Rockets Owner's Casino Paying Out Warriors Bets

Kevin Durant and James Harden

Whether or not they can is another matter, but Houston represent the greatest challenger this iteration of the Warriors juggernaut has come across. Seemingly overnight, Stephen Curry took that crown from Paul, winning his first of two consecutive MVP awards that season.

It's as if Rockets general manager Daryl Morey went into a lab, crunched the numbers and came up with a blueprint best suited to pose a legitimate threat to the defending champions.

Vegas is also all-in on the Warriors and Cavs, with sportsbooks comfortably favoring Golden State and Cleveland (even while giving Houston the second-best odds to win it all of the four teams remaining).

The Warriors arrived in Houston on Sunday around 4 p.m.in advance of their biggest road game of the season - the opener of the Western Conference finals, their first series without homecourt since 2014, a snapped string of 14 straight series starting in Oracle Arena. But they do have the Cavs as favorites against the Celtics, because let's not get insane here. "We know it will be quite a challenge". The Cavs are coming off a four game sweep of the Toronto Raptors, defeating the "We the North" squad for the third straight season in the playoffs.

Paul, especially, is in search of a championship that has so far eluded him in his 13-year career. Not a single analyst picked upsets in both conference-finals series.

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Harden, meanwhile, was next to Durant on the Oklahoma City Thunder the last time he reached the NBA Finals, and is eager to overcome his own playoff shortcomings.

If the Rockets advance to the finals, the Golden Nugget won't be able to accept bets on the team, so similarly, the Cavaliers or Celtics will be the automatic victor. "Our guys have rings. Watch basketball. When your team's not playing, watch another team play, because that's how you learn". "Bring your ticket and you'll get paid". "I like our position".

"How can I frame this so it's not going to get me in trouble?" And if the Rockets lose, their morning team has to wear Warriors gear.

On one side sits one of the most talented teams in league history, on the verge of being considered a dynasty.

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