Dan Favale | Fri 13/10/2017 - 06:16 EDT

NBA Futures: Can The Cavaliers Really Aim For a 4-peat?

2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Odds

header

  • Central Division: -1,100
  • Eastern Conference: -150
  • NBA Championship: +450

Another NBA season, another Cleveland Cavaliers Eastern Conference title and NBA Finals appearance. It cannot possibly be this simple, right? And yet, it is. 

The Cavaliers shipped Kyrie Irving off to the Boston Celtics.

They won't get his replacement, Isaiah Thomas, to suit up until, it seems, February at the absolute earliest. They have ruffled J.R. Smith's feathers by displacing him from the starting lineup, onto the bench, in order to make room for Dwyane Wade.

And speaking of Wade, he joins a starting backcourt that includes Derrick Rose. Both players are past their primes, cannot shoot threes and don't play much defense. 

Kevin Love, meanwhile, will be starting at center—a boon on offense, but tactical suicide on defense, and a move that relegates Tristan Thompson to bench duty with J.R. Smith.

Oh, and LeBron James will turn 33 in December, midway through his 15th NBA season. This is the time when even the cleanest health bills and track records crack under organic regression.

Mash all this together, and it appears you're left with an extremely flawed Cavs team, one unfit to guarantee another Eastern Conference title, let alone challenge the dynastic GS Warriors.

lebron-wade

Placing stock in these faults and foibles, though, only matters if you're subscribing to the notion that LeBron won't be LeBron. Everything else is immaterial. He is that important. He can shoulder an entire team's NBA Finals hopes on his own.

Though James is at risk of missing the Cavaliers' opening-night sparring with the Celtics, he has not shown any meaningful signs of slowing down. He is still the same transcendent force—a player who tilts the East's scales entirely in the favor of whatever team he's playing on.

The Cavaliers remain that team (for now). The East hasn't delivered any rival worth worrying about. The Celtics look good on paper, but they overturned nearly two-thirds of last season's roster to bring in Irving and Gordon Hayward. The Milwaukee Bucks are interesting and frisky with Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they're not ready to go 15 rounds with a LeBron-led unit.

Some try talking themselves into the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards as viable adversaries. They're not. Both might have the offenses to keep pace with Cleveland (if they're lucky), but their respective defenses won't be able to hang.

Only one question is pertinent to the Cavaliers' season: Can they contend with the Warriors? Feel free to dive into how they stack up with San Antonio SpursHouston Rockets or Oklahoma City Thunder, but you're wasting your time. Barring catastrophic injuries, we're getting Cavaliers-Warriors: Round 4 when the NBA Finals roll around. 

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, they remain noticeably behind the Warriors. That being said, if Thomas ever gets right, they're better suited to tussle with them than they were last season.

love lebron

Too many people forget that Thomas has been playing better than Irving for the past two years. His performances likely won't hold, but if he's ready to rock, he'll at worst come close to being a lateral move on the offensive end. And that means the Cavaliers gained Jae Crowder, one of the NBA's most versatile defenders, without obliterating their secondary shot creation.

This rings especially true when looking at a potential response to the Warriors' Death Lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. No team on the planet, including the Cavaliers, can mix that much offense and defense. But a five-man combination featuring Thomas, James and Smith with two of Wade, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Richard Jefferson and Jeff Green should be able to do some serious damage.

In sum: Pass on the Cavaliers' Central Division odds. They're too big of a formality. But bet your heart out on their Eastern Conference chances. And as for their title odds, you're encouraged to use them as a long shot, even though they have the second-best betting marks in the league.

Results / FixturesCleveland Cavaliers

Category : Sports Betting News

More articles...
Sports Betting News - 06/07/20
UFC 251 Predictions for Usman vs. Masvidal 
UFC 251 Predictions for Usman vs. Masvidal

If you ever had any doubt that UFC would actually host a Fight Island, you won't anymore. It is happening. Like, actually happening. The Fight Island series begins on July 11, with the headlining bout between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal and another two championship tilts. And if you're in the market to make some money off this huge event, you're […]

Sports Betting News - 01/07/20
Nathan's Famous Hot-Dog Contest Odds 
Nathan's Famous Hot-Dog Contest Odds

Who's going to win this year's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Contest? We've got the lowdown right here.

Sports Betting News - 30/04/20
Soccer, Baseball, Basketball: Sports You Can Still Bet During Coronavirus Pandemic 
Soccer, Baseball, Basketball: Sports You Can Still Bet During Coronavirus Pandemic

With most of the major sports around the world on hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, you might think there’s nothing for you to bet on outside of eSports, online casinos, pop culture and presidential elections. Well, while you wouldn’t be alone, you’re also wrong.

Sports Betting News - 16/04/20
2020 WNBA Draft: Betting Odds and Predictions for Top Picks and Props 
2020 WNBA Draft: Betting Odds and Predictions for Top Picks and Props

The coronavirus pandemic won't stop the WNBA from holding their 2020 draft. In fact, they'll be the first major professional sport to experiment with a virtual prospect pageant. And to answer your question, yes, you can absolutely bet on the draft. We've got the best odds and picks to help you make some money.