Who Are the 3 Teams Most Likely to Be NBA Champions This Season?
The 73rd season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) has just tipped off. For the following nine months, 30 professional teams from across the United States and Canada will compete to finish at the top of the most prestigious basketball league in the world.
Can the reigning champions protect their reign, or will they be displaced by their challengers? Online sportsbooks have their say on who would most likely be the 2019 NBA Finals winners.
Three-Peat for Steph, Warriors?
After upgrading their core members that appeared in the last four NBA Finals and won three of them, the Golden State Warriors are, unsurprisingly, the runaway favorites to take home the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
The Dubs are also aiming to cement their dynasty. Following their two consecutive championships, a third would place the Warriors beside an exclusive club of three-peat champions. Working with that goal in mind, the Golden State front office this season reinforced All-Stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant with yet another All-Star in DeMarcus Cousins.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 17, 2018
Stopping a Warriors team with five superstars in every position is near impossible. At least, that was what the odds suggested. On October 19, William Hill priced the odds of the Warriors winning the NBA Finals at 8/15, while bet365 and Betway both have the odds at 4/7.
Celtics, 2019 NBA Champs?
For the past two postseasons, the door leading to the NBA Finals was right in front of the Boston Celtics. But blocking that door on both occasions was the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by arguably the best player in his era, LeBron James. And twice, the Celtics lost.
Now that James moved to the West—specifically to the Celtics’ rival, the Los Angeles Lakers—the Eastern Conference is now out there for the taking, and the Boston franchise is ready to conquer this half of the league.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 16, 2018
While the Celtics have decided against superstar signings this offseason to back up NBA champion Kyrie Irving and 2017 3rd overall pick Jayson Tatum, the return from a yearlong layoff of highly rated Gordon Hayward made it look like they got a new valuable player.
Many experts felt that, with an easy East, the Celtics are automatic shoo-ins to the Finals. Odds for a Celtics championship were at 11/2 on bet365, 13/2 on SkyBet, and 21/4 on Unibet.
Rockets to Avenge Last Season’s Defeat?
At Game 5 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals, the Houston Rockets were one win away from the Finals, having 3-2 against the Warriors. However, the Clutch City choked and lost two match points.
This season, the Rockets looked to shake up their already stellar roster spearheaded by last regular season’s MVP James Harden, former Rookie of the Year (ROY) Chris Paul, and new additions that most notably include ten-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony.
— NBA (@NBA) October 18, 2018
Bookies expect the Rockets to overcome all Western Conference teams—most of which are stacked with superstars themselves—except for the Warriors. The odds for the Houston Rockets winning the NBA Finals were at 8/1, 6/1, and 7/1 on bet365, William Hill, and BetStars, respectively.