We’ve had a very small sample size of the 2017-18 NBA season so far, as were just midway through the second week of the NBA season. Though, you wouldn’t think so as the headlines so far couldn’t make anyone believe that we were really not even three weeks in yet.
-Boston Celtics forward, Gordon Hayward likely out for the year with an ankle injury.
-Brooklyn guard, Jeremey Lin out for the year with a patella injury.
-Chicago big man, Nikola Mirotic out indefinitely with facial fractures and a concussion from teammate.
-Houston guard, Chris Paul to miss up to a month with knee injury.
-Phoenix Suns guard, Eric Bledsoe tweets, “I Dont wanna be here anymore.” And is now on the trading blocks.
With that being said there’s still a list or ranking of favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June and I’m here to break that down. So without further ado, which team has the best betting odds to win NBA Championship?
Golden State Warriors (odds to win title -200):
They’re the clear cut favorites. They’re the defending champions and Kyrie Irving is now in Boston and Cleveland appears to be depleted with Isiah Thomas sidelined so this -200 makes sense. But are they the best? Yes, but their competition got better, especially in the West. Oklahoma City added Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, Minnesota added Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford and Houston added Chris Paul. San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge got another offseason under his belt under the Popovich offense so the competition definitely got better. The Warriors weakness of their big guys will definitely get exploited this year and will be truly tested.
Oklahoma City Thunder (odds to win title +1500):
Yes, I’m putting them in at number two. Yes, we didn’t see this coming about four months ago, but the additions of Anthony and George will do that. They’ll definitely have some chemistry issues to work on and playing good defense will be key and maybe a slight challenge for them but if those two come together, watch out. So a plus 1500 opportunity for a team that can matchup with the Warriors and a team that has better big guys, I like this bet a lot. Despite getting just their second win of the season on Wednesday night, I still really like this team’s chances of taking home the title.
Cleveland Cavaliers (odds to win title +400):
LeBron James has been to seven straight NBA Finals and will likely make it to his eighth again this year BUT, the chance of them taking it home, I’m not sold on that just yet. Yes, they’re playing without Thomas and Irving is in Boston, but it’s been clear so far this year that they’re not even close to the same team that they were last year. A 112-107 loss against Brooklyn on Wednesday night, who didn’t have D’Angelo Russell either showed those weaknesses and concerns. They’re going to need to get better guard play and hope that Wade can turn back the clock come playoff time.
Houston Rockets (odds to win title +1500):
The addition of Chris Paul is huge. Even though Paul will miss about a month’s time with a knee injury this Rockets team is still very scary. Third year player, Clint Capela is a proving himself to be a force down-low and Eric Gordon and James Harden on the wings is just truly unfair. Add in, Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker and Luc-Mbah-A-Moute on the defensive end and this team is truly a scary team. I have them slightly behind the Cavaliers and that’s only because of LeBron James. But this plus 1500 opportunity is another one that I truly love.
San Antonio Spurs (odds to win title +1500):
The Spurs are always going to be a contender as long as Gregg Popovich is there lets face it. But I like the Spurs’ chances a lot better than last year. That may be hard to take in as they made it to the Western Conference Finals and were swept but the addition of Rudy Gay is huge. And like I mentioned earlier in the article, Aldridge’s second year in this system is key and their increased chemistry as a unit with another year under their belt is huge. I won’t go on a rant about chemistry but it truly is an underrated factor in basketball. So while they’ve yet to take the court this season with Kawhi Leonard, once they get him back this Spurs team is going to be scary good as they have a plethora of weapons to choose from.