- BetOnline has updated NBA Championship odds for the four remaining playoff teams
- The Warriors are heavy favorites heading into the Western Conference Finals
- Can the Bucks, Raptors, or Trail Blazers dethrone the champs?
Despite the notable absence of Space Jam 2 star LeBron James, the NBA Conference Finals are loaded with star power: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kahwi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, and of course Kevin Durant, whose availability will go a long way in determining whether the Warriors will three-peat.
Let’s look at the latest odds from Bovada and examine each remaining team to determine where you should wager your hard-earned dollars.
2019 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||2019 NBA Championship Odds at Bovada|
|Golden State Warriors||-165|
*Odds taken 05/13/19
Golden State Warriors
With Durant likely headed to New York, Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green must have relished the chance to embarrass Houston on their home court and remind everyone that they were pretty darn good before KD showed up.
The odds seem to indicate that Vegas expects the Warriors’ star forward back sooner than later, which is good news for fans who are looking forward to Durant resuming his offseason beef with Portland’s CJ McCollum, and bad news for every fan who resides in the Pacific Northwest.
While it’s not as safe a bet as taking the OVER on whatever total you can find on “number of ESPN cutaways to Steph and Seth Curry’s parents in the stands,” I still like Golden State to win their third-straight championship.
— ESPN (@espn) May 12, 2019
After Boston’s decisive Game 1 win versus the Bucks, former Celtic Paul Pierce declared the series over, saying “I don’t know where Milwaukee goes from here.” Fast forward about a week and another former player, TNT’s Charles Barkley, is now predicting Milwaukee to win the whole thing as Celtics fans line up to drive Kyrie Irving to the airport.
Given the Bucks were at 8/1 to win the NBA Championship with three weeks remaining in the season, it seems Pierce wasn’t the only one underestimating Team Giannis. However, there’s not a lot of value left here. Even if you’re in lock-step with Sir Charles, you should be able to get similar odds (2/1) on Milwaukee before the Finals if they’re facing a healthy Durant.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 9, 2019
How do you top the greatest moment in franchise history? That’s the question facing the Raptors after Kahwi Leonard put the team on his back and erased years of playoff heartbreak with a four-bounce buzzer-beating, series-ending shot versus Philadelphia.
While fans always boo stars who leave, you have to think that, even if he packs up and moves to LA, Raptors supporters will give Kahwi a hero’s welcome every year until he retires. Heck, some fans probably already want to retire his number.
Here’s the Korean call of Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot. People, I have chills. (call from SpoTV) pic.twitter.com/lwKvqB24go
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) May 13, 2019
As magical as Leonard’s shot was, it seems like one day it will be looked back on as the beautiful high-point of his one brilliant year in Toronto. Given the Raptors lackluster bench, I’m picking the Bucks in six.
Portland Trail Blazers
Can you talk yourself into a Blazers bet? Portland was 2-2 versus the Warriors in the regular season and some medical experts don’t expect Durant back by Game 4 at the earliest.
There’s also the fact that the Blazers are the only team in the NBA that can come close to matching Golden State’s backcourt. After Damian Lillard ended the Thunder’s season with a 50-point Game 5 masterpiece, McCollum stole the show in Game 7 against the Nuggets with a 37-point star-making performance.
CJ McCollum had 30 points and 0 TO in each of the last 2 games of the series against the Nuggets.
According to Elias, he’s just the 3rd player with 30 pts and 0 TO in consecutive playoff games since turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78 (Chauncey Billups and Michael Jordan). pic.twitter.com/YBOyZnRUVB
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 13, 2019
Still, it would be a tall order for Portland to displace the Warriors and then beat the Bucks in the NBA Finals.