his hat into the MVP ring as he leads all centers in assists this season while chipping in 21.5 points per game. I think Denver is a balanced team but doesn’t have the offensive skill to match up with the Dubs (sensing a theme here?), so while the odds jump from +12500 to +4500 is impressive, it’s not worth backing them at this stage.

If I had to take a dark horse from the West to somehow upset the Warriors, I would pick the Jazz. Their odds have moved to +3500 from +7500 and I think Utah is the most complete team in the NBA. The Jazz are getting contributions up and down the roster and Donovan Mitchell may make another leap in his progression in his second year. It’s still an uphill battle to topple Golden State but with the way the Rockets and Lakers have played this season, the Jazz seem to be the only worthy contender in the West.

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of October 31 at Bovada

Archived Articles

The 2018-19 NBA season has tipped off and it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Golden State Warriors remaining the odds-on favorites to win their third NBA championship in a row.  

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Warriors at -195 followed by the Boston Celtics at +500, Houston Rockets at +850, Los Angeles Lakers at +1000, Toronto Raptors at +1400,  Philadelphia 76ers at +1600, Oklahoma City Thunder at +3000, Utah Jazz at +7500, San Antonio Spurs at +8000 and Milwaukee Bucks at +10000 to round out the top 10.

Let’s break down the odds for the top five teams outside of Golden State and whether they can upset the apple cart and stop the Warriors from three-peating:

Boston Celtics

The Celtics, who should be the class of the Eastern Conference, are loaded at every position and were a good fourth quarter away from making the NBA Finals last season. Boston’s starting five of Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford will be the envy of the other 14 teams in the East as no team will be able to put that much talent on the floor.

At +500, the case can be made that the Celtics are the best value on the board as they should have an easy time getting to the NBA Finals if they can knock off the Raptors and Sixers. This is a team that is built to contend with a Warriors squad as the Celtics will have players all in the six-foot-eight range who can close out on shooters and potentially stifle the Dubs on the perimeter.

The main knock on them is health. Irving isn’t exactly known as an iron man as he has yet to play an 82-game season in his career while Hayward is coming off a gruesome ankle injury. But considering the C’s made Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final without those two all-stars, Boston could be in line to make its first NBA Finals since 2010 and topple the Warriors dynasty.

Los Angeles Lakers

This is where NBA fans may get to see the true greatness of LeBron James as he could become the third player in NBA history to win a title with three separate teams (elite company with the likes of Robert Horry and John Salley). The Lakers are in line to make a big jump in the standings after going 35-47 last season and with nearly the same roster outside of the one-year deals of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and JaVale “Two-Time NBA Champion” McGee, Los Angeles may have a great foundation for LeBron to flourish.

For starters, he won’t have to bring the ball up the court every possession with Lonzo Ball and  Rondo pushing the pace and will have up-and-coming wings in Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma to help shoulder the scoring load. Last season in Cleveland, LeBron didn’t have anyone outside of Kevin Love who averaged double-digit points so to be able to pick his spots offensively and take on a closer role could set James up for his fifth NBA MVP award.

However, where this team falls short is on the defensive end as they may need to go to small ball to have all of their best players on the floor and in the Western Conference, they’ll simply get outmuscled down low. While I think the Lakers (+1000) will finish in the top three in the West, taking down the Warriors will be a huge undertaking as this team ranked 25th in points allowed per game last season and didn’t really add anyone who will move the needle defensively.

Houston Rockets

In what felt like a kick in the gut for Rockets’ NBA championship backers, Houston couldn’t slay the dragon after Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury and fell short of toppling the Warriors. Now it feels like they took a step back after losing Trevor Ariza and replacing him with Carmelo Anthony.

While I don’t think the drop-off will be as obvious in the standings, Ariza was the perfect complementary piece to the Rockets’ “3 or Layup” offense whereas Carmelo is a ball-stopper and will likely clog up Houston’s efficiency. At +850, bettors can’t be faulted for backing them but don’t be surprised if they still can’t get over the hump that is Golden State.

Toronto Raptors

The leader in the Eastern Conference standings last season, the Raptors were unceremoniously dumped in the postseason by the Cleveland Cavaliers for a third straight year. But things have changed with the bogeyman known as LeBron gone from the East and the Raps swapping their all-time leading scorer in DeMar DeRozan with arguably the third-best player in the NBA in Kawhi Leonard.

This is a team that may be geared toward a deep postseason run based on the current personnel and adding two defenders on the perimeter in Kawhi and Danny Green. The Raps were ranked fifth in points per game last season and sixth in points allowed so at +1400, it’s not inconceivable for the Raptors to make the NBA Finals and legitimately challenge Golden State as they can match up with almost all of the Warriors’ all-stars.

Philadelphia 76ers

Not to be overlooked last season was the emergence of the East’s best one-two punch of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The Sixers finally showed promise from “the Process” and should be in contention for years to come with this duo but the downside of becoming a contender is now they won’t sneak up on anybody. Coaches will be able to game-plan around Simmons’ lack of shooting and Embiid’s inability to switch on the perimeter. To be fair to Embiid, that’s a problem for any seven-footer in the pick-and-roll.

Another facet that can’t be overlooked for why the Sixers at +1600 don’t represent the best value is their depth as they didn’t add anyone to improve their roster while the two top dogs in the East did. The Sixers lost Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova in free agency and both of those midseason additions were huge in crunch time as Philly made its run in the East playoffs. Unfortunately, this all hinges on Simmons’ development and the improvement of his jump shot – an improvement that may not happen for a few years.

Bet on the NBA here!

Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of October 16 at Bovada

    • Cleveland Cavaliers +10000
    • Phoenix Suns +75000
    • New York Knicks +35000
    • Dallas Mavericks +35000
    • Atlanta Hawks +35000
    • Chicago Bulls +30000
    • Washington Wizards +15000
    • Sacramento Kings +15000
    • Orlando Magic +15000
    • Minnesota Timberwolves +15000
    • Memphis Grizzlies +15000
    • Los Angeles Clippers +10000
    • Miami Heat +9000
    • Charlotte Hornets +8000
    • Indiana Pacers +7000
    • Detroit Pistons +7000
    • Portland Trail Blazers +6000
    • New Orleans Pelicans +5000
    • Utah Jazz +4500
    • San Antonio Spurs +4000
    • Denver Nuggets +3500
    • Oklahoma City Thunder +3000
    • Los Angeles Lakers +2500
    • Brooklyn Nets +2500
    • Milwaukee Bucks +2000
    • Philadelphia 76ers +1400
    • Houston Rockets +1400
    • Boston Celtics +950
    • Toronto Raptors +850
    • Golden State Warriors -150
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