The Golden State Warriors have reclaimed their position as the odds-on favorites to win the NBA Finals. With a healthy Stephen Curry, and the San Antonio Spurs no longer in contention, the defending champs are in a strong position to cap off their record-setting season with another championship.
The Warriors enter the Western Conference finals with -160 championship odds, via Bovada.lv. The Spurs were considered their biggest competition, but San Antonio was ousted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games in their second-round series. The Thunder nearly upset the Warriors on multiple occasions in the regular season, but Golden State went 3-0 against Oklahoma City in the regular season.
Curry has been banged up for much of the playoffs, but he was in fine form when the Warriors closed out their series with the Portland Trail Blazers. Coming off the bench in Game 4, Curry scored 40 points in 37 minutes. He scored 29 points in 37 minutes two days later, and was given four days to rest before the start of the conference finals.
The Thunder are a significant underdog against the Warriors, leaving them with +600 betting odds to win it all. If the Thunder can somehow get past the Warriors, they might be favored in the NBA Finals, having defeated two teams that won a combined 140 regular-season games. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, a hot-shooting duo that helped eliminate the highly regarded Spurs, both finished in the top five in MVP voting.
Having lost to the Warriors in six games last year without Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love, the Cleveland Cavaliers are now considered to be the biggest threat to Golden State’s title hopes. The Cavs have +230 odds heading into the Eastern Conference finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Unlike last year, Cleveland is completely healthy this postseason. They haven’t been tested yet, sweeping the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks in eight total games. If the current title odds are any indication, LeBron James and Co. won’t have any trouble in their next series, either.
With just four teams remaining, Toronto is given virtually no chance to win the title with +3300 odds. The Raptors were nearly eliminated in each of the first two rounds, needing a deciding Game 7 to beat the Indiana Pacers in the first round and the Miami Heat in the last round.
Toronto has never reached the NBA Finals since their inaugural season in 1995-1996, and this marks their first ever trip to the conference finals.