Every team in the NBA has played at least 25 games, putting one-third of the regular season schedule in the rearview mirror, so here’s a look at the updated 2019 NBA championship odds.
With the league’s Christmas Day showcase just two weeks out, basketball fans are anxiously awaiting a holiday slate stacked with NBA title contenders. The five games waiting under the tree this year will feature eight teams – the Warriors, Lakers, Rockets, Thunder, Jazz, Bucks, 76ers, and Celtics – currently listed among the Top 10 in online sportsbook Bovada’s 2019 NBA championship odds.
From their opening numbers in July, through the first month of the regular season in November, futures betting lines on hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy shifted dramatically.
Another month has passed since the last odds update, so strap in for a second look at how the NBA’s championship hierarchy stacks up.
By this point, every basketball bettor on the planet knows the Golden State Warriors (19-9) are the odds-on favorite to win their third consecutive title, and the fourth in a five-year span.
The Dubs opened the year as massive (-175) favorites on the 2019 NBA championship odds, with the number sliding to (-155) and stabilizing there. Golden State hasn’t boasted the usual air of invincibility in 2018, thanks in large part to a precautionary plan of action regarding Steph Curry’s injured groin.
The superstar shooting sensation missed 10 games – over which the Warriors went 4-6 – but since his return on December 1, Curry has been the team’s leading scorer in three of four consecutive wins. Assuming he stays healthy, and Kevin Durant continues his run as the best second fiddle in league history, Golden State deserves to be so far ahead of its closest competitor in the Western Conference.
That competitor, according to their (+1500) odds at least, is a Houston Rockets (11-14) team that currently finds itself struggling simply to reach the .500 mark.
Offseason adjustments to a roster that won the West last year have proven to be disastrous, and thus far, head coach Mike D’Antoni has failed to stop the bleeding. The Rockets have lost three in a row, and seven of their last 10, with only the atrocious Phoenix Suns (4-23) between them and the conference’s basement.
Houston opened at (+750) but has since seen their 2019 NBA championship odds swell by double in the midst of a disappointing campaign.
The Oklahoma City Thunder (17-8) technically lead the West based on win percentage, and they even have a road win at Oakland to hang their hat on. But the oddsmakers aren’t believers just yet, as Russell Westbrook and Co. are tabbed at (+2100) to take the title.
That number is much improved from opening odds of (+5500), but Oklahoma City is still well behind LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (17-10) – who are (+1600) longshots in their own right.
The Boston Celtics (16-10) were supposed to be shoe-ins out East, what with King James departing for tinsel town, but they limped to a lackluster 10-10 start.
Six straight wins have solved those early troubles, but Boston’s title odds continue to drop, sliding to (+950) after opening at (+600).
Conversely, the arrival of Kawhi Leonard in Toronto has turned the Raptors (21-7) into world-beaters. After opening as big-time (+4500) longshots to win the Finals, Toronto now owns the NBA’s best record and (+750) odds – second only to Golden State.
From the looks of it, Toronto will be battling the Milwaukee Bucks (18-8) for the East’s top seed, as Giannis Antetokounmpo has blossomed from “Greek Freak” to MVP candidate.
Oddsmakers weren’t very high on Milwaukee entering the year, as evidenced by (+5500) opening odds, but the Bucks have proved their doubters wrong en route to an improved (+2000) price.
|Team||2019 NBA Title Odds on 12/11/2018||2019 NBA Title Odds on 11/9/2018||Opening Odds on 7/3/2018|
|Golden State Warriors||-155||-155||-175|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1600||+2500||+750|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+2100||+3500||+5500|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+5500||+10000||+12500|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+6500||+5000||+7000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+6500||+5000||+5000|
|New York Knicks||+50000||+50000||+9000|