Warriors and Cavs pegged as NBA Conference Final favourites
NBA Western Conference final kicks off at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Tuesday, where top seeds Golden State Warriors play host to the No. 2 Houston Rockets as heavy 10.5-point favourites in NBA betting at Coral.
The Warriors, who led the NBA with 67 regular season wins, advanced to the Conference final for the first time since 1976 after erasing a 2-1 series deficit and recording three dominant SU and ATS victories over Memphis Grizzlies to win their Western Conference semi-final.
Golden State is now 8-2 SU in playoff action, including a first-round sweep of New Orleans Pelicans, and are 3-0 ATS after covering the spread in just three of their previous 13 contests.
Houston Rockets enter the Conference final on a high after staving off elimination in three straight games, erasing a 3-1 series deficit in their Western Conference semi-final to knock off Los Angeles Clippers in seven games.
It looked like the Rockets’ season was done after they routed by the Clippers in three of the first four games, losing by an average margin of 24.7 points in the three defeats, but returned the favour with three double-digit beatings of LA as betting underdogs to earn their first Conference final berth since 1997.
Indeed, the Rockets will have to get used to being pegged as underdogs against a Warriors squad that sports 1/8 odds to advance to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors, who have posted SU and ATS wins in their last five against Houston, are also listed as strong 8/13 favourites, while the Rockets trail the pack as distant 12/1 long shots.
NBA’s Eastern Conference final gets rolling on Wednesday night when Atlanta Hawks welcome Cleveland Cavaliers to Philips Arena as slim 1.5-point favourites.
No. 1 Atlanta finished atop the regular season standings in the East with 60 wins, seven games ahead of the Central Division champion Cavaliers. However, both clubs needed to overcome early series deficits to punch their tickets to the NBA’s final four.
After taking six games to knock off the pesky No. 8 Brooklyn Nets, the Hawks quickly fell behind the injury-plagued Washington Wizards before picking up three straight wins in thrilling fashion to end the Wizards’ unlikely playoff run.
Atlanta is now 8-4 SU during this post-season, but is just 5-7 ATS, recording back-to-back ATS wins on just one occasion during the first two rounds, and is 5-9-1 ATS in their last 15 overall.
The Cavaliers dominated the upstart Boston Celtics in an opening round sweep but struggled against No. 3 Chicago, needing six games to get past the Bulls after losing two of the the first three.
Cleveland was dominant in a series-winning 94-73 beatdown of the Bulls in Game 6, but managed just two ATS wins against Chicago and are a weak 6-10 ATS in their last 16.
The Cavs have also struggled in recent meetings with Atlanta, going 3-15 SU in their last 18 meetings, 7-11 ATS, but will hit the floor in Game 1 as strong 4/9 series betting favourites, with 9/4 title odds.
Conversely, the Hawks are pegged as 7/4 series betting underdogs and are a long 8/1 in NBA Championship outright betting.