The NBA Playoffs are down to just four teams with the chance to win the NBA Finals, and we now get to take a day and assess the good and bad about all of the possible outcomes. With only four teams left, I want to go over all of the teams remaining and discuss their chances and the pros/cons for each.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are -160 to win the NBA Finals right now, and I do tend to think that is low due to the situation they find themselves in. Over the past few years, we have seen Portland and Golden State give us great games with the guard matchups, but I think that this is a WAY better matchup than Denver. I think that the Warriors are massive favorites in this series, as do the oddsmakers at -500.
The likelihood that they will advance to the next round is a real advantage in futures betting only because we are pretty sure this number will only get smaller if they can win this series. I think this is an elite matchup for the Warriors because the Blazers lack elite defenders, and the Warriors should be able to expose that easily.
We do not yet know when either of Kevin Durant or Boogie Cousins will be back, but it is possible they return towards the end of the series if the Warriors are struggling. This team would steamroll the Blazers at full strength, which helps you feel more secure down the line. As I said, I think that the Warriors line is a little bit low due to the uncertainty of the Kevin Durant injury. I expect him to return at some point, but who knows exactly when, which is why the line is too low.
I think that Cousins is almost certain to return, which gives the Warriors a big leg up over the Bucks at times. The Bucks are the Eastern Conference favorite, and they really don’t have answers for dominant big men. I think that would be the matchup that we see Cousins play his best ball, which is why I think the Warriors are being sold short here.
I have the Bucks currently listed at +225, and I think a lot of that has to do with their future matchup with the Warriors, but I think that is just giving them too much credit. The Bucks are a great team, but I don’t think anyone in their right mind should bet the Bucks over the Raptors and then the Warriors at this price when compared to the Raptors.
I think the Bucks are a significantly tougher matchup for the Warriors than the Raptors because of the unique style of Giannis and what that can bring to a game. However, I don’t think we should assume that the Bucks roll the Raptors. This is a stay away because I think that the Bucks vs. a fully healthy Golden State team is probably a better number than this anyways, so you are paying into a little injury speculation that I don’t think will go your way.
The Raptors are my second favorite bet on the table at +800. The Raptors are very much live vs. every team they play, and I think that their bench should be more productive moving forward. Just because they went to Game 7 with a talented Philly team doesn’t mean that they are way worse than the Bucks.
I think the Bucks win the series more times than not, but the value here is way too good to pass up. If the Raps win this series, their odds will become much lower vs. Golden State because they would have just beaten the Bucks.
Portland Trail Blazers
Don’t bet the Trail Blazers. I like them, but they don’t have the tools to defend the three teams left. I think they are capable of being competitive, but other teams have more of an answer for Damian Lillard than they do for KD, Kawhi, and Giannis, and I think that is the issue. The lack of consistent scorers on the Blazers is too small for them to compete with the top dogs.