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Warriors Widen Gap With Rockets in NBA Championship Odds

Ryan Murphy

by Ryan Murphy in NBA Basketball

May 10, 2018 · 3:38 PM PDT

Steph Curry shoots over Marcin Gortat.
Golden State may be one of the elite teams of all time, but they may not show it during the NBA regular season. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr)
  • The Warriors are favored to win their second straight NBA championship after dispatching the Pelicans
  • Is there value to be found in the Rockets’ longer odds?
  • Will LeBron James return to the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year?

Throughout the many twists and turns of the 2017-18 NBA season the Golden State Warriors have never lost faith in themselves. Neither has Vegas.

Golden State’s average odds to win the 2018 NBA Championship have improved from -105 on April 30th to -150 on May 10th. The Warriors are currently available as short as -190 and as long as -130.

Golden State hasn’t fallen from the top spot all year, but its current -150 odds are the shortest they’ve been since March 9th, when the Warriors were 51-15 and fresh off a seven-game winning streak.

The defending champs have since overcome a pair of injuries to Steph Curry and have breezed past the Spurs and the Pelicans in the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs. Steve Kerr’s squad looked especially dominant against New Orleans, averaging 115 points per game on 46% shooting from the floor and 32% from behind the arc.

The Warriors have allowed just 99.3 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs, and lead all teams in defensive rebounds, defensive rebounding percentage, and blocked field goal attempts.

Golden State’s offense has always been exceptional, but it’s their defense that made the difference against the Pelicans and Spurs. The Warriors have allowed just 99.3 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs, and lead all teams in defensive rebounds, defensive rebounding percentage, and blocked field goal attempts.

Much of the credit belongs to Draymond Green, who has been blanketing bigs and switching seamlessly on opposing wings throughout the postseason. There are a handful of players in the NBA who can guard all five positions, but Green may be the only one who does it regularly on a single possession. His versatility remains his greatest strength.

Team Average Odds to Win NBA Championship
Golden State Warriors -150
Houston Rockets +210
Cleveland Cavaliers +540
Boston Celtics +1800

The Warriors’ shorter odds have come at the expense of the Rockets, whose average championship odds have dropped from +160 on April 30th to +210 on May 10th across numerous online betting sites.

Like Golden State, Houston has also compiled an 8-2 record in the playoffs, but they’ve done so against lesser competition.

Like Golden State, Houston has also compiled an 8-2 record in the playoffs, but they’ve done so against lesser competition. The Rockets squared off against a pair of young and untested teams in the Timberwolves and Jazz and struggled at times to regain the offensive rhythm that made them such a juggernaut in the regular season.

They’ll have their hands full when they square off against the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night.

Over in the East, the surging Celtics (+1800) will face-off against the red-hot Cavs (+540). Boston managed to overthrow Philadelphia despite missing its top two players, while the Cavs rediscovered their mojo against the reeling Raptors.

The Cavaliers are one of just two teams to sweep an opponent in the 2018 playoffs and are heavily favored to defeat the Celtics in their best-of-seven series. The two teams met three times during the regular season, with the Cavs coming out on top twice.

Be sure to check out our 2018 NBA Championship Odds Tracker to see how each remaining team’s odds fluctuate on their road to the Finals.

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