Our betting blog for Thursday covers the latest futures for the 2017-18 NBA Finals and explores a fun prop bet wagering which player will be the first to reach the 100-point mark in the Warriors-Cavaliers series.
With the Warriors and Cavaliers set to open the NBA Finals Thursday night, oddsmakers released 2017-18 NBA Championship futures earlier this week. Golden State is the first choice for the third season in a row at -155 odds. It’s the lowest number for any team in the summer in recent history. For the 2011-12 campaign, books dangled +225 for the Miami Heat. Our records begin at 2000, but one would have to go back to the Michael Jordan-led Bulls in the 1990s to uncover a number close to even money.
Books can justify the NBA odds with reports surfacing the Kevin Durant is willing to take less money in his upcoming contract extension in an effort to keep the Warriors’ core group together for years to come. This includes Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. Curry, easily the league's most underpaid superstar, is expected to sign one of the NBA’s first “supermax” contracts under the new collective bargaining agreement during the offseason. The two-time MVP is looking at a 5-year, 200-plus million-dollar deal. Currently, 79 players make more than his $12.1 million salary.
The Cavaliers are the second choice at +275 odds. Last year, following their Game 7 win over the Warriors for the title, books listed LeBron James and company at +280. Two years prior, it was +300 in late June. Eastern Conference rivals the Celtics, which has multiple first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, are third on the board at +1200.
The Spurs appear to offer the most value as the fourth choice at +1500 odds. Head coach Gregg Popovich has clinched a playoff spot 20 years in a row, reaching the conference finale in 10 of those. With rumors swirling the front office could go after superstar point guard Chris Paul in free agency, the odds are inviting.
Below is a list of the top 10 betting choices at 5Dimes sportsbook for the 2017-18 NBA Championship:
Prop Bet Alert: Player to Score 100+ Points First
5Dimes offers +150 odds LeBron James will reach the century mark in points before any other player in the NBA Finals. Steph Curry is +300, Kevin Durant +350, Kyrie Irving +450 and Klay Thompson +850. The total for Game 1 is over/under 225.5 points, the highest in NBA Finals history. Expect a shootout series, and for a player to possibly reach the 100-point threshold by the end of Game 3. One’s best bet is James. The King averages 33.1 points per game in the playoffs in a contest with a total over 210 points. He’s scored 30 points or more in nine of 10 played. All have occurred this postseason.