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Warriors and Cavs shaping up for NBA title rivalry at Bovada

NBA Finals 2016

NBA Finals 2016
WE’RE just over a couple of months out from one of the most anticipated NBA seasons in recent history.

The stage is set for an epic rivalry between the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers and their revenge-seeking nemesis, the Golden State Warriors.

The Dubs have had one of the greatest off seasons in NBA history, adding Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant to a line up already boasting back to back Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry, one of the best shooting guards in the league in Klay Thompson and all-round dynamo Draymond Green.

It’s no surprise that the Warriors are a ridiculously short -120 to claim their second title in three years, after they were vanquished in seven games by Lebron James and the Cavs in last season’s NBA Finals.

They are out for revenge and, having added Durant to that line up, losing only bit player Harrison Barnes and the handy, but ageing big man Andrew Bogut as a result, the Warriors are primed for an assault on the title, which they won in 2013-14.


But standing in their way will be a Lebron James, who says he is chasing that guy named Mike from Chicago.

The Cavs star says the ghost of Michael Jordan haunts him.

“My motivation,” James says, “is this ghost I’m chasing. The ghost played in Chicago.

“My career is totally different than Michael Jordan’s.

“What I’ve gone through is totally different than what he went through.

“What he did was unbelievable, and I watched it unfold.

“I looked up to him so much.

“I think it’s cool to put myself in position to be one of those great players, but if I can ever put myself in position to be the greatest player, that would be something extraordinary.”

And it would take something extraordinary, not just to knock over the Warriors, but to catch Jordan, who has six championships to his name – Lebron has but three and, while his is still one of the top basketballers on the planet, he is not getting any younger.

He will need to rely on the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to help will the +275 Cavaliers past the Warriors.

On the Most Valuable Player front, Curry is the obvious favourite at +350, having won the past two awards, but he is not alone.

A jilted Russell Westbrook has just signed an extension with the Thunder and will be out for blood after being deserted by his running mate Durant.

Westbrook has the type of uber athletic, flashy, stat stuffing game that is ready made for MVPs, but his attitude and acumen on the floor in clutch situations are not conducive to winning titles.

He will probably go ham on the league in the regular season, just don’t ask him to look after the ball or make the right plays down the stretch of close games.

James is +400, but it’s hard to see him winning the MVP again. As he moves into his later years, he has learned the advantages of “coasting” through the regular season, and then taking over in the playoffs.

He is set to again cruise and then turn into a beast when it matters most.

Durant is +900, but both he and Curry should probably be out around this mark, given that the dynamic duo will probably have to defer to each other, and Thompson.

Philadelphia’s number one draft pick Ben Simmons it the only one they want in the Rookie of the Year markets, at +150, while the Los Angeles Lakers Brandon Ingram is next best at +650.

The Aussie kid appears to have a mortgage on the ROY if he wants it and is even +30000 to be MVP.

2016-17 NBA Championship market

Golden State Warriors -120

Cleveland Cavaliers +275

San Antonio Spurs +1200

Boston Celtics +2000

Los Angeles Clippers +2500

Toronto Raptors +3300

Oklahoma City Thunder +3300

Chicago Bulls +3300

Indiana Pacers +6600

Minnesota Timberwolves +6600

Miami Heat +7500

Atlanta Hawks +7500

New York Knicks +6600

Houston Rockets +7500

Memphis Grizzlies +7500

New Orleans Pelicans +10000

Detroit Pistons +10000

Portland Trail Blazers +10000

Washington Wizards +10000

Milwaukee Bucks +10000

Utah Jazz +10000

Dallas Mavericks +20000

Los Angeles Lakers +20000

Charlotte Hornets +20000

Orlando Magic +20000

Denver Nuggets +30000

Sacramento Kings +30000

Philadelphia 76ers +30000

Phoenix Suns +50000

Brooklyn Nets +50000

Odds provided by

2016-17 NBA Most Valuable Player market

Stephen Curry +350

Russell Westbrook +350

LeBron James +400

Kevin Durant +900

Anthony Davis +1600

Kawhi Leonard +1600

James Harden +1600

Paul George +2200

Blake Griffin +2200

Damien Lilard +2800

Kyrie Irving +3300

DeMarcus Cousins +3300

Chris Paul +3300

Carmelo Anthony +3300

Giannis Antetokounmpo +3300

Karl Anthony Towns +5000

Draymond Green +5000

John Wall +5000

Isaiah Thomas +6600

Kyle Lowry +6600

LaMarcus Aldridge +6600

Dwyane Wade +6600

DeMar DeRozan +7500

Hassan Whiteside +7500

Jimmy Butler +10000

Derrick Rose +10000

Andre Drummond +12500

Andrew Wiggins +12500

Bradley Beal +12500

Kevin Love +17500

Gordon Hayward +17500

Dwight Howard +20000

Kristaps Porzingis +30000

Brandon Ingram +30000

Dirk Nowitzki +30000

Ben Simmons +30000

Odds provided by

2016-17 NBA Rookie of the Year market

Ben Simmons (PHI) +150

Brandon Ingram (LAL) +650

Kris Dunn (MIN) +700

Joel Embiid (PHI) +900

Buddy Hield (NO) +1600

Denzel Valentine (CHI) +1800

Jaylen Brown (BOS) +2000

Jamal Murray (DEN) +2000

Thon Maker (MIL) +2000

Domantas Sabonis (OKC) +2000

Taurean Prince (ATL) +2500

Brice Johnson (LAC) +2500

Wade Baldwin (MEM) +3300

Dragan Bender (PHO) +3300

Caris LeVert (BKN) +3300

Marquese Chriss (PHO) +3300

Malachi Richardson (SAC) +3300

Jakob Poeltl (TOR) +5000

Odds provided by

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Dominic is an editor and writer at and lives for all things sport. He completed a cadetship in journalism for Fairfax many moons ago and went on to cover a wide range of sporting codes, both in Australia and around the globe. He's right at home at AG and is always on the look out for the next great bet.

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