NBA Championship: Top 5 Odds to Win the Championship
The start of the NBA season is now less than 2 weeks away, with the biggest question coming into the season being whether any team has what it takes to dethrone the Golden State Warriors.
Their biggest rival in the Western Conference will almost certainly be the Houston Rockets, but it is also going to be interesting to see what sort of step forward the Lakers take with LeBron James now in the fold.
The Eastern Conference is a little more wide open, with at least 3 teams having a shot at winning it. We will get into the individual divisions later this week, but for now, let’s take a look at the top 5 favorites to win the NBA Championship.
Golden State Warriors -190
When you have 3 of the best players in the NBA in your starting 5, it’s easy to be considered the favorite before the opening tip-off. The Warriors are once again stacked and ready to take a run at their 3rd title in 4 years.
They also added DeMarcus Cousins to the line-up, but don’t expect the big man to make an appearance until later in the season, as he is still recovering from an Achilles injury. The Warriors are the team to beat and it’s tough to imagine anyone being able to beat them in a best of 7.
Boston Celtics +525
The Celtics came ever so close to taking out LeBron and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Final last year, but a failure to hit from beyond the 3-point line eventually cost them the series.
They should have a clearer path in the East now that the Cavaliers are without James, but there are a couple of other teams, most notably the Philadelphia 76ers ready to step up and deliver a challenge. For now, though, Boston needs to be considered the beasts of the east.
Houston Rockets +800
The Houston Rockets are going to win the Southwest Division easily, but that means nothing unless they can get past the Warriors in the playoffs.
They are realistically the only team with a legitimate shot at taking down the champions in the Western Conference, but that is a task that is easier said than done. They will once again be looking to MVP James Harden to shoulder much of the work, with Chris Paul also a game changer on this team.
Los Angeles Lakers +1300
Let’s be honest here, the LA Lakers are only going to go as far as LeBron James can carry them. They are certainly going to get plenty of opportunities to see where they are at this year, as they are in the same division as the current champions.
LeBron will make this young team better, but there is probably no way that he turns them into a championship winning team this season. Getting to the playoffs is job one for the Lakers, which you have to believe they will do.
Philadelphia 76ers +1700
For me, this is the team with the potential to be a dark horse this season. The 76ers went from 10 wins two season ago to a 52-win team last year, and you have to believe that they can take another step forward in the coming season.
This is a group that is defensively sound, but you do have to wonder if they have the offensive chops to make a serious run at the Eastern Conference crown. I think they will certainly be there or thereabouts, although next season might be a better bet once some cap space opens up.
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