With only four teams left in the 2015 NBA playoffs, one enters the conference finals as the clear favorite. The Golden State Warriors finished the regular season seven games better than the second-best team, and they have the best betting odds to win this year’s title.
Golden State will take on the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals, while the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks do battle in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs are favored to defeat the Hawks, but the Warriors are much bigger favorites to get by the Rockets. Golden State has been given -800 odds to reach the NBA Finals.
With 4/7 championship odds at Bovada.lv, the Warriors are an odds-on favorite, meaning gamblers have to risk more money than they could win on a potential title for Golden State. The Warriors have been the most dominant team this postseason, sweeping the New Orleans Pelicans in the opening round and taking care of the Memphis Grizzlies in six games in the second round. All of Golden State’s wins over Memphis came by at least 15 points.
Cleveland also has needed just 10 games to become one of the NBA’s final four, and they’ve been favored to meet Golden State in the NBA Finals for much of the year. The odds makers give LeBron James and the Cavs the second-best chance to win the championship with 13/5 odds.
The Cavs would likely have much better odds if they were at full strength, but they’ve been dealing with injuries throughout the playoffs. Kevin Love went down for the remainder of the postseason when he hurt his shoulder against the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the first round, and Kyrie Irving has been battling multiple injuries. Irving sat for most of Cleveland’s last game, though he’s said he’ll be ready for the opener against the Hawks.
Atlanta and Houston have nearly the same championship odds, at 9/1 and 10/1, respectively. The Hawks needed six games to get past both the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards. The Rockets took care of the Dallas Mavericks, easily, in five games, but they needed seven games to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers. Houston barely made it to the Western Conference Finals, going down 3-1 in their second-round series and trailing L.A. by 19 points in the second half of Game 6.
No franchise that’s left in the playoffs has been to the NBA Finals since the Cavs got swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. The Rockets were the last of the four to win a championship, doing so in 1995 for a second consecutive year.