Entering the 2015 NBA Playoffs, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers were the clear favorites to meet in the NBA Finals. While the two teams still have the best odds to win their respective conferences, the Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls have emerged as legitimate threats to win the title.
During the week of the start of the postseason, the Warriors had 2/1 championship odds, and the Cavaliers barely trailed them with 21/10 betting odds. With both of the teams tied 2-2 in their second-round series, the Warriors now have even odds to win it all, while the Cavs have seen a slight drop in their odds to 7/2. Cleveland’s road to the finals has been made more difficult in the last month, losing Kevin Love for the rest of the playoffs and with Kyrie Irving playing injured.
The Clippers are a win away from beating the Houston Rockets in their series, and they’ve seen their odds improve from 25/1 to 7/2 in the last month. Chicago, having played Cleveland evenly through four games, has 10/1 odds after starting the playoffs with 18/1 odds.
Los Angeles and Golden State appear headed towards a matchup in the Western Conference Finals. The Clippers have never reached the conference finals, and the Warriors haven’t been past the second round in 40 years.
Golden State is heavily favored over Memphis, despite losing two of the first three games to the Grizzlies. In Game 4, Stephen Curry’s 33 points gave the 67-win Warriors a 17-point victory. The win helps Golden State regain home-court advantage, and they’ve gone 42-3 at Oracle Arena in the regular season and playoffs combined.
Not only will the winner of Cleveland vs. Chicago reach the Eastern Conference Finals, but also seem likely to represent the East in the NBA Finals. Even though they are the No.2 and No.3 seeds in the conference, the Cavs and Bulls appear to be the best teams in the East. Chicago had a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, on Sunday, but LeBron James’ buzzer-beater knotted the series at two games apiece.
The Atlanta Hawks ran away with the No.1 seed in the regular season, but they’ve only been three games over .500 since the beginning of March. The Washington Wizards are tied 2-2 in their series with the Hawks, but their 66/1 odds have made them the most unlikely candidate to win the title. Washington won the fewest regular-season games of any team still in the playoffs, and John Wall has missed the last two games with non-displaced fractures in his wrist and hand.
Below are the updated betting odds to win the 2015 NBA Championship, courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Golden State Warriors 1/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 7/2
Los Angeles Clippers 7/2
Atlanta Hawks 10/1
Chicago Bulls 10/1
Memphis Grizzlies 33/1
Houston Rockets 66/1
Washington Wizards 66/1