2017 NBA Title PicksJosh Bailey
Can LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers win back-to-back championships or will Steph Curry and the explosive Golden State Warriors manage to bag their second Larry O’Brien trophy in the last three seasons?
Better yet, is there another legitimate contender or longshot ballclub that could upset the entire apple cart?
Have the Golden State Warriors become Kevin Durant’s team? https://t.co/2poOXJ78k3
— FOX Sports: NBA (@HoopsOnFOX) January 19, 2017
With the 2016-17 NBA season steamrolling towards its annual all-star break, it’s time for NBA roundball bettors everywhere to really start looking at the top title contenders to win it all this season. Thanks to the expert betting analysis that you’re about to get, you’re going to find out just that.
Now, let’s get started.
2017 NBA Title Picks
The Odds-On Favorite To Win The NBA Title: Golden State 10/11
The Golden State Warriors (36-6 SU, 18-23-1 ATS) are the prohibitive favorites after adding superstar forward Kevin Durant to their trio of in-house all-stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and so far, they’ve lived up to their billing by recording the best record in the league.
As one would expect, the explosive Dubs are ranked first in scoring (117.8 ppg), first in field goal shooting percentage (50.0), third in three-point shooting (38.5) and seventh in free throw shooting percentage (79.0).
Durant has fit in almost seamlessly after the Dubs struggled early on while figuring out their ‘new’ roles following their shocking addition of the perennial all-star. Durant is now averaging a team-high 26.2 points per game while shooting a career-high 54.4 percent from the field.
More importantly, Golden State appears to have a seriousness about them that is even more impressive than when they won their first title two seasons ago. The Dubs’ huge, 126-91 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, combined with the fact that they also outplayed the Cavs for three and half quarters before falling on Christmas Day, leads me to believe that Golden State is going to dispatch all comers.
The Smart Bet To Win The 2017 NBA Title: Golden State 10/11
Not only are the Dubs the prohibitive favorites to win this season’s NBA Championship, but they’re also my ‘smart’ pick to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy – and apparently, NBA gaming enthusiasts everywhere agree.
At William Hill’s Las Vegas Sportsbook, a whopping 52 percent of all money bet on the futures odds to win this season’s NBA title has gone on the Warriors.
Las Vegas Sportsbook operator CG Technology has seen a decrease in the number of futures odds being bet this season, mostly because it appears the Warriors are a virtual lock to win the championship.
“The handle (on NBA Futures) is the lowest we’ve had” said CG Technology vice president of risk Jason Simbal. “I think it’s because it’s an obvious conclusion.”
For me, the Dubs are the smart bet, not because they can put points on the board in their collective sleep, but because of the way they’ve played defense this season. While the Warriors rank a modest 19th in points allowed (105.0 ppg), Golden State ranks second in field goal shooting defense (43.2) and an even more impressive first in three-point field goal defense (32.1).
More importantly, not only do the Dubs have arguably the best two perimeter defenders in the league in Klay Thompson and reserve Andre Iguoadala, but Kevin Durant is playing defense like he’s never played before while Draymond Green (2.0) and Steph Curry (1.81) both rank in the top 10 in steals.
Make no mistake about it people, not only are the Warriors the favorites, but until I see otherwise, the Dubs are also the ‘smart’ pick!
The Dark Horse 2017 NBA Title Bet: Houston 20/1
A lot of NBA ‘experts’ and fans everywhere laughed when the Houston Rockets (33-12) hired Mike D’Antoni as their head coach in the offseason. The vast majority of these same people just about keeled over in stitches when it was announced that James Harden would be switching to point guard after playing the entirety of his career as a shooting guard.
But guess what?
No one, but the Rockets are laughing now.
Houston has been absolutely phenomenal this season in recording the third-best record in the league, behind only Golden State and San Antonio and now, the Rockets look like they’re going to be an extremely tough out for whoever they meet in the postseason.
The Rockets are ranked second in the league in scoring (114.5 ppg), seventh in field goal shooting percentage (46.7) and sixth in three-point shooting (37.0). I know Houston has been mediocre across the board defensively in ranking 24th in points allowed (107.3), 18th in field goal defense and 16th in field goal defense, but the Southwest division title contenders are getting some stupendous play from several of their players, starting with Harden.
The ‘Beard’ is putting up a stellar 28.9 points per game to ranks second in scoring, while also averaging a league-leading 11.6 assists per game. Veteran shooting guard Eric Gordon is averaging a league-high 17.8 points per game for bench players and the Rockets are getting consistently good contributions from several other players like Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverly, Montrezl Harrell and Sam Dekker among others. At 20/1 odds, Harden and company are definitely offering great value as a longshot selection.