NBA Season in Review: Biggest Bets that Cashed in 2017-18
2017-18 Biggest NBA Bets That Cashed
While it got a bit interesting during the NBA Playoffs, the results were what everyone exactly predicted: the Golden State Warriors winning their second straight NBA title in their fourth consecutive meeting against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors entered the season as chalk to win the NBA title but there were still a few scenarios that produced lucrative winnings for bettors. Here are a few prop bets that cashed big.
*New odds courtesy of Sports Interaction.
Cleveland Sweeps Toronto (+2100)
Even the most hardcore LeBron James fan couldn't have possibly seen this coming but once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Toronto Raptors. It didn't matter that Toronto was slightly favoured heading to this series and that they won 59 games and were pegged by some experts as the team to beat in the East.
Toronto soundly defeated the Wizards in six games and looked to have erased the ghosts of playoffs past. They faced the Cavs in game one at home and led throughout the whole game until the fourth where the team shot an abysmal 5-for-25 and blew the game in overtime.
Cleveland was coming from a gruelling seven-game series versus Indiana and looked tired. Even the mighty King James had his "worst performance of the playoffs", by his own words. But that didn't matter as Toronto choked the most important game of the series. They couldn't recover and were blown out of games two and four marking the second straight playoffs they got swept by the Cavs.
Had the Raptors won game one, the series outcome could've been different. But as it stands, bettors who boldly predicted a Cavs sweep made off like thieves in the night.
Boston Beats Philadelphia in Five Games (+1200)
This is why recency bias imbalances expectations. Boston came into this series as +300 underdogs to win the series, a ridiculous underestimation of the Celtics in hindsight. But at the time, Boston struggled to defeat 7th-seed Milwaukee while Philadelphia handled Miami with ease.
On paper, it appeared like the much-hyped Sixers would go through the shorthanded Celtics whose team didn't look any better than the Heat's. But it didn't take into account matchups and coaching. Brad Stevens neutralized Sixers star point guard Ben Simmons limiting Philadelphia's offence quickly going up 3-0 in the series before wrapping it in five.
The Celtics winning in five was as high as +1200 in some sportsbooks. While many believed the Celtics shouldn't have been underdogs, not many predicted they would handle the Sixers in just five games. Oddsmakers quickly adjusted and the Celtics only became slight underdogs versus Cleveland.
NBA Finals Matchup: Warriors versus Cavs (+420)
The fourth-straight Warriors-Cavaliers Finals matchup was predictable but not when the playoffs started. The Cavaliers struggled to win 50 games while Eastern teams like Toronto, Boston, and Philadelphia looked primed to upset the reigning Eastern Conference champions. But none of them had LeBron James.
James single-handedly carried the Cavaliers beating both Toronto and Boston to reach their fourth straight NBA Finals. The Warriors, on the other hand, survived a scare against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals to book their trip to the championship series.
Sharp bettors who sniped that line profited in a big way and it's a good example of timing in the betting world. Had that line opened in the preseason, it would've been nowhere near that price.
Toronto Wins the Atlantic Division (+500)
Thanks to Boston's acquisition of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, the Raptors suddenly became a distant second to recapture the division despite only falling short by two games last season. These upgrades became mostly irrelevant as Hayward missed the entire season while Irving missed 22 games.
The Raptors didn't just win the division, they finished with the top-seed and won 59 games, a franchise-record. They reinvented the offence and finished as a top-five team in both offence and defence. It's this regular season success to pegged them as the favourites to come out of the East.
While the playoffs were once again a disaster for Toronto, Raptors fans who took this sweet deal at the start of the season cashed out in a big way. The line was off and even if Hayward and Irving stayed healthy, the Raptors would've still challenged for the division's top spot.
Heading to the 2018-19 NBA season, the Raptors will once again be underdogs to win the division especially with Hayward and Irving coming back from injury. Toronto will once again be sneaky bets to repeat as winners.
Best Sportsbooks for NBA and Basketball
The NBA offseason is underway and beginning with the NBA Draft, this is one of the most entertaining offseasons for pro sports. Sports networks like TSN and Sportsnet will cover all the breaking news. Likewise, online sportsbooks will continue to cater to Canadians on all things basketball.
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