In the last eight days the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors have turned back the two biggest threats to their repeat hopes, the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers, by 30 points and they figure to stay atop the list of title favorites for the rest of the season.
Point guard Stephen Curry and the Warriors completely dismantled the Tim Duncan-less Spurs 120-90 on Monday night, stretching their home record to a perfect 21-0 and keeping their pursuit of the NBA’s best regular season record on course.
Following the victory, during which Curry netted 37 points and often made reigning Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard look silly on defense, the Warriors improved their chances of back-to-back championships to +110, according to the latest futures from Bovada.lv. A little over six weeks ago the Warriors were +140 favorites, and have now improved from 41.67 percent to 47.62 percent to repeat.
Armed with Curry and the NBA’s best offense, as well as guard Klay Thompson and forward Draymond Green, Golden State remains well ahead of both San Antonio (+260) and the Eastern Conference favorite Cavaliers (+325) with only a few weeks left until the All-Star break.
And odds makers haven’t budged from their initial projection of an NBA Finals rematch from last year, with Golden State potentially meeting LeBron James and Cavs once again for the title.
If successful, the Warriors would be just the third franchise to act as repeat champion this millennium, following the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.
Still, the Spurs and their decade-and-a-half of excellence remain Golden State’s biggest threat in the West. San Antonio sits only three games back of Golden State for first in the Western Conference, and it could still challenge the Warriors for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs in the second-half of the season.
The Cavs, on the other hand, are dealing with both head coaching and personnel issues. Cleveland recently fired David Blatt and promoted former player Tyronn Lue to head coach last week, and immediately fell to Chicago by 13 points. And Lue is also trying to introduce a more up-tempo offense while hoping to get forward Kevin Love more involved in the offense to take some pressure off superstars James and Kyrie Irving. Love too is at the center of trade speculation even though Cleveland general manager David Griffin shot down those claims Monday.
But to hear Las Vegas tell it, the Warriors, Spurs and Cavs are in a tier all their own.
The next squads even close to contending begin with the Oklahoma City Thunder at +1200, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers at +2500, and the Toronto Raptors standing as Cleveland’s top competition in the East at +2800.
Odds To Win 2016 NBA Finals
Golden State Warriors +110
San Antonio Spurs +260
Cleveland Cavaliers +325
Oklahoma City Thunder +1200
Los Angeles Clippers +2500
Toronto Raptors +2800
Chicago Bulls +3300
Atlanta Hawks +5000
Miami Heat +5000
Indiana Pacers +5000
Houston Rockets +6600
Boston Celtics +7500
Detroit Pistons +10000
Memphis Grizzlies +10000
Dallas Mavericks +10000
Check out the full list of futures at Bovada.lv.