golden state warriors-houston rockets

Heading into this season, the race for the NBA title looked like a one-team competition. Well, much has changed six months later. The race for the NBA title is now a two-team competition.

According to Bovada, the Golden State Warriors are the favorites to claim the championship, at +135. But not far behind them, at +160, are the Houston Rockets, who finished the season 65-17, seven games ahead of the Warriors. There’s a substantial canyon between those two teams and everyone else, with the Cavs at +650, the Raptors at +850 and no one else better than +1500. Here’s the full list:

  • Golden State Warriors +135
  • Houston Rockets +160
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +650
  • Toronto Raptors +850
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1500
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +2500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +3300
  • Utah Jazz +4500
  • San Antonio Spurs +6000
  • Boston Celtics +7000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +9000
  • Washington Wizards +10000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +10000
  • Milwaukee Bucks +10000
  • Indiana Pacers +1000
  • Miami Heat +15000

A lot has changed since the beginning of the year, when the Warriors were title favorites at +100, with the Cavs and Rockets distantly behind at +500 and +700, respectively. The gap between Golden State and Houston has tightened considerably since then due to both the Rockets’ incredible regular season and the Warriors’ avalanche of injuries late in the campaign. Though the defending champs are mostly healthy now, Steph Curry will miss at least the first round of the playoffs, which makes Golden State at least a bit vulnerable.

The preseason vs. current title odds help tell the story of this NBA season. The 76ers opened the season +15000 (150/1) but have increased their odds by 1,000 percent, while the Blazers and Jazz also improved from 150/1 at the outset. In the opposite direction, the Spurs tumbled from +1500 preseason to +6000 currently, thanks to Kawhi Leonard’s injuries and an unfortunate first-round matchup against the Warriors.

If you’re looking for some good value in these odds, it’s tough to find, given how dominant the Warriors and Rockets are, but as a relative underdog, the Raptors make for an intriguing pick. As the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Toronto has a strong chance to reach the Finals and once you’re there you’ve got a shot. Well, in theory at least.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.