NBA Futures Bovada 2017
NBA Championship Odds
Look, no matter how good the Warriors remain, it’s far from easy winning back-to-back championships. Whether it’s having a giant target on your back each night, becoming complacent or injuries, only three teams have accomplished the feat this century — the Kobe-and-Shaq Lakers, Kobe again, and LeBron’s super team in Miami.
Golden State learned first hand the difficulty in the 2016 NBA Finals. The toll of winning 73 regular-season games and injuries to Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut led to a 3-1 collapse to Cleveland in the championship. That might forever haunt the players and team, but earning consecutive titles in 2018 would go a long way in erasing that. Let’s analyze the four best bets at winning the NBA Champion this coming season (Bovada sportsbook odds) and offer our betting advice…
Bovada NBA Championship Picks
Golden State Warriors (-160)
We’re strong believers in the philosophy, “to be the man, you got to beat the man.” After a historic 16-1 tear through the postseason, Golden State is the unquestioned man heading into the new season — barring any significant injuries. It doesn’t hurt that they bolstered their roster even more during the offseason by adding Nick Young and Omri Casspi — strengthing an already deep bench.
With all four of their superstars barely in the midst of their primes, not only is a repeat title bid very real, a three-peat probably is too. Klay Thompson becomes a free agent in 2019 — and that’s probably the biggest threat to the Dubs’ dynasty, not opposing teams.
There’s not a safer bet here than Golden State.
Cleveland Cavaliers (+450)
This feels like the end of a Shakespearean tragedy, you know something bad is about to happen. If last year’s Cavaliers team couldn’t hang with the Warriors, little less this one.
The story of the offseason was Kyrie Irving requesting, and then getting, his trade. Making matters worse, Cleveland shipped him to their biggest challenger in the Eastern Conference, Boston. Isaiah Thomas replaces Irving, and while he’s no slouch, Thomas is still a clear downgrade. His short stature makes him a complete liability on the defensive end (a big no-no when playing Golden State) and he comes with injury concerns.
While you can never count out LeBron James, it’s looking like a foregone conclusion that he’s bailing town once he becomes a free agent next summer. That’s the bad ending that caps Shakespeare plays. Avoid Cleveland in this prop bet.
Boston Celtics (+750)
Cleveland’s loss is Boston’s gain in Irving. Furthermore, they also lured Gordon Hayward away from Utah in free agency. And just like that, the Celtics became a dream team overnight.
While many are high on the Celtics making a championship run, we’re not as convinced — not yet, at least. Perhaps this team will blossom into juggernauts eventually, but not this season. It’s going to take time for this team to gel, certainly more than it took to build in the offseason.
Aside from Irving, no one really has that championship pedigree. Head coach Brad Stevens has a career 11-17 mark in the postseason. Hayward, Al Horford, and company haven’t played in many big games. That inexperience will cost them against Cleveland and Golden State.
San Antonio Spurs (+1200)
If you need a bang-for-you-buck wager, then look no further. As long as Gregg Popovich is around, the Spurs deserve betting consideration. We don’t care that Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge are getting any younger. Nor do we care San Antonio’s counterparts in the West — Houston, Oklahoma City, and Golden State — spent the summer improving.
Popovich remains the best head coach in the NBA by a mile and that goes a long way. Heck if not for a Kawhi Leonard injury in the Western Conference Finals, maybe the Spurs could’ve rolled through Golden State as they were doing on the road before the bad break.
San Antonio at +1200 is as good value as you’ll find in betting circles.
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