Have you picked a favorite in the NBA Finals? Las Vegas oddsmakers already have.
The Golden State Warriors will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers starting Thursday in Oakland. It’s the third straight year the teams have met in the NBA Finals, a first for the NBA.
The Warriors swept their way into the finals – the first team ever to start the postseason 12-0. The Cavs are 12-1 in the playoffs and perhaps one bad LeBron James night away from their own sweep.
Led by two players who’ve won NBA regular season MVP awards, former Davidson star Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, the Warriors are emerging as a clear favorite among the oddsmakers.
▪ According to Friday’s numbers at OddsShark.com, Golden State is “priced” at -240 (bet $240 to win $100, or $340 to take home). Meanwhile, the underdog Cavaliers are priced at +200 (bet $100 to win $200).
▪ Forbes.com posted odds Thursday from SportsInformationTraders.com, which listed the Warriors at -270 and the Cavs at +235.
▪ AOL.com posted odds Friday from Westgate Las Vegas, which also puts the Warriors at -240 and the Cavs at +200. According to AOL.com, that means Curry and the Warriors have a 70 percent chance of winning the title, while LeBron James has a 33.3 percent chance to take his fourth ring.
▪ FiveThirtyEight gives Golden State a commanding edge, setting the odds of the Warriors taking home the trophy at 90 percent.
OddsShark.com posted its NBA Finals MVP odds on Tuesday, even before the Cavs clinched the Eastern Conference title again. Favorites Durant and Curry each are listed at +210, while James is listed at +260.
If you’ve got another player in mind, there are odds posted for Draymond Green (+550), Kyrie Irving (+1600), Klay Thompson (+2000) and Kevin Love (+3300).
▪ The Las Vegas Superbook at the Westgate has similar odds, which were posted on CBSSports.com. These odds, updated Friday, rate favorites Durant and Curry at 9/5 with James right behind at 9/4. The site lists odds for 20 players altogether.
▪ The Las Vegas Review-Journal posted odds earlier this week from William Hill, the first book in Nevada history to offer betting on the NBA Finals MVP. Durant is the 7-5 favorite there, Curry is next at 8-5 and James third at 2-1. The newspaper site has a full chart of MVP odds from William Hill if you want more.
BY MIKE READER