The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites to win their respective conferences again in 2018, potentially setting up yet another series between the two juggernauts for a fourth consecutive season.
According to odds from Westgate, the reigning NBA champion Warriors are -195 favorites to take down the No. 1 seed in the West, Houston. Conversely, the Cavaliers are slightly more favored, with the famous sportsbook opening them as -275 favorites over the Boston Celtics, indicating that, barring a last minute change in Vegas, both home teams will enter the conference finals as heavy underdogs.
The Cavaliers won the regular season series against the Celtics 2-1, winning most recently in 121-99 fashion in February. Houston, too, boasted a 2-1 record against its West finals foe in Golden State. The Warriors lost by 1 point in mid-October to the Rockets before coming back in January to win by 10. The Rockets won 116-108 in their final head-to-head meeting on Jan. 20.
Should the Cavs and Warriors advance as many expect, it will be the fourth consecutive season the two meet in the NBA Finals, a trend that began in 2015 when the Warriors won it all. In 2016, Cleveland came down from 3-1 to top the Warriors, Golden State took home the hardware last season and are once again heavy favorites to repeat, as Westgate has the Warriors as -134 to win the 2018 NBA Finals.