Warriors into minus money on 2018 NBA championship odds

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Reputation counts more than a team’s record in NBA championship futures, but the upshot is that that can create value for the teams bent on keeping another Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors NBA Finals from happening.

As the league comes out of the all-star break, the defending champion Golden State Warriors of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry fame still have a modicum of betting value as a -180 favorite on the 2018 NBA championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The next team on the board, for a change, isn’t the Cavaliers but the Houston Rockets (+400), followed by Cleveland (+600), the Boston Celtics (+1200), Oklahoma City Thunder (+2000) and Toronto Raptors (+2200).

Houston, which is neck and neck with Golden State for the best record in the league, looks like a credible threat. With guards James Harden and Chris Paul, the Rockets are second only to the Warriors in points per game and also lead in three-pointers made and three-point percentage. There’s also the argument that if the Warriors are to be taken down, it’s probably more likely to happen in the third round, not the fourth once they really get locked into a rhythm.

The Cavaliers’ +600 price is about the best they’ll offer, since the jury is out on how all the new complementary pieces – George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. – will fit around LeBron James. Playoff seeding for Cleveland isn’t as all-important as it is for most NBA teams, due to James’ big-game moxie and ability to help his teams win on the road in the postseason.

It’s probably wise to fade both the Celtics and Kyrie Irving and the Thunder and Russell Westbrook, since neither team seems built for the playoffs. The Raptors offer a much deeper lineup as well as much more betting value, since the first point of reference is how they have expired quickly against the Cavaliers in the playoffs two years in a row. But Toronto is much more efficient this season and that could make a difference in May and June.

Similarly, the Minnesota Timberwolves (+3300), with center Karl-Anthony Towns, forward Andrew Wiggins and two-way forward Jimmy Butler, are an intriguing Western Conference dark horse. The franchise’s 13-season playoff drought means the Timberwolves are off of general-interest bettors’ radar, but they are a talented team and, well, history doesn’t play the games.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Philadelphia 76ers could be top contenders in the East for playoffs

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The new duo of James Harden and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers have proved they are a top team in the league as they sit in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference below the Miami Heat. The NBA playoffs have now come into question as the league enters the last month of regular season play.

Vincent Goodwill tells Mike Smith and Michael Holley he’s not sold on the 76ers being a favorite in the Eastern conference, yet. Harden has scored over 25 points in his first three games with his new team and has formed a good connection on the court with possible NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid.

With the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks right behind the 76ers in the Eastern Conference standings, the margin for error is getting thin for Philadelphia since Embiid and Harden are key players.

Have the Philadelphia 76ers shown they should be favorites in the East or do they need more time, especially with Harden still in his first couple weeks with the team?

 

How to watch the Battle Showcase Series: Live stream, TV schedule for this weekend’s basketball games

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: JAN 18 Spalding Hoophall Classic
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Elite high school football and basketball games are headed to NBC Sports and Peacock, starting with the Battle Showcase Series this weekend at Florida Memorial University. On Saturday, October 9, and Sunday, October 10 seven highly anticipated basketball matchups will take place. See below for the full schedule and additional information on how to watch the games.

Headlining this weekend’s competition is a match-up between Vertical Academy and the California Basketball Club as Mikey Williams, the country’s No. 2-rated high school junior and top player in the state of North Carolina, faces UCLA commit Amari Bailey and LeBron “Bronny” James Jr. That battle will take place on Saturday, October 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Both teams will compete again on Sunday, October 10. Vertical Academy will face Life Christian Academy at 2:00 p.m. ET on Peacock, and the California Basketball Club will battle the KT Kings at 5:00 p.m. ET on Peacock.

Then, on Thursday, October 14 the inaugural Battle Football Showcase is set to take place on NBCSN featuring top high school quarterback Arch Manning, the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning and New York Giants two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning, and grandson of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning. Manning and the Isidore Newman School will face St. Charles Catholic, their in-state rival, at 7:00 p.m. ET. Live stream will be available via the NBC Sports App.


How to watch the Battle Showcase Series:

*All times are listed as ET

Saturday, October 9:

3:00 PM, Game 1: Rip City (NSU University School) vs Life Christian Academy – Peacock

4:30 PM, Game 2: The High (Miami Senior) vs KT Kings (Calvary Christian) – Peacock

6:00 PM, Game 3: The Explorers (Christopher Columbus) vs The View (Riverview) – NBCSN

8:00 PM, Game 4: California Basketball Club (Sierra Canyon) vs Vertical Academy – NBCSN

Sunday, October 10:

2:00 PM, Game 1: Vertical Academy vs Life Christian Academy – Peacock

3:30 PM, Game 2: The View (Riverview) vs Rip City (NSU University School) – Peacock

5:00 PM, Game 3: KT Kings (Calvary Christian) vs California Basketball Club (Sierra Canyon) – Peacock


How to watch the Battle Football Showcase:

  • Where: St. Charles Catholic High School in Laplace, Louisiana
  • When: Thursday, October 14
  • Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Stream live: Watch live with the NBC Sports App