The 2017 NBA All-Star game is at hand, and while every player participating in the action will get along like old best friends from grade school during the action, the hugs and handshakes won’t be as friendly when the 2017 postseason arrives.
At the beginning of the season, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers were favored to win the 2017 NBA Championship. While that hasn’t changed, a few unexpected teams are making some serious noise while climbing the Las Vegas odds board.
First lets look at the favorites.
The Western Conference is once again leading the way with the top teams record wise at the All-Star break. The Warriors own the best record in the Association at 47-9, followed by the Spurs at 43-13 and the surprising and surging Houston Rockets are the third best team overall at 40-18.
The first team from the east to crack the top ten overall standings board is the Cleveland Cavaliers at 39-16. The defending champs sometimes look like they are in cruise control as they once again started the season off by dominating most of the other teams in the east, but there are a few teams that are starting to catch fire, and one of them is the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics are alive and kicking once again in the Eastern Conference. Winners in eight of their last 10 games before the All-Star break, Boston leads the Atlantic Division by four games over the Toronto Raptors and is in second place overall in the East, just three games behind the Cavaliers for the top spot overall.
Boston, along with the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets, have been three of the biggest surprises in the first half, and it is reflected in Las Vegas when it comes to the favorites to win the 2017 NBA Title.
Many sports books had the Celtics listed anywhere between 18 and 30/1 odds to win the NBA title at the start of the season. However, after a 13-12 start, NESN reported that the Celtics were listed as high as 40/1 odds to win this year’s championship.
Those odds have dramatically changed over the past six weeks, as the Celtics are now amongst the leaders to advance to the NBA Finals.
Another team from the East that is drawing a lot of attention is the Washington Wizards.
Not many NBA experts can say they knew that the Wizards would be one of the best teams in the east at the All-Star break, but behind John Wall, Washington is playing its best basketball in a long time.
The Wizards opened their campaign on a disappointing 3-9 after the first 12 games and it looked like the Wiz were just in for another long season in D.C.. Las Vegas odds makers have Washington as high+20000 in late November.
But somehow, someway, in December the tide actually began to shift and over the last six weeks the Wizards had a stretch in which they went 23-9 against the spread and even held a better winning percentage than that straight up. Watch out for Washington this postseason.
If we have ever learned anything over the years in sports, it is that the favorite doesn’t always win. Last year’s NBA Finals proved that. The Cavaliers were left for dead, down 3-1 to Golden State, until they reeled off three wins in a row and won the 2016 NBA title. Sure, the Warriors and Cavs are loaded with some of the best players in the world, but don’t assume that they will have a clear path to a championship. The Celtics, Rockets, Spurs, Raptors and several other teams will have a lot to say about that this April.
Below is a look at the top ten favorites to win the 2017 NBA Championship. You can click here to see the entire list of odds for every team.
- Golden State Warriors -150
- Cleveland Cavaliers +275
- San Antonio Spurs +750
- Houston Rockets +1600
- Boston Celtics +2000
- Los Angeles Clippers +2500
- Toronto Raptors +2500
- Washington Wizards +3300
- Utah Jazz +4000
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]