Updated NBA Championship Odds: Favorite, Smart Pick and Top Longshot

Posted by Peter Brennan on Tuesday,December 6, 2016 3:23, EDT in

After adding perennial All-Star and former league MVP Kevin Durant, it’s a no-brainer that the revamped Golden State Warriors are the odds-on-favorites to win the 2017 NBA Championship.

Nevertheless, the Dubs certainly aren’t locks and could be beaten out by either, my ‘smart’ pick to win this season’s NBA Championship or my top longshot. With one fourth of the 2016-17 NBA regular season now a thing of the past, let’s find out about all three teams right now.

Updated NBA Championship Odds: Favorite, Smart Pick and Top Longshot

 

 

The Favorite

Golden State Warriors 5/7

Analysis: The Golden State Warriors have the best record in the league right now (17-3) and have won nine of their last 10 games at the time of this writing. The Dubs have scored at least 125 points seven times this season, but I have to admit that I’m concerned about their inability to both, score inside – or stop opposing teams that have the big height and rebounding advantage. Sure, Golden State has a trio of elite shooters in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, but as the old saying goes…when you live by the jump shot, you die by the jump shot.

The Smart Pick

Cleveland Cavaliers 3/1

Analysis: The Cavaliers (13-5) have lost three straight, but let’s be honest for a moment. Which Eastern Conference ballclub do you see denying LeBron James and company a trip to the NBA Finals this season?

Cleveland will almost assuredly reach the NBA Finals, where they’ll have a legitimate chance to repeat, particularly if Golden State doesn’t find some bigs that can play competent interior basketball. The one concern I have about Cleveland is what I believe is a lack of quality depth, particularly at point guard behind starter Kyrie Irving and shooting guard where J.R. Smith is still prone to go nuts every now and then.

 

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The Longshot

Houston Rockets 50/1

Analysis: Say what you want about James Harden’s lack of defense, but he’s clearly as unstoppable as any offensive player in the league. Mike D’Antoni also made a great move by putting Harden at point guard where he’s been killing Houston’s opponents with his slashing drives, surprisingly pinpoint passes and dead-eye long distance shooting.

The Rockets have some sweet shooters in veterans like Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, a great defensive star in Patrick Beverly, youth and size in the form of big man Clint Capela. If you saw Houston’s win over Golden State last week, then you know this is a team capable of beating anyone on any given night. Sure, there are a handful of teams that I could have chosen as my longshot selection, but Houston just scares the hell out of me. Besides, at a whopping 50/1, if the Rockets do upset the entire apple cart, you’re going to be one seriously happy camper!