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Tue 25/09/2018 - 09:05 EDT

Outrights to Win The 2018/19 NBA Title

Warriors Looking For Three-Peat

The National Basketball Association future betting lines tell the whole story — there’s no stopping the Golden State Warriors. There just isn’t.

Everyone wants to play on a winner as the two-time defending champions shoot for their fourth NBA title in five years. And they are odds-on (-195) to do it in the 2018-19 season, according to future odds provided by Bovada.

That means a bettor would have to wager $195 to win $100 on the Warriors ($195 bet + $100 profit = $295 total return). The Boston Celtics are the second choice by oddsmakers at +500. The Houston Rockets, who had the best record in the league last season at 65-17, are the third pick at +850.

Future odds

The Cleveland Cavaliers, who were the last team to win the championship (2016) other than the Warriors, are +45000. The San Antonio Spurs, who captured the title in 2014, are +8000.

These odds are fixed when you make your bet. However, odds change over the course of the season depending upon the team’s performance and how much money has been bet on each club.

Let’s count down from No. 5 to the top spot in our championship predictions.

No. 5 | Philadelphia 76ers

No team shows more promise than Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the rest of their young roster. The Sixers (+1600, according to Bovada) finished 52-30 in the Atlantic Division last year, their first winning season since 2011-12. They also finally won a playoff series.

Philly had a busy offseason, adding role players to compliment their budding superstars. The wild card will be the play of Markelle Fultz, whose rookie season went south in a hurry with a shoulder injury and deterioration of his jump shot. He’s out to prove he can live up to the status of a first overall draft pick.

This has been a long building process for the 76ers. Last season silenced many critics, but Philly still has a lots of room for improvement before we start talking about an NBA Championship.

No. 4 | Los Angeles Lakers

Add LeBron James to the mix and your team becomes automatic contenders. On the previous occasions when James made a move in free agency, his new teams jumped 11 and 20 wins the next season. The Lakers, who were 35-47 last year in the Pacific Division, will be no different.

King James has won three NBA Championship rings — two with the Miami Heat (2012, 2013) and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2016) and he was named NBA Finals MVP all three times. He joins a team that has not made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season.

The Lakers (+1000) bring back a core of young and talented players like Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma along with returning head coach Luke Walton.

Playoffs? Likely. Championship? James can’t do it alone.

No. 3 | Houston Rockets

James Harden of the Houston Rockets

How much better can it get for the Rockets (+850)?

Houston finished six games ahead of the Toronto Raptors last season, seven over the Warriors and 10 up on the Celtics. They had the Warriors right where they wanted them — in a seventh-and-deciding game at home to settle the Western Conference. They lost.

Sure, the Rockets still have a pair of stars in James Harden and Chris Paul, but they lost two opening-day starters from last season in veteran forwards Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza.

The addition of aging veteran Carmelo Anthony will help them win 50-plus games in the Southwest Division, but knocking off the Warriors is a tall order for head coach Mike D’Antoni with this lineup.

No. 2 | Boston Celtics

The train has left the station. The Celtics (+500) are on the move.

Boston was 25-57 in the first season with Brad Stevens as head coach in 2013-14. They have since improved in every season, including a 55-27 record last year, as Stevens enters his sixth season on the bench.

Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward missed dozens of games due to injuries last season and the Celtics were still a dangerous team without those two star players. The biggest problem this campaign will be finding enough minutes for all their players when you add in Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris.

If the Celtics can remain healthy, they are the solid favorites to return to the NBA Finals for the first time in nine years.

No. 1 | Golden State Warriors

How long can the Warriors (-195) keep this dynasty going? They have owned this league, winning the title in three of the last four seasons. They are NBA royalty.

The Warriors already had four all-stars in their starting lineup — Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. In the offseason, they added four-time all-star DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie, as he’s often called, signed a one-year deal with the champs, giving Golden State a top-level player at every position on the court.

The Warriors had the third-best record in the regular season last year, so they are not invincible. But this unselfish squad plays well as a unit. As long as they can avoid any substantial injuries, they will be there in the end.

Prediction — Golden State (-195). Boston might be able to go toe-to-toe with the Warriors, but it takes more than one punch to knock out the champs.

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