NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
With the season approaching the business end, it’s fairly evident who the contenders are, and no prizes for guessing who the top pick is (it’s the Golden State Warriors). But the question now is which team can contend and emerge victorious against the Warriors in a 7-game series. The odds have been taken from “SportsBet.ag”. And no, the GSW losing to the likes of the Suns, Magic and Heat doesn’t mean anything, come playoff time and they’ll show you their wherewithal. So, let’s get right into it. GSW leads it with 1.45, The top contenders for the title are:
Toronto Raptors +750
The Raptors were said to have steered towards an impending disaster while trading their franchise player in DeMar Derozen for Kawhi Leonard, the latter of which was on an expiring deal. But the GM Masai Ujuri has done everything right by trading for Marc Gasol he got a bonafide star center who was the heart and soul of the early 10s grit and grind Grizzlies, having a stretch big, who can knock shots consistently from the perimeter is exactly what the doctor prescribed. With the development of Siakam into a gruesome Power Forward, Raptors can field a starting 5 which can wreak havoc on the opposing defences. Only time will tell if the Kawhi experiment works or not.
Milwaukee Bucks +950
This wasn’t supposed to happen, Giannis wasn’t supposed to run the league this year. But that’s exactly what’s happening. People believed that the Bucks weren’t going places as Giannis wasn’t there yet. But with the best record in the league, we can see that the Bucks are a legitimate threat to the Warriors. As things stand, the Bucks will have the Home Court advantage going into any playoff series and having a 27-5 home record isn’t doing their opponents any favours. The fact that they have big men like Gasol and Mirotic on the bench tells us that the hype is real. The Greek Freak’s team can go all the way.
Houston Rockets +1400
The Rockets are perhaps the only team that made the Warriors sweat it out in the West in their recent years of dominance. Much has been said about Harden’s form in the playoffs. This is his year, this is probably the last year when Paul will be considered an elite Point Guard. The historic scoring season that Harden has embarked upon should continue till the playoffs and the Rockets need to address their defensive concerns, which have heightened since the exit of Mbah a Moute and Ariza. With their recent rise in consistency with the return of Capela and Paul from injuries, they’ll need to continue this rhythm to cause the Warriors problems in the Playoffs.
Philadelphia 76ers +1000
Damn. They are real, and they are coming for you. If the threat of dealing with the Big 2 of Simmons and Embiid wasn’t enough, the trades to acquire Butler and Tobias Harris has made them a threat on both the ends of the floor. On paper, this team should dominate all the other teams (barring the Warriors) left, right and centre. But with the immense pool of talent available to them it’s obvious to raise some questions regarding the Team Chemistry (ask the Celtics). If they are able to address these issues there’s no one stopping them from reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since the Iverson Era. They are blessed to have a supremely talented and pass-first point guard in Simmons if they are able to sort the ball sharing, boy, are they going places.
Boston Celtics +950
The Boston Celtics were supposed to be the team that was supposed to take on the Warriors head on, but as things stand things aren’t looking so great. The massive contract to Hayward isn’t doing them any favour’s either. Hayward and Kyrie were supposed to guide the young core to the NBA Finals but as things stand, they have the 10th best record in the league showing that Brad Stevens, even though how great of a man manager he might be, hasn’t been able to solve the issues of the Team Chemistry. But with the immense talent both in the starting 5 and on the bench, I won’t leave it past them to spring a couple of surprises in the Playoffs.
OKC Thunder +1600
This used to be Russ’s team, but are we looking at a change in the power structure at OKC, Russ is doing what he was supposed to do all this while, hand the keys to Paul George. PG13 is a legitimate MVP Candidate at this point in time, his work at both ends of the court has earned him plaudits from all over the Basketball community. After coming off a gruesome injury, he has proved to us that not only can you come back, but come back stronger. If Russ continues to differ the ball to George in the clutch moments and chooses his shots wisely, there’s only one way this team is heading in the future and that’s towards a Championship.
Denver Nuggets +2200
Jokic and Murray are taking this Nuggets team to uncharted territories. The fact that they are the second seed in the West, tells us about how dominant they have been in the Regular season, never have we seen a playmaking Center, but that’s what Jokic has done to us this season, surprise us time and again. They are 26-6 at home, and with them having a Home Court advantage all the way till the Western Conference Finals. The only thing that I hold against them is their relative inexperience at the Playoff stage. The only experienced postseason player is Paul Milsap, and he’s on a decline. We’ll need to see how they handle the big stage.
Utah Jazz +3400
Last year they sprung a surprise on the Thunder, but can they do it again? By trading for players like Korver, they are showing that they are more serious to proceed further in the postseason that they were a year ago. If Donovan Mitchell continues his scoring spree and Gobert shows us his Defensive prowess, it’s not beyond them to win a couple of playoff series and face the Warriors. But I highly doubt that they will cause any problems to the Warriors.
Portland Trailblazers +3900
The Big 2 of Mccollum and Lillard have been the pillars of this Trailblazers team. Nurkic has joined them this season to legitimize the threat that this team possesses. They are coming out from a disappointing playoff run in the 2018 post season. But by acquiring Enes Kanter, they are showing that they are serious about their postseason ambitions. If the Big 2 continues to take over games, there’s nothing stopping this team from wreaking havoc out in the West.
We can see that after the odds of Nuggets there’s a huge gap between them and the Jazz because realistically there are only a handful of teams that can deal with the threat of the Warriors on both the ends of the court.
PICK: Milwaukee Bucks +950 and Denver Nuggets+2200