The Cleveland Cavaliers are considered to be the 2nd favorite for the 2017 NBA title according to the betting odds offered at a popular sportsbook, bet365. However, they appear to be sitting prettier than that as they await their opponent in the Eastern Conference finals. In fact, I think an argument could be made that the Cavs are the true favorites for the NBA title while the Golden State Warriors should be considered 2nd favorites.

Golden State have a tougher draw

When looking at Cleveland and Golden State, they are two teams that are both loaded.

That being the case, there's little point in comparing and contrasting lineups. Each team has players that can have huge games and each team has bench players that can come into a game and contribute. Therefore I think it makes more sense to look at the two teams' respective situations.

The Golden State Warriors will open the Western Conference finals on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs. That match-up for Golden State has to be considered a tougher one that the Cavs will have in their conference finals. Cleveland will face a yet-to-be-determined opponent, but that team will be either the Boston Celtics or the Washington Wizards.

Boston, Washington - not as good as the Spurs

Neither Boston nor Washington appears poised to do much damage to the Cavaliers.

Both teams have struggled a bit to get this point in the playoffs, with Boston having to fight off an 0-2 deficit in the first round. Washington also had some trouble to open the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. Now both teams are on the brink of elimination in a game that will be played on Monday. As hosts, the Celtics are more likely to win and perhaps therein lays a bit of a problem for the Cavaliers.

Celtics would have home-court advantage

After all, the Celtics are the top seed in the east. If they should face the Cavaliers in the conference finals, the Celtics would have home-court advantage in the series. However, the Cavs have had no problem with road games so far in the post-season. They are 4-0 as visitors and stealing home court from Boston may just be a formality.

If the Cavaliers face Washington then matters get simpler for Cleveland: they would start the conference finals with home-court advantage.

Additionally, neither Boston nor Washington has the rock-solid lineup that the Cavaliers can boast. Each team has one bright light followed by players that aren't quite NBA championship material, at least not as key players.

Looking at the remaining draw for the NBA playoffs, Golden State is far more likely to go out to San Antonio than Cleveland is to go out to either Boston or Washington. But even if the Cavs and Warriors meet in the final, the Cavaliers would have the best player in Lebron James. He has been incredible in the post-season and his regular season was very overlooked in a lot of MVP commentary.

With a deep supporting cast that features adept peripheral players like Deron Williams, Richard Jefferson and Kyle Korver there is no significant weak point with Cleveland.

Matters will be settled on the court of course. However, with the start of the conference finals approaching Cleveland look like the best bet to win the NBA championship. It would mark their second in a row after such a lengthy title drought for the city in all top-level leagues.