Updated 2018 NBA Championship Odds – April 16th
We definitely don’t want to overreact to one game, but is LeBron James’ streak of reaching seven straight NBA Finals in jeopardy? The Cavs were +150 favorites to win the East, but those NBA Championship odds will grow a bit longer Monday at MyBookie.ag following Cleveland’s stunning 98-80 home loss to fifth seed Indiana on Sunday.
Updated 2018 NBA Championship Odds – April 16th
How big is the NBA playoff opener?
* The last 10 NBA champions won their playoff opener (2006-07 Spurs were last to lose opener and win title).
* 90% of NBA championship teams started the postseason 1-0 (64 of 71).
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 14, 2018
Despite a triple-double from James, the Pacers snapped LeBron’s streak of 21 straight first-round playoff victories. LeBron did his part with 24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, a steal, and a block, but the rest of Cleveland’s starting five scored just 25 points on a combined 30 shots. James surpassed Michael Jordan (2,188) for the second-most made field goals in playoff history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) tops the list.
Kevin Love grabbed 17 rebounds but he failed to do much else with just nine points on eight shots in 34 minutes of action. Jeff Green was terrible, finishing with no points on 0-of-7 shooting. George Hill struggled mightily as well in finishing with just seven points on seven shots in 18.5 minutes.
Kyle Korver (foot) barely played in Game 1. Korver was expected to be on a minutes limit, but he played just 3.5 minutes and didn’t register a single statistic beyond his sole turnover. He was -10 in his short time on the floor, and he’s pretty clearly not close to 1—percent healthy.
Indiana was in control from the outset, opening a 21-point lead in the first quarter and leading by 23 in the third. The Cavs stormed back and got within seven, but Victor Oladipo hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71. Cleveland had won 14 straight first-round games, last losing on April 22, 2010, the last season of James’ first stint with the Cavs. Indiana came in 15-6 in the playoffs when it wins the opener. The Pacers are 4-18 when losing Game 1.
What About the Warriors?
The Golden State Warriors remain +120NBA Championship odds favorites to win a third title in four years. They crushed the Spurs in Game 1 and Game 2 is Monday night – check out our preview of that game here at Mybookie.ag.
The Celtics’ odds to win a title should get a bit shorter after they knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks 113-107 in overtime on Sunday. Al Horford had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Boston overcame Khris Middleton’s long 3 that beat the fourth-quarter buzzer. The Celtics led 99-96 with 0.5 seconds left in regulation when Middleton took an inbounds pass on the far right wing and hit a contested 35-footer. Boston outscored Milwaukee 14-8 in the extra period.
Terry Rozier added 23 points, four rebounds and three assists for Boston in his first career playoff start. Jaylen Brown finished with 20 points. Rookie Jayson Tatum added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Of course, Boston is without two injured All-Stars in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
How Are the Raptors Looking Like Right Now?
The Toronto Raptors are second favorites in the NBA Championship odds among East teams to win it all at +850 and they took Game 1 against Washington, 114-106. Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors snapped a 10-game losing streak in playoff openers.
DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points, C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby each had 12 and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors, whose only previous victory in the opening game of a playoff series came in the second round at Philadelphia on May 6, 2001. Toronto entered having lost an NBA-worst 10 consecutive Game 1s since, including six at home.
Toronto is the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in team history. The Raptors are the seventh different team in as many years to finish first in the East, following Chicago, Miami, Indiana, Atlanta, Cleveland and Boston. The Raptors have set regular-season franchise records for wins (59), home victories (34) and road wins (25). This is the third straight year Toronto has won at least 50 games. Prior to the 2015-16 season, the Raptors had never recorded a 50-win season.
Any Possible Upsets?
One upset in Game 1 was New Orleans winning at Portland – the Pelicans entered the playoffs at +10000 to win their first NBA title and the Blazers were +5000. New Orleans now has a 16-25 all-time record in the playoffs. The Pelicans/Hornets have won one playoff series, a 4-1 first-round win over the Dallas Mavericks in 2007-08.
New Orleans went on to lose to San Antonio in seven games in the Western Conference semifinals. It’s the first time the Blazers and Pelicans have met in the playoffs. Portland has now played all 14 Western Conference opponents in the playoffs, but faced the Thunder before they moved from Seattle, and the Kings in Kansas City.
2018 NBA Finals Betting Prediction
Golden State vs. Toronto.