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NBA PLAYOFFS -- Warriors heavily favored to win 2017 NBA Finals​


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES -- ​With a powerhouse cast led by Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors are heavily ​favored ​to win the 2017 NBA Finals over the Cleveland Cavaliers​ when both teams ​battle it out in a best-of-7 series beginning on Thursday, June 1 (Friday AM June 2 in the Philippines).

​In an ESPN​.com​ report, ​t​he Westgate Las Vegas Superbook list​ed​ the Warriors as -$260 favorites, which means that a bet of $100 for Golden State will only net $38.46.

The Ca​valiers, led by arguably the league's best and most dominant player, Lebron James, ​are +$220 underdogs, which means that a $100 bet on Cleveland will net ​a large windfall of ​$220.

​Playing underdog is nothing new to James, who seemed to have aged gracefully​ as the 32-year juggernaut continues to play at an elite level and has masterfully guided the Cavaliers to an 11-1 record in these 2017 playoffs.

In his eight NBA Finals appearances including this year's LeBron has only been a favorite twice. Last year, the Cavs were also ​+180 ​underdogs ​when they dug out of a 3-1 hole to upset the Warriors in seven games​.

​But this June's version of the Warriors are significantly more lethal with the addition of Durant, a former MVP who left the Oklahoma City Thunder during the off-season in search of a coveted championship ring. With Durant melding nicely alongside fellow All-Stars Curry, Thompson and Green, the Warriors are undefeated entering the Finals, the first team to start 12-0 in the rich history of the NBA playoffs. .

Still, James has more than just a puncher's chance of toppling the league's Goliath. Cleveland, after all, is the defending NBA champion and it parades two other accomplished All-Stars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Among the many interesting story lines in this title series is the status of Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who is suffering from complications of back surgery. According to multiple reports, his return remains uncertain.

​The Warriors, who finished the regular season with 67-15, record have homecourt advantage and will host Games 1,2,5, and, if necessary, 7 at the Oracle Arena.

Cleveland, meanwhile, finished the regular season with a modest 51-31 slate and will host Games 3,4, and, if necessary, 6 at the Quicken Loans Arena.​

Photo: There will be no shortage of star power in this year's NBA Finals as Steph Curry and Kevin Durant of the Warriors square off against LeBron James of the Warriors​.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Henrick Macalintal.


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