Five Best NBA Finals Picks 2019 - Other Than The Warriors

Golden State will once again be the overwhelming favorites to earn a three-peat in 2019, barring major injury or in-fighting which completely destroys team cohesion. Most if not all free NBA betting picks list the Warriors at around -275, extremely high odds for any championship team.

The Dubs will have more competition than years past, with five teams that have the capability of stepping up to defeat the Warriors in a seven-game series.

5 Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma's never gotten a clean shot at taking out the Warriors over the past few years due to injury and the exit of Kevin Durant. If the Thunder continue along their current trajectory without another small disaster, OKC features the personnel needed to slow the Golden State juggernaut.

Lifted by Paul George, who averages 28.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 4.1 AST and 2.3 steals per game, Oklahoma features the star power, defense and depth to challenge the Warriors. During the stretch run to the playoffs, OKC has the fourth-best defensive net rating, scoring the fifth most points per game in the association. If Russell Westbrook’s shooting recovers late in the season, the Thunder will become even more dangerous.

4 Toronto Raptors

Many observers were impressed with the Toronto Raptors going all in on a Marc Gasol trade, especially at a relatively low price for a high class rental. More impressive has been the Raptors response to adversity throughout the season, maintaining pace in the race for top spot in the eastern conference.

If Toronto manages to regain full health, the rotation will regain the depth which tends to overwhelm opponents over the course of 48 minutes. The Raptors bench mob plays well enough to defeat the starters of many NBA squads. As such, when Toronto clicks on all gears, no team can keep up.

3 Denver Nuggets

One of the most unlikely superstars in NBA history, Nikola Jokic is a point center who averages 20.4 PPG, 10.6 RPG and 7.7 APG, while maintaining a 2.0 steals and blocks combined per game. The Nuggets have surrounded him with outstanding shooters and defenders, creating an outstanding inside-out rhythm for their offense.

Coach Mike Malone has earned vindication after getting a raw deal in Sacramento, making the most out of an uniquely talented lineup with the capability of executing Malone’s schemes. If Isaiah Thomas manages to regain his swagger after a long injury layoff, Denver will be tough to eliminate in the post season.

2 Milwaukee Bucks

The only other team in the league with an unguardable forward who has elite defensive skills, no team in the league offers an answer to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee managed to find an excellent coach and solid players to surround Giannis just in time for his prime.

This is the first time that Antetokounmpo has enjoyed competent coaching and great teammates, allowing him to morph into an MVP candidate. The Bucks enter the stretch run with the best record in the NBA. Securing home advantage throughout the playoffs will help to increase the odds for an upset over the Dubs.

1 Boston Celtics

Much has been said about the Celtics locker room drama and lack of cohesion during most of the regular season. The association shouldn’t forget the 2018 playoffs, when Tatum, Brown, Rozier, Smart and Horford nearly defeated LeBron.

When the playoffs roll around, there’s an above average chance that this team will put differences aside and play to their considerable on-paper potential. Unlike the 76ers and Bucks, the Celtics feature plenty of playoff experience - valuable during vital pivot points in seven-game series.