Four teams are left in the 2015 NBA playoffs, but two are separating themselves from the rest. After just one game in both the Eastern Conference Finals and Western Conference Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are the clear favorites to meet in the NBA Finals.
With a 1-0 series lead over the Houston Rockets, Golden State is the odds-on favorite (2/5) to win the championship at Bovada.lv. Cleveland’s 1-0 lead over Atlanta has given them good betting odds (12/5) to claim the title as well. The Rockets and Hawks are both longshots (20/1).
Houston was almost able to steal Game 1 against Golden State in Oakland, but the Warriors ultimately won, 110-106. Because they’ve been so dominant at home this year, losing just three times in 47 games, Golden State is a 10.5-point favorite in Game 2. The Warriors have now beaten the Rockets in all five of their meetings this season.
Cleveland and Atlanta have played just one game, but things are looking bleak for the No.1 seed in the East. The Cavs seized home-court advantage with a 97-89 victory in Game 1, which saw the Hawks suffer a potentially crushing injury. DeMarre Carroll arguably has been the team’s best player this postseason, leading them in scoring, and he left the game with a knee injury. The player who was set to guard LeBron James in the conference finals could be out for the rest of the series.
Since the start of the playoffs, the Warriors and Cavs have been the clear favorites to win their respective conferences. The San Antonio Spurs were considered a legitimate threat in the West, but they were bounced in the first round by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Chicago Bulls were the second favorite in the East, and the Cavs took care of them in six games.
Golden State has been the NBA’s best team all year long, winning 67 games in the regular season. Even though they lost two games to the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round, they’ve largely continued their dominance in the playoffs, going 9-2 and winning six games by double-digits.
The Cavs had their struggles in the regular season, starting out the year 19-20, and it looked like they might have trouble getting to the finals after Kevin Love was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs. But it appears that no team in the East is a match for Cleveland. After cruising to a win in Atlanta, the Eastern Conference Finals could turn out to be a short series for the Cavs.
Despite being the favorite to win the series, Cleveland was the underdog in Game 1. They find themselves favored in Game 2, which is also in Atlanta.