Back in June, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 to claim the franchise’s first championship since 1975. At that time, we posted early futures from 5Dimes and the Warriors were not expected to repeat as champion — that honor belonged to the Cavs.
With Kyrie Irving set to return from his injury and Kevin Love signed to a new 5-year contract, the Cavs (+250) opened as the favorites to win next season’s championship. Clearly oddsmakers believe they’ll make mince meat of their Eastern Conference brethren, since Cleveland opened as a -220 front runner to win the conference.
On the other side of the country, the Warriors and Thunder were both listed at +260 to win the Western Conference. Strangely, Golden State (+600) had slightly shorter odds than Oklahoma City (+800) of winning the title. This would seem to indicate that oddsmakers believe Golden State is a much tougher matchup for Cleveland than OKC.
Several months later after free agency had concluded, we re-examined these futures to see which odds had fluctuated the most. After losing four starters including All-Star F/C LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers dropped from 50/1 to 200/1 to win the championship. The Dallas Mavericks, who lost Tyson Chandler and were unable to sign free agent DeAndre Jordan, dropped from 40/1 to 70/1.
On the other side, the Spurs were able to land LaMarcus Aldridge which retaining free agents Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. This helped San Antonio move from 15/1 to 4/1, which makes them the new favorite in the Western Conference.
The table below examines the NBA Championship and Conference Futures at 5Dimes and will be updated throughout the off-season.
|Team||Championship (9/30)||Championship (6/17)||Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|San Antonio Spurs||+400||+1500||N/A||+700|
|Golden State Warriors||+475||+600||N/A||+260|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+800||+800||N/A||+260|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+1000||+1200||N/A||+500|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+4000||+3000||N/A||+1500|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+15000||+7500||N/A||+5000|
|New York Knicks||+17500||+10000||+5000||N/A|
Based on these futures and the win total projected released on Tuesday, we can offer an oddsmaker prediction of the NBA Playoffs this season.
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #8 Milwaukee Bucks
#2 Chicago Bulls vs. #7 Indiana Pacers
#3 Atlanta Hawks vs. #6 Toronto Raptors
#4 Washington Wizards vs. #5 Miami Heat
#1 San Antonio vs. #8 Dallas Mavericks
#2 Golden State vs. #7 New Orleans Pelicans
#3 Oklahoma City vs. #6 Memphis Grizzlies
#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #5 Houston Rockers
This would leave the Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics on the outside looking in, although it will be interesting to see how these futures compare to playoff odds, which should be released shortly.
Which teams being undervalued? Are we destined for a Warriors/Cavs rematch? Can LeBron James win his third title? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.