Warriors, not Cavs, are the early favorite for the 2017 NBA title

BY Andrew Lynch • June 20, 2016

The Cleveland Cavaliers are your 2016 NBA champions. But according to the people who set lines for a living, they won't be favored to repeat next season.

Just hours after Game 7 of the NBA Finals ended, bookmaker Bovada posted preseason odds for the 2016-17 NBA title, and the Golden State Warriors are atop the list (via Bovada.net):

Golden State Warriors: +200

Cleveland Cavaliers: +225

San Antonio Spurs: +750

Oklahoma City Thunder: +850

Los Angeles Clippers: +2000

Boston Celtics: +2500

Toronto Raptors: +2500

Chicago Bulls: +3300

Miami Heat: +3300

Atlanta Hawks: +5000

Houston Rockets: +5000

Dallas Mavericks: +6600

New Orleans Pelicans: +6600

Charlotte Hornets: +7500

Detroit Pistons: +7500

Indiana Pacers: +7500

Memphis Grizzlies: +7500

Minnesota Timberwolves: +7500

New York Knicks: +7500

Portland Trail Blazers: +7500

Washington Wizards: +7500

Denver Nuggets: +10000

Los Angeles Lakers: +10000

Milwaukee Bucks: +10000

Sacramento Kings: +10000

Utah Jazz: +10000

Orlando Magic: +10000

Philadelphia 76ers: +15000

Phoenix Suns: +15000

Brooklyn Nets: +25000

A couple of quick takeaways:

1. While the Warriors are favored over the Cavs next season, it's striking how those two teams stand atop these odds. The Warriors are 2/1, the Cavaliers are 9/4, then the Spurs come in a distant third at 15/2. According to the oddsmakers, we're likely due for yet another rematch in next year's Finals.

2. Golden State's status as the favorite for next season makes sense, even if it's a little strange after it just lost to the Cavs. The Warriors were the better regular-season team, they have more flexibility than Cleveland this offseason, and they'll come back with a vengeance in 2016-17, motivated by their historic failure.

3. No one's going to cry for the Jazz, but Utah having the same odds to win the title as the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings is borderline criminal. If they're healthy, the Jazz will be a solid team next season.

4. These lines are significantly different than those posted by the Las Vegas SuperBook earlier this postseason, although both have the Warriors as preseason favorites. In that same vein, remember that the Cavaliers (9/4) were considered betting favorites to win the 2016 title before this season started. 



share story