With Wednesday’s slate of action in the books, it’s time for the real season: the playoffs. When it comes to which teams are favored to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June, the usual suspects top the list. The Golden State Warriors (-160), Cleveland Cavaliers (+333), San Antonio Spurs (+600), Houston Rockets (+1600), Boston Celtics (+1600), Washington Wizards (+4000), Toronto Raptors (+4000), Los Angeles Clippers (+5000), Utah Jazz (+6600) and Oklahoma City Thunder (+12500) round out the top 10.
After the Warriors lost Kevin Durant to injury back in March their odds lowered to even money, but Golden State held its own without the superstar in the fold and kept its stranglehold on the top spot in the Western Conference in the process. Durant is back and the Dubs are firing on all cylinders as the team no one wants to face in the playoffs.
Cleveland bumbled and stumbled its way to the second-seed in the East thanks to a 10-14 record since March 1, and a litany of defensive issues are the biggest reason why. I’m not expecting that type of play to continue, though. The wine and gold had a less than stellar finish to the 2015-16 season and steamrolled their way through the playoffs en route to capturing the NBA title. If you believe that’s going to happen again, grab the +333 price and run.
It’s interesting to see the top-seeded Celtics at +1600. The Celts, who’ll do battle with the Chicago Bulls in the first-round, have yet to win a playoff series with their current group and oddsmakers are clearly wanting to see some proof that this squad is a serious contender. With an easier path to the Conference Finals (and no threat of facing Cleveland in the second-round) these odds will surely come down before too long if the C’s can dispatch their old friend Rajon Rondo and the Bulls.
The Golden State Warriors are the big, bad bullies of the Western Conference and that’s likely not going to change any time soon. With the 2017 NBA playoffs getting underway on Saturday, oddsmakers are united in crowning the Dubs the undisputed favorites to win the West banner.
Golden State is a heavy -250 favorite with the San Antonio Spurs (+300), Houston Rockets (+750), Los Angeles Clippers (+2500), Utah Jazz (+3300), Oklahoma City Thunder (+4000), Memphis Grizzlies (+6600) and Portland Trail Blazers (+10000) all available in plus-money.
While the Warriors weren’t able to follow up on their record-setting 73-win season a year ago, their 67-15 record is nothing to sneeze at. Steve Kerr’s club was playing lights-out basketball without the injured Kevin Durant around for the final quarter of the regular season, but now that the Slim Reaper is in the fold, they’re downright scary once again.
Considering LeBron James absolutely owns the East and has represented the conference in each of the last six seasons, that’s not much of a shock. What is a bit surprising is the -275 price considering their recent poor play, but the sports betting industry is clearly expecting the Cavs to turn it on come playoff time. Bet on the real season, the playoffs, sign up at Heritagesports