Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors are the runaway favorites to win the NBA title this season; that is based on their current scorching streak and the sports betting odds.
That comes as a no surprise from a team who is on pace to break the all-time best win-loss regular season record set by all-time best player Michael Jordan and all-time best team 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls squad, who finished with a 72-10 win-loss card that season.
Jordan and the Bulls also dominated the NBA Playoffs at that time. It remains to be seen if; a) the Warriors will indeed beat the Bulls’ hallowed record and b) if the Warriors will duplicate the Bulls’ feat of going all the way to the championship after their great regular season run.
Like Chicago two decades ago, the pressure will be on Golden State to bring home the championship after dominating the entire league in the warm-up round (or also called the regular season). After all, even if they finish 73-9 (or 74-8?) and they don’t win the title this season, they’d be criticized for folding and choking in the games that matters the most.
So which other NBA teams have a legit shot of pulling off the upset this season? Here are the 5 teams with the best odds to win the NBA crown this year.
Cleveland Cavaliers +290
San Antonio Spurs +325
Oklahoma City Thunder +900
Los Angeles Clippers +2500
Toronto Raptors +2500
For those not very familiar with sports betting, below is how the payout/profit computation is done.
For every $100 bet on LeBron James and the Cavs, the bettor will net a payout/profit of $290 should the East’s best team manage to beat the Warriors (or the West champion) in the NBA Finals.
Another example, for the same $100 bet on DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and the Raptors, the bettor will net a payout/profit of $2,500 should the Canadian squad bring the title north of the border. Improbable perhaps, but Canada has the potential to pull off the shocker starting with upsetting the Cavaliers and James in a potential East Finals match-up.
Feeling lucky and wants to bet on the other teams NOT in the top five in the betting odds? Here are the rest of the teams’ chances and betting lines:
Chicago Bulls +3300
Atlanta Hawks +5000
Miami Heat +6600
Indiana Pacers +6600
Houston Rockets +7500
Boston Celtics +7500
Memphis Grizzlies +7500
Detroit Pistons +15000
Dallas Mavericks +15000
New York Knicks +15000
Washington Wizards +20000
Charlotte Hornets +30000
Sacramento Kings +50000
New Orleans Pelicans +50000
Utah Jazz +50000
Portland Trail Blazers +50000
Orlando Magic +100000
Milwaukee Bucks +100000
Using the same formula above, that’s a payout of $100,000 for a $100 bet on either the Magic or the Bucks!
It’s perhaps “dead money” betting on the other non-title contenders to win the NBA title; but the top three (outside the Warriors), in the Cavaliers, Spurs and Thunder have very good value if bettors want to back them to win the championship this season.
Basing on the sports betting odds and Golden State mad, crazy regular season run, it’s the Warriors vs. the world in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons