2017 NBA Championship Betting Odds
The city of Cleveland will celebrate the first NBA title by the Cavaliers in franchise history on Wednesday with a big parade. The Cavs defeated the Golden State Warriors, 93-89, in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, ending the city’s championship drought that had lasted 52 years. Will we have a repeat champion next year? Here are the favorites in online sportsbook odds.
Taking a Closer Look at the 2017 NBA Championship Betting Odds
Golden State Warriors (+200)
The Warriors sure looked like a potential dynasty for much of this season. Of course they set an NBA record by winning 73 regular season games — Steph Curry was named league MVP for a second year in a row — and became a rare team to rally from a 3-1 series deficit in the conference finals by stunning the Oklahoma City Thunder. But in the NBA Finals, the Warriors became the first team ever in a Finals to blow a 3-1 series lead. The key Warriors are all back: Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Warriors do have eight unrestricted free agents, including swingman Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli, both of whom are expected to attract significant attention from rival teams this summer. The Warriors, however, believe they have a chance to sign Thunder free-agent superstar Kevin Durant this offseason. Can you imagine how unstoppable that Warriors offense would be? Warriors owner Joe Lacob, without addressing Durant specifically so as not to violate league rules that prohibit such discussion before July 1, said Sunday night after the Game 7 loss that “All I can say is that I will be very aggressive.” The Warriors and Spurs are widely regarded as the league’s two top threats to the Thunder’s attempts to keep Durant this summer. I don’t think Durant leaves OKC this summer, though. Plan B for the Warriors is Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. The 38-year-old won a title with Dallas in 2011 but hasn’t won a playoff series since. Dirk might want to end his Hall of Fame career on a title contender.
Cleveland Cavaliers (+300)
As long as LeBron James sticks around, and it’s hard to see him leaving town now, the Cavaliers are going to be among the title favorites. They also have an easier road to the Finals playing in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs have to re-sign J.R. Smith this offseason and decide what to do with power forward Kevin Love, who is under contract but doesn’t seem to fit. By his own admission, being relegated as the team’s third option “hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world.” His last three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves saw him being used on better than 28 percent of the team’s offensive possessions. Since joining Cleveland, it has never been higher than 23.4 percent. There has been some talk of the Cavs trading Love to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony or to Boston for a shooting guard/small forward.
San Antonio Spurs/OKC Thunder (+800)
It’s easy to forget now that the Spurs had one of the best regular seasons in league history as well in winning 67 games. That’s all forgotten since the team lost in the conference semifinals to the Thunder. The Spurs are awaiting word on whether Tim Duncan and/or Manu Ginobili will retire. The Spurs will be active in free agency. They want Durant too but more likely will target someone more realistic like Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley because current starter Tony Parker looked pretty old this season.
These betting odds are all going to chance once free agency is sorted out.