Golden State Warriors Almost a Sure Bet to Repeat in 2018, Oddsmakers Say
Posted on: June 14, 2017, 06:00h.
Last updated on: June 14, 2017, 02:26h.
The Golden State Warriors made easy work of the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in this year’s NBA Finals, and if the early future odds in Las Vegas are correct, history is almost certainly going to repeat itself next June.
The Westgate SuperBook posts the champs at 1-2 to win the 2018 Larry O’Brien Trophy. With its full starting lineup returning, including four 2016-17 All-Stars led by former MVPs Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, a $100 wager right now at the Westgate would return just $50 next summer should the Warriors go on to win their third title in four years.
The Cavs, led by three All-Stars of their own, including LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, are at 3-1 to win the title. That means a $100 bet on Cleveland nets the gambler $300 should they find a way to pull off the upset.
It’s hard to argue that James wasn’t the best player on the court, despite his team losing in just five games to the Golden State Warriors. He averaged a triple double with 33.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, and shot 56 percent.
“I left everything on the floor every game, so for me personally I have no reason to put my head down,” James said following the Cavs’ elimination. “I left everything I had out on the floor every single game for five games in this Finals, and you come up short.”
Cleveland’s front office, led by billionaire Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert and General Manager David Griffin, will have little room to argue against their superstar’s performance. The Warriors, described by some as a “superteam,” were simply superior.
Rumors are already circulating as to who Cleveland might look to sign in order to better compete in the seemingly likely fourth-straight NBA Finals between the Cavs and Warriors.
Though sportsbooks aren’t offering odds on the reports, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George have quickly emerged as the favorites to move to Cleveland. Cavs guard JR Smith even “hearted” a photo to Instagram showing his former teammate Anthony in a Cavs jersey.
Good for Basketball?
Outside of Ohio and the Bay Area, the NBA Playoffs lacked much drama until the NBA Finals. The Warriors went 12-0 in reaching the championship, and the Cavs 12-1.
Even fans of other teams knew the odds of the rubber match occurring were very strong. Critics say the “superteams” loading up on talent isn’t good for the game, but for ABC, it certainly was.
The 2017 Finals were the most-watched NBA championship series since Michael Jordan’s final title run in 1998. Monday night’s fifth game drew the most viewers of any non-game seven matchup in ABC/ESPN’s long history in televising the series.
The Finals averaged 20.4 million viewers, its highest viewership in nearly two decades, and four times as many people who watched the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver responded to the earlier lopsided criticism by explaining, “This is real life. It’s not scripted, and it happens. The fan in me would love to see more competition at times … but I think we should also celebrate excellence.”
Excellent the Warriors were, and should continue to be for years to come.
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