The Cleveland Cavaliers remain heavy NBA championship favorites, but now the Golden State Warriors are also seeing plenty of action from gamblers.
The Dubs, in fact, are considered the odds-on favorites to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy by most sportsbooks.
The Atlanta Hawks, owners of the second-best record in the L, are trailing Cleveland, Golden State and the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in bettors’ minds.
Heading into the final two months of the regular season, more money has been bet on the Warriors to win the title than any other team at William Hill’s sportsbook in Nevada, where Golden State is listed at plus-240. The Cavaliers are next at 3-1, followed by the San Antonio Spurs (13-2) and the Atlanta Hawks (7-1).
In June, when the books began putting up odds to win the 2015 championship, the Cavaliers were listed as high as 60-1. Soon after, rumors of James’ interest in returning to Cleveland surfaced, and bets started to come in on the Cavaliers. The MGM took a $1,000 bet on the Cavs when they were 40-1 before James’ decision to leave the Miami Heat and head back to Cleveland. After his return was made official, the Cavs were anointed the favorites to win the title, leaving the books with some liability.
The majority of books have Golden State as the favorite, though, including the MGM, CG Technology and William Hill. The Warriors opened at 15-1 at William Hill. Fourteen percent of money wagered on William Hill’s NBA futures pool is on Golden State, according to numbers provided by the book. The defending champion Spurs have attracted 12 percent of the action, followed by the Cavs at 11 percent.