The Golden State Warriors have been favored to win the 2018 NBA championship for the entire season. And this is little surprise, given that they dominated the league last year by going 16-1 in the playoffs.
But the Warriors haven’t played up to par down the stretch, especially with star point guard Steph Curry sidelined with an MCL sprain. The good news for the Warriors is that Curry should be back by the second round, provided they win their series against the No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves. But the bad news for Golden State is that they now have a tougher road to defending their title.
This has allowed other teams like the Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Philadelphia 76ers to creep closer into the title picture. Find out where the NBA Playoffs futures currently sit as I discuss them in this post.
I’ll also cover the odds on each team winning their conference championship. And keep in mind that you can bet on playoffs futures at GTBets.
2018 NBA Championship Playoffs Futures
- Boston +7500
- Cleveland +700
- Golden State +120
- Houston +160
- Indiana +15000
- Miami +20000
- Milwaukee +17500
- Minnesota +15000
- New Orleans +15000
- Oklahoma City +4000
- Philadelphia +1600
- Portland +5000
- San Antonio +6000
- Toronto +1000
- Utah +5000
- Washington +12500
We at GTBets have had their odds at -200 or better at various points of the year. Of course, few expected anybody to truly compete with Golden State after the way they tore through the 2017 postseason.
But the Houston Rockets (+160) have proven to be a worthy challenger so far. In fact, they might even be the best team considering that they finished with the top record at 65-17.
Pairing Chris Paul with James Harden has worked magnificently. The Rockets play a fast pace styled that allows them to keep up with the Warriors offensively. And they’re no slouches on defense either, ranking sixth in the league in this category.
And then there’s the rest…
The Cleveland Cavaliers currently have the third-best odds at +700. This gives them a slight edge on paper over the Toronto Raptors (+1000), who secured the East’s number-one seed with a The59-23 record.
Many expect Lebron James to be in his eighth-straight NBA Finals. But Cleveland is no lock to do so, considering all of the roster changes and turmoil that they’ve gone through this year. Toronto, meanwhile, won a franchise-record 59 games and has their best all-around team yet.
The Philadelphia 76ers are a surprising inclusion among the top teams at +1600. This is a very young team that’s led by Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, and Joel Embiid. The latter is currently out with an injury and isn’t expected back until the second round of the playoffs.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are next up with +4000 odds. The Thunder have serious star power with Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and Paul George. But they also have off nights where they seem like a team that’s note quite sure what it wants to do.
The Portland Trail Blazers are a decent dark-horse bet at +5000. Damian Lillard is playing the best of his career, and he’s also getting great support from C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic.
The Boston Celtics (+5000) were one of the top teams in terms of odds. However, they’re no longer being taken seriously as a title contender after losing Kyrie Irving to season-ending knee surgery (bacterial infection & tension wire removal).
2018 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs Futures
The Cavaliers made a huge trade in February and sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, and a late first-round pick to various teams in exchange for Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr, George Hill, and Jordan Clarkson.
The results of this trade have yet to be determined. But what’s clear is that Cleveland believes these young players give them a better shot than the older veterans they traded.
They still have a slight edge in terms of odds (+120), but they’re trailed closely by the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are playing their usual All-Star level basketball. They’ve also got the best supporting cast ever had with Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas, and C.J. Miles.
The Philadelphia 76ers (+500) have the talent to make a run at the Eastern Conference title. But they could be overvalued in terms of odds when considering that this is their core’s first postseason run together.
No other team seems to have a serious chance at the East crown. Boston has the fourth-best odds at +2000. However, they’ve had too many injury problems and are a long shot to make it to the postseason with a core featuring Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown, and Marcus Morris.
2018 NBA Western Conference Playoffs Futures
- Golden State -110
- Houston +115
- Minnesota +7500
- New Orleans +7500
- Oklahoma City +2000
- Portland +2500
- San Antonio +3500
- Utah +2500
The Warriors could pick up speed when Curry is scheduled to return from injury in the second round. But they’ll need to get past the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. This is doable when considering that they still have Kevin Durant, Klay Thomson, and Draymond Green leading the way.
Oklahoma City has the third-best odds at +2000. Consistency has been a problem for the Thunder throughout the season. But they also have the talent with George Westbrook, Anthony, and Steven Adams to make a serious run at the West title.
Other teams that are in the mix in terms of odds include the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz (both +2500). Many wondered if the Jazz would even be in the playoffs after they lost both George Hill and Gordon Hayward in free agency. But rookie Donovan Mitchell has stepped up big time, and Rudy Gobert is playing his best basketball yet.
As I mentioned earlier, Lillard is on fire in 2018. And Portland as a team is also hot, boasting one of the best records since the All-Star break.
Right now, the teams with the most-serious chance to win the title include Golden State, Houston, Cleveland, and Toronto. It would be nice to see another team or two step up and make things even more interesting.