With the start of the NBA regular season just two weeks away, the Boston Celtics continue to maintain solid odds of claiming their first championship since 2008, as they’re pegged at just +1800 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston made an early exit from the postseason last spring for a second straight year, with the Atlanta Hawks bouncing the C’s in the first round in six games. That marked their fourth straight playoff series loss.
However, the additions of free agent power forward Al Horford and 19-year-old small forward Jaylen Brown, whom the Celtics selected with the third pick at this year’s NBA Draft, complement a young squad that gained valuable experience while winning 48 games last season.
It remains to be seen, though, whether the youthful Celtics will be able to keep pace with the trio of teams atop the NBA championship odds, led by the Golden State Warriors, who have improved to -125 chalk at the sportsbooks.
The Warriors fell short in their bid to successfully defend their title last spring, blowing a 3-1 series lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, capped by a 93-89 Game 7 loss on home court.
Golden State responded with a bold move in the offseason, inking coveted free agent Kevin Durant to a two-year deal, which spurred their rapid ascent on the futures.
Not surprisingly, the Cavaliers continue to be Golden State’s top competition at sportsbooks, perched at an attractive +300 to repeat as champions. Once again, the success of the Cavaliers rests on the shoulders of LeBron James, who is expected to get help from a maturing supporting cast that includes Kyrie Irving, who tallied 19.6 points per game last season, and Tristan Thompson, who led the squad with 268 offensive rebounds.
The San Antonio Spurs round out the front of the pack, climbing to +900 on the NBA championship odds. The Spurs begin life without Tim Duncan, who retired following last season, but have filled the gap by bringing in six-time All-Star center Pau Gasol.
With Duncan gone, the squad now belongs to forwards Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, who powered San Antonio to an impressive 67 wins last season by tallying 22.5 and 21.9 points per game, respectively.
The Los Angeles Clippers won 53 games last season but made a quick exit from the first round of the playoffs. They look toward the upcoming campaign sporting +2500 title odds.
A trio of clubs follow at +4000, with the Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Chicago Bulls at those odds, while the Indiana Pacers sit alongside the Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, and Memphis Grizzlies at +6600 on the NBA title futures.
Thumbnail photo via Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports Images
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