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Warriors favourite to capture third NBA title in four years

NBA Finals win
THE champagne corks might still be popping on their 2017 NBA Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but there is no rest for the wicked.

The Golden State Warriors have been installed by the bookies as -149.25 favourite to claim the 2018 title, despite the fact that it is 12 months out from next year’s finals.

They are the shortest preseason NBA title favourite in years and it’s little wonder, given their dominance over a Cleveland Cavaliers side that sports two of the best players on the planet in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Against any of the other 28 teams in the NBA, James, Irving and their Cavs would have claimed the 2017 title.

But this brutal Warriors line up isn’t just any team.

In some ways, the Cavs created the beast by beating the Dubs in last year’s finals, coming back from 3-1 down to bring Cleveland its first major sporting title in what seemed like and eternity.

The loss sparked a recruiting drive that would land one of the best scorers in the game in Kevin Durant.

And he would prove a master signing, providing the consistent scoring punch in the finals that the Warriors needed to get the job done over the Cavs, 4-1.

Across the series, Durant would average 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks, capping it off with a 39-point demolition job in Game 5 that handed the Warriors a 129-120 victory and their second NBA title in three years. bonus bet offers

And no one will ever forget his clutch performance down the stretch that would see him pour in the last seven points of the game, including a dagger three pointer, right in the face of LeBron James.

James would eclipse Magic Johnson for most triple doubles in NBA Finals and become the first player to average a triple double throughout a finals series, but would ultimately fall short of his coveted fourth NBA title.

His Cavs, thought, are still +300 second favourites to bounce back and topple the Warriors in 2018.

Of course, there is plenty of water to go under the bridge, but the Boston Celtics – who finished 2017 with the best record in the east – are the third pick at $12, largely due to a solid nucleus that is set to add both a prized free agent and a number one draft pick – Markelle Fultz, anyone?

They are equal on the third line of betting with the San Antonio Spurs, who also have some decisions to make about how they rejuvenate around Kawhi Leonard and the often missing LaMarcus Aldridge.

Will they resign Aussie Patty Mills? How long will Tony Parker take to recover from the serious injury he suffered in the Western Conference semi finals and will Manu Ginobili retire?

The Houston Rockets might just be the sneaky chances at $21.

Huge outsiders, the Rockets were among the best teams in the NBA on the back of the sublime play of MVP hopeful James Harden and a solid support cast that was perfectly collated to complement his wild talents.

You can just about forget the rest, with the rocky Los Angeles Clippers out at $31 and the plucky, but still young and developing Milwaukee Bucks – complete with Aussies Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker and the supreme Giannis Antetokounmpo – are $51, joined by John Wall’s Washington Wizards – who pushed Boston to seven games in the eastern conference semi finals.

If you’re not a huge fan of your money and don’t mind wasting it on a bet that has little to no hope of getting up, but might net you a half decent cash out figure some time during the season, then there are probably three teams worth looking at.

Make no mistake, none of them can win the title, even if you think anything is possible after Leicester City won the English Premier League last year and the Western Bulldogs won the AFL premiership.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, complete with a third year Karl Anthony-Towns, scoring machine Andrew Wiggins, a rehabilitated Zach LaVine and (probably) set up man Ricky Rubio, can surely make some noise in the east – it’s time.

And the Denver Nuggets have an absolute unicorn in Nikola Jokic, who could well be a smokey MVP candidate if he can turn the men from the Mile High City into winners. multi builder

It only takes one player to be a star and you can instantly become at least a contender for the conference finals.

Jokic has all the makings of being that star in Denver and, if they can get their offseason right, with loads of cap space things could turn around quickly and, the $101 could quickly come in.

And, add Ben Simmons to The Process in Philly and you have something that could one day be very special at ($126).

As far as this year’s MVP race goes, there is still that little piece of NBA awards proceedings to get through before we start thinking about next year’s NBA title winner.

Only three can win it, but, in the eyes of the bookies, the race is over, with Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook $1.10 to beat Houston’s Harden ($5.50) and the Spurs’ Leonard ($34).

2017-18 NBA title race

Golden State Warriors ($1.67)

Cleveland Cavaliers ($4)

Boston Celtics (+1100)

San Antonio Spurs ($12)

Houston Rockets ($21)

Los Angeles Clippers ($31)

Milwaukee Bucks ($51)

Washington Wizards ($51)

Toronto Raptors ($61)

Oklahoma City Thunder ($67)

Memphis Grizzlies ($67)

Utah Jazz ($67)

New Orleans Pelicans ($81)

Miami Heat ($81)

Chicago Bulls ($101)

Minnesota Timberwolves ($101)

Portland Trail Blazers ($101)

Denver Nuggets ($101)

Philadelphia 76ers ($126)

Los Angeles Lakers ($151)

Indiana Pacers ($151)

Dallas Mavericks ($151)

Atlanta Hawks ($151)

New York Knicks ($201)

Charlotte Hornets ($201)

Detroit Pistons ($201)

Phoenix Suns ($501)

Sacramento Kings ($501)

Brooklyn Nets ($501)

Orlando Magic ($501)

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