The 2016 NBA Playoffs have been nothing but a rollercoaster of emotions with injuries to Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, two sweeps, two Game 7s and a lot of trash talk between Kevin Durant and Mark Cuban. Now that the second round is under way, only the upper-echelon teams remain in both conferences. And while Golden State, San Antonio and Cleveland rule the postseason, let's take a closer look at the updated futures odds and figure out which squads have the most value to win a title this June.
Teams with Value
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San Antonio Spurs
Title Odds : +150
WC Odds : +125
San Antonio may be the most under looked 67-win team in NBA history (last season's Warriors won a title with the same record). The five-time champions destroyed the athletic and always-dangerous Thunder during Game 1 of their second-round series and seem destined for a Western Conference finals matchup against a Warriors team that may not have a healthy Curry in the lineup. The Spurs are a championship organization with intriguing odds at +150 and +125.
Title Odds : +350
EC Odds : -450
If the first-round of the NBA Playoffs taught us anything, it's that Cleveland is far and away the best team in the conference. Toronto and Miami both struggled during the opening round, while Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving excelled during a sweep of the Pistons. Cleveland's Eastern Conference odds are not great, only because -450 is such a large number and could tie up a bettor's bankroll for the next month. However, taking the Cavs to win the title at +350 feels like an excellent value play, particularly with Curry being hobbled at the moment.
Title Odds : +2000
WC Odds : +1200
Oklahoma City is a difficult team to handicap. The squad employs two of the Top 5 players left in the playoffs, yet the team struggles to put together any meaningful offense late in games. The large futures odds numbers are enticing mainly because both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are so good that they can win a few games on their own. It's likely the Thunder lose to the Spurs during the second round (they are already down 0-1), but wagering on +1200 and +2000 could be a great shot in the dark, especially if they can steal Game 2 tonight.
Teams with No Value
Title Odds: +12500
WC Odds: +5000
Portland is already down 0-1 in its series against the Warriors and things are not looking good for the team. Do not let the Curry injury fool you into thinking this is a close series. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and company have more than enough talent to beat the Blazers in five or six games. There is no value taking Portland.
Teams That Are Just Right
Golden State Warriors
Title Odds : -120
WC Odds : -160
Bettors could have gotten Golden State at +140 to win the NBA title right after Curry's most recent injury (which was probably the best time to wager on the team). Chances are Curry will return to Golden State by the end of the second round and be ready for a heavyweight matchup against the Spurs. The Warriors are the best team in the NBA (by far), yet taking Curry's questionable health into consideration makes calling them a squad with value difficult. Golden State's odds are good, not great.
Title Odds : +6000
EC Odds : +500
Title Odds : +6000
EC Odds : +700
Title Odds : +6000
EC Odds : +1000
None of these teams has much value or a chance at actually beating the Warriors or Spurs in the NBA Finals. However, each team does have a chance a knocking off the Cavaliers at some point during the postseason and sneaking into the Finals. Cleveland is the best team in the east, but the squad seems ready to self combust if they are meet with the right matchup. If you are looking for value, San Antonio and Cleveland feel like the strongest bets. If you are looking to take the favorite, Golden State is solid at -120.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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