The first round isn’t even complete, but multiple key injuries have changed the outlook of the 2016 NBA playoffs. The Golden State Warriors were odds-on favorites to win their second straight championship at the start of the postseason, but that is no longer the case.
Golden State still has the best chance to win this year’s title, but their road to the NBA Finals has gotten a lot more difficult with the injury to Stephen Curry. Beginning the playoffs with -150 betting odds, the Warriors’ title chances are +150 before they meet the Houston Rockets in Game 5.
Winning 67 games in the regular season, the San Antonio Spurs are considered to be the defending champs’ biggest threat. After cruising to the second round, the Spurs’ title odds have gone from +375 down to +180.
The Warriors won three out of four meetings with the Spurs this year. Not only would Golden State have home-court advantage against San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals, but they are the only team that has gotten a road win against the Spurs. Curry’s sprained MCL will sideline him for at least two weeks, and while that timeline could have him ready for a potential series against San Antonio, Golden State could be without their star player for the entirety of the second round.
With the news of Curry’s injury, the Los Angeles Clippers appeared to be a much more viable candidate to reach the conference finals for the first time in team history. Beating the Portland Trail Blazers in L.A.’s first-round series would likely set up a second-round matchup with the Curry-less Warriors, but the Clippers suffered injuries of their own in Game 4.
Chris Paul broke a bone in his right hand, likely ending his season, and Blake Griffin suffered a quad injury in Monday’s loss. With a tough road ahead of them to make it out of the first round, the Clippers’ title odds have nearly doubled to +5000.
Blake Griffin (left knee) also appears done 4 playoffs. Injuries 2 major players have afflicted each western conference series & 2 in east
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) April 26, 2016
After sweeping their first-round series against the Detroit Pistons, the Cleveland Cavaliers remain the heavy favorites in the Eastern Conference. The No.2 seed Toronto Raptors are bigger longshots than they were at the start of the playoffs after splitting the first four games of their series with the Indiana Pacers.
The Charlotte Hornets and Pacers are tied entering Game 5 of their respective series, but neither team is considered a legitimate threat to win it all. Down 3-1 to the Warriors, the Houston Rockets have virtually no chance to win a championship.
2016 NBA Championship Betting Odds [Bovada]
Golden State Warriors +150
San Antonio Spurs +180
Cleveland Cavaliers +325
Oklahoma City Thunder +900
Toronto Raptors +5000
Los Angeles Clippers +5000
Portland Trail Blazers +6600
Miami Heat +6600
Atlanta Hawks +6600
Boston Celtics +7500
Charlotte Hornets +15000
Indiana Pacers +20000
Houston Rockets +30000