At the start of the online betting NBA season, disregarding Cleveland’s historic comeback in the NBA Finals, sportsbooks were still hesitant to paint the Cavaliers as overall favorites of winning this year’s title. Part of it had to with the fact that Golden State’s 73 wins was equally as eye-raising, and the other part had to do with the fact that the Warriors went out and snatched up Kevin Durant this past offseason.
Nevertheless, there were still some fans – mostly from Cleveland – who felt that the Cavaliers were getting overlooked. But as 2017 came around, it not only brought one of the most polarizing presidencies of our lifetime, it also brought a fair share of burdens for the Cavaliers. So much so, that some basketball betting sites have begun to doubt Cleveland; just look at the odds they face against the low-ranking Minnesota Timberwolves.
ONLINE BETTING NBA – REGULAR SEASON – Tuesday, February 14th
Cleveland Cavaliers -4 (-110) 218½ (-110) -175
Minnesota Timberwolves +4 (-110) 218½ (-110) +155
Sure, the sportsbooks have pegged the Cavaliers as favorites. But all things considered, the partiality is not by much. The Timberwolves are currently ranked 13th in the Western Conference, all thanks to the 21-34 record they have slumped their way to. Minnesota has been absent from the playoffs for the last 12 years and it doesn’t seem like they’re straying away from that tradition in 2017. But even accounting for all these mishaps, the odds are still hesitant to favor Cleveland too heavily.
The Cavaliers come into this contest with a 37-16 ranking and a No. 1 ranking in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have slowly been gaining ground on Cleveland, and the Cavs have a small two-point lead over Boston. But there’s no doubt that James and company would be enjoying a much larger lead in the East had it not been for the tumultuous spill the team endured in January.
Once the New Year rolled around, the Cavaliers found their online betting NBA luck running thin. In fact, the team failed to gain any sort of momentum and ended up posting a 7-8 record for the month of January. With so many losses racked up in a month, it’s easy to understand why the sportsbooks are hesitant to give the Cavs -200 odds against even one of the worst teams in the NBA.
The month of February hasn’t been all that hard on the Cavs however. So far Cleveland has posted a 5-1 record that includes a tough overtime win over the Washington Wizards and their only loss coming at the hands of Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Nevertheless, the Golden State Warriors picking up a win over the Thunder this past weekend, combined with the Warriors triumph over Cleveland in January, was the final nail in the coffin for any Warriors-Cavaliers debate that might have still been lingering. Golden State has been far from unblemished, but Cleveland’s midseason stumbles are the latest confirmation that the Warriors are indeed the better team.