The 2018/2019 NBA season is now well underway and the initial few games have shown us once again that the Golden State Warriors will be a force to be reckoned with. The Warriors will have a chance to make it four titles in five years and with Durant and Steph Curry doing what they do best it is difficult to see any other team winning the championship this season.
However, teams such as Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers and even the likes of Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors will certainly have something to say about this.
Bookmakers have also come out with odds as to which team might win the NBA this year and it will come as no surprise to anyone that Golden State Warriors are huge favourites with the other teams mentioned here somewhat behind in terms of chances for victory.
Can the Warriors Do It Once Again?
Steph Curry missed a large chunk of the regular season last year on the sidelines due to injury. However, even with Curry sidelined through injury, his teammates played immensely in that period and made his absence only a minor issue in an otherwise excellent season.
It is unlikely that Curry will be out for much of this season though, so it is only normal to imagine that the Warriors will once again win the NBA championship easily. Their 58 victories last season will likely be surpassed if injuries are avoided and a season of 60 or more wins is to be expected.
Because the Golden State Warriors are head and shoulders above the competition bookmakers give them much shorter odds than they give to other title contenders, but that is completely normal, given how emphatically they have been winning.
Fun88 and BetEast give Curry, Durrant and co 10/19 to win the title, while other betting operators such as GentingBet and Betfinal give odds of 8/15 and 10/21 respectively. Finally, SportNation also come out with similar odds and give odds of 20/39 for the Warriors to be triumphant once again.
Are the Celtics Golden State’s Biggest Title Rival?
The last time the Celtics’ were close to an NBA championship title was back in 2010 when Doc Rivers’ side narrowly missed on the championship rings by losing 4-3 in the playoffs to the LA Lakers led by Phil Jackson, a team they had defeated two years prior to claim the 2008 NBA title.
Since then, first Miami and then Cleveland were the teams that dominated the Eastern Conference. This year however, it seems like the Boston Celtics might be back in the frame once again. The team’s most valuable player, Al Horford, is likely to play a big role in the Celtics’s success this year. This coupled with the Celtics’ famous defensive play and the talent of Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris, Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, Jayleen Brown, and Jayson Tatum will definitely make for a very competitive Boston side.
Bookmakers seem to agree with this, and even though they give the Celtics much higher odds than the Warriors they still consider them as possible winners. Betting operators such as Fun88, GentingBet and BetEast give them odds of 6/1, while Betfinal and SportNation go for odds of 21/4 and 5/1 respectively.
Might This Be Houston Rockets’ Year?
If anyone can rival the Warriors and Celtics this year it is the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are NBA championship contenders in large part due to the dynamic duo of James Harden and Chris Paul.
However, the biggest problem with this Rockets side is the fact that they might be overly reliant on their two key players. This is especially true of Paul who is right now 33 years old and this is his 13th season in the world’s toughest and most demanding basketball competition. If he suffers an injury like the one he suffered against Golden State Warriors in the West Conference finals once again then it is very likely that the Rockets’ performance will suffer like it did back then.
Betting operators do still seem to think that the Rockets are more likely candidates for the title than the Lakers, 76ers or Raptors so they make them their third favourites to win the championship this year. As a result bookmakers such as BetEast and Fun88 give them odds of 7/1, while GentingBet, Betfinal, and SportNation give odds of 17/2, 25/4, and 10/1 respectively.
Can James Win the Title for the Lakers?
LeBron made the headlines this summer when he decided to move to Los Angeles to try to do with the Lakers what he did with Miami Heat and with his Cleveland Cavaliers. However, at the age of 34 it is questionable whether he will be able to reproduce the same performances. Last year, he was still going strong while 33 so it is not out of the realms of reality that he might perform like he did in the past.
It has to be taken into account though that he will have to do it in a conference which is much more competitive than the Eastern Conference so the post season will most likely pose more of a problem this time round. In addition, the young core of this Lakers side will be much more difficult to play with than the well oiled Cavaliers machinery.
It will be difficult for the Lakers to win the championship this year and odds of 11/1 given by bookmakers such as Fun88 and BetEast reflect this. GentingBet, SportNation and Betfinal go for odds of 12/1, 14/1 and 39/4 respectively.
Will the 76ers Be the Surprise Package?
With a defensive lineup which includes Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid it is certain that the 76ers will be one of the strongest teams in the NBA. When you combine this with the fact that after the All-Star game last year they ranked fifth offensively, it is easy to see that they might be a team which can combine both offense and defence.
However, it has to be taken into account that with the departures of Belinelli and Ilyasova their dynamic will probably suffer a bit, but if players such as JJ Redick and Dario Saric find their shooting boots then the 76ers can win any match they play in.
Bookmakers look favourably at Philadelphia’s chances for a good season, but they are doubtful that the 76ers can make it all the way to the top. As a result the odds of 14/1 given by Fun88, GentingBet and BetEast, as well as Betfinal’s 12/1, and SportNation’s 15/1 are indicative of a team that will find it hard to win the NBA championship this year.