Updated 2016 NBA Championship Odds
With the 2015 NFL season winding down and NBA hoops lovers everywhere are starting to turn their full attention to the sport that James Naismith created. In this expert online sportsbook betting breakdown on the latest odds to win the 2015-16 NBA championship, I’m going to identify the best picks to actually hoist this season’s Larry O’Brien trophy while separating the pretenders from the legitimate contenders.
Updated 2016 NBA Championship Odds
The Favorites To Take It All
- Golden State Warriors 7/5
- Cleveland Cavaliers 5/2
- San Antonio Spurs 3/1
- Oklahoma City Thunder 20/1
Look, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, barring a quartet of miraculous collapses – one of the four teams in my ‘favorites’ group is going to win this year’s NBA championship. To be blunt about it, I’ve been saying since about 20 games into the season that I just don’t believe any team can beat either Golden State or San Antonio in a seven-game series, more or less, the NBA Finals.
Golden State (44-4 SU) has won seven straight and eight of their last 10 games overall and shows no signs of slowing down while also ranking second in the league in the ATS standings (29-18-1 ATS).
The Cleveland Cavaliers (35-12 SU) have gone 5-1 since assistant Tyron Lue took over as head coach, but you need to know that LeBron James and company are ranked 22nd in the ATS standings (21-23-3 ATS).
The San Antonio Spurs have managed to win eight of their last 10 games despite missing Tim Duncan for the last four games and five of the last six overall. Oh, and if you didn’t know, the Spurs also ranks first in the ATS standings (31-17 ATS), mostly because they’re outscoring the opposition by a league-leading 13.3 points per game.
In the case of the Oklahoma City (37-13 SU), the Thunder have plenty of talent, starting with all-stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook first and foremost. Unfortunately, they’ve been miserable in covering the spread this season (20-30 ATS) and will undoubtedly face an uphill battle in getting past the Spurs or Warriors in the Western Conference. Still, Durant and company are 9-1 SU over their last 10 games and rank third in the league to the Spurs and Warriors in scoring differential (8.1 ppg).
Legitimate Contenders – Odds
- Los Angeles Clippers 30/1
- Chicago Bulls 40/1
- Toronto Raptors 40/1
- Atlanta Hawks 65/1
- Indiana Pacers 65/1
- Miami Heat 75/1
Analysis: When it comes to legitimate contenders, the list is short – and realistically – each of these teams is a bit of a longshot to upset all four of the teams in my ‘favorites’ group.
The Los Angeles Clippers (32-16 SU) have won seven of their last 10 games and will likely give any team in the Western Conference a tough way to go in the postseason – if they don’t let their own dysfunction get in the way of things. Hey Blake Griffin we are talking to you.
The Chicago Bulls (26-21 SU) have got talent at every position on the floor, but they’ve underachieved at a high rate this season and just seem to be missing something defensively under Fred Hoiberg after putting their opponents on ‘lockdown’ for years under former head coach Tom Thibodeau.
The Toronto Raptors (32-16 SU) are my pick to pull really challenge Cleveland for the Eastern Conference crown. The Raps have won nine of their last 10 games and have one of the game’s very best backcourts in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
The Hawks (28-22), Heat (27-21) and Pacers (25-23) all have veteran-laden teams that know how to win games, even if all three have obvious deficiencies that will likely derail their Eastern Conference championship hopes.
Not Gonna’ Happen Odds
- Boston Celtics 75/1
- Houston Rockets 125/1
- Memphis Grizzlies 125/1
- Washington Wizards 125/1
- Detroit Pistons 300/1
- New York Knicks 300/1
- Charlotte Hornets 500/1
- Dallas Mavericks 500/1
- Sacramento Kings 500/1
- Utah Jazz 500/1
- New Orleans Pelicans 600/1
- Portland Blazers 750/1
- Milwaukee Bucks 1250/1
- Orlando Magic 2000/1
- Brooklyn Nets 9999/1
- Denver Nuggets 9999/1
- Minnesota Timberwolves 9999/1
- Phoenix Suns 9999/1
Analysis: Okay, out of this group, I believe it’s quite possible (if not likely), that the Houston Rockets (25-25 SU) and Memphis Grizzlies (29-20) could get their respective acts together and get back to being legitimate contenders in the Western Conference.
Last but not least, I also wouldn’t put anything past Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks, seeing as how they have a nice mix of veteran leadership and youth that can flip the switch and challenge the best teams in the league on occasion.