The same two teams have squared off in consecutive NBA Finals before, but none have ever dueled for three consecutive championship rounds. That is, according to Sportsbook.ag, until the 2017 NBA Finals comes around.
The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, who LeBron James and the Cavs stunned in seven games after a 3-1 series deficit, are heavy favorites to vie for the NBA title as training camps open for the 2016-17 season.
The Warriors, following the surprise splash signing of Kevin Durant this summer, stand as overwhelming 5/8 favorites as the four-time scoring champion Durant joins forces with two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry, sharpshooter Klay Thompson, and do-it-all forward Draymond Green.
And though they haven’t made any major offseason acquisitions, the Cavs are next at 13/4 odds and look to be the first squad to repeat as champions since James helped the Miami Heat claim consecutive crowns in 2012 and 2013.
The odds suggest the Warriors and Cavs will meet for a third straight year with the former taking the first showdown in 2015 and the latter this past June.
The San Antonio Spurs are next up at 11/1 odds, followed by the Boston Celtics at 25/1, and the Los Angeles Clippers at 35/1.
Like the Cavs and Warriors, the Celtics and Spurs are either welcoming new talent or learning to survive without one of their stars. Boston was a major player in free agency this summer, and though they missed out on Durant, they landed All-Star power forward Al Horford to solidify the frontcourt.
However, the Spurs are learning what life is like without now retired former All-Star league and MVP Tim Duncan. He retired after 20 years in the league, helping San Antonio win five titles in that span, but the Spurs still have All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge to lead the way as well as point guard Tony Parker.
The online-betting site also details the most favored NBA Finals matchups, and none are too surprising. The Warriors' and Cavs’ chances of meeting for a third straight Finals are at 4/7, followed by the Cavs and Spurs at 6/1, and the Celtics versus the Warriors at 13/1.
Odds To Win 2017 NBA Championship
Golden State Warriors 5/8
Cleveland Cavaliers 13/4
San Antonio Spurs 11/1
Boston Celtics 25/1
Los Angeles Clippers 35/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 70/1
Toronto Raptors 75/1
Memphis Grizzlies 80/1
Chicago Bulls 85/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 85/1
Atlanta Hawks 100/1
Indiana Pacers 100/1
New York Knicks 100/1
Portland Trail Blazers 125/1
Utah Jazz 125/1
The full list can be found at Sportsbook.ag.