Five Favorites to Win the 2015-2016 NBA Finals
With the NBA season kicking off in just two months, rosters are largely set and ready to make a run at a championship in the 2015-2016 season. Based on what they have right now and their outlooks for the upcoming campaign, here are the five favorites to win the championship.
All odds listed are from the NBA futures section of SportsBetting.ag’s sportsbook.
Cleveland CavaliersOdds: +300
For a team that is considered the favorite to win the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers sure do have a lot of question marks on their roster. The biggest of those question marks is whether or not Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love can stay healthy enough to help the team win a championship, which they were not able to do while getting injured during the playoffs last year, a year where the Cavs lost in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.
Kyrie Irving is going to make his season debut in January in an attempt to keep him rested enough to have him healthy for the entirety of the playoffs this year, which is a risk. Cleveland may sacrifice their seeding in resting Irving for two months, and he still may get hurt and render the whole plan worthless!
With those issues on the table, Cleveland does have an array of three point shooters, not to mention the best player on the planet in LeBron James. But, while LeBron James is great at hiding the deficiencies his teams possess, there are certainly better value plays than a Cavaliers team whose health is firmly in question.
San Antonio SpursOdds: +400
Every year it seems like the Spurs’ age will finally catch up to them and they will fade away for good, but then they make enough shrewd moves to not only remain contenders, but improve and become one of the favorites to win it all. This year is no exception, as the Spurs made a number of moves that will keep their run atop the NBA going.
Most notably, they brought in power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, a move that benefits them in two ways. First, Aldridge is good enough to match up with anyone at his position in the league. But this move also allows the Spurs to bench Tim Duncan more frequently, as the all-time great plays the same position as Aldridge. This will keep Duncan fresher for the playoffs, which can only spell trouble for teams in the postseason.
San Antonio also brought in shooting guard Jimmer Fredette, a role player who will fit in nicely in the Spurs’ system. And with Kyle Anderson looking good during this year’s Las Vegas Summer League, depth will not be an issue for the Spurs yet again this season.
Golden State WarriorsOdds: +450
Golden State made an incredible leap last season, jumping from being a middle of the pack team in the Western Conference the year prior to winning the NBA Finals in the 2014-2015 campaign. Now they look to do it again, and there’s no reason to believe that they can’t given the talent they bring back from last year’s team.
Every player from the nucleus of last year’s championship team returns, including breakout stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who ran defenses ragged with their movement off of the ball and ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor. Every player on this team has a clearly defined role, and that sense of purpose from every player will make them dangerous again this upcoming season.
Oklahoma City ThunderOdds: +800
Oklahoma City is one of the league’s most interesting teams, in that they have the potential to be the league’s best team on any given night, but just can’t seem to put it together consistently enough to be considered an elite squad.
Since trading away superstar guard James Harden to Houston, the Thunder have had to rely on the trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka to carry a subpar roster to the playoffs year in and year out. Since Ibaka isn’t much of a scorer, much of Oklahoma City’s strategy relies on Durant and Westbrook needing to score in the 30s regularly for them to win games, a game plan that won’t get you too far in a loaded Western Conference.
That looks to be the fatal flaw with this year’s Thunder team as well, unless you think that the underwhelming Dion Waiters can elevate his game to a level high enough to alleviate some of that scoring pressure from Durant and Westbrook. That isn’t a likely scenario, so it may be a rough year for the Thunder.
Los Angeles ClippersOdds: +1000
It was a tumultuous offseason for the Clippers, but they did manage to hang onto center DeAndre Jordan despite his initial commitment to the Dallas Mavericks during this summer’s free agency period. Questions about their chemistry have been lingering for a couple of seasons now, but an emotional first round playoff series win over the Spurs last season combined with the emotional roller coaster that was the DeAndre Jordan saga may have finally brought the team together. Whether or not their bench can improve in the same way their chemistry has remains to be seen, though.
For a complete list of NBA championship odds, see the table below, and visit the NBA futures section of SportsBetting.ag’s sportsbook for updates all season long.
|San Antonio Spurs||+400|
|Golden State Warriors||+450|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+800|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+1000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+3300|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+8000|
|New York Knicks||+15000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+20000|
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