For the fourth consecutive season, the NBA Championship will be decided by a matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors have emerged victorious in two of the previous three series but, in all three, Golden State has entered the series as the favorite to claim the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
This time around, though, the odds are heavily slanted toward the reigning champs, as Jeff Sherman of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook indicates that Golden State opened as a -1000 favorite over Cleveland.
For non-gamblers, this essentially means that a bettor would have to wager $1,000 on the Warriors in order to win only $100 in the event of a Golden State victory. In addition, the Warriors open as 12-point favorites in Game 2, which further indicates the presumed disparity between the two teams.
Making things even crazier, there has reportedly been early action on the Warriors, pushing the odds even more in their favor.
Given that the Warriors own home-court advantage and four of the top 20 players in the NBA, it comes as no surprise that Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and company would be favored to win the series. Still, this kind of lopsided price indicates even more confidence in Golden State than some would have imagined, especially with the game’s best player operating for the opponent in LeBron James.
Of course, the title will be decided on the court beginning Thursday in Oakland but, if you want to bet on the Warriors, you’ll have to lay a heavy price to do so.