We’re about 15 games into the regular season for most NBA teams. FiveThirtyEight has calculated the 10 teams with the best NBA Championship odds.
The NBA Finals aren’t until June, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate as to which teams will make it there. Luckily, FiveThirtyEight has crunched the numbers, calculating a team’s strength using its CARM-Elo ratings system.
The model combines the site’s CARMELO system (named for the New York Knicks star), which projects a player’s future performance based on similar players…
FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO* identifies similar players throughout NBA history and uses them to develop a probabilistic forecast of what a current NBA player’s future might look like.
…and its ELO ratings, which rank teams based on game-to-game performances for comparisons across eras.
Elo ratings have a simple formula; the only inputs are the final score of each game, and where and when it was played. Teams always gain Elo points for winning. But they get more credit for upset victories and for winning by larger margins.
Raw numbers, of course, don’t always translate to reality (the Cavaliers had a 10% percent chance of winning the NBA Finals last year when they were down 3-1, after all), but they’re handy to get a ballpark feel on the strength of a team moving forward.
Click on the slideshow below to see if your favorite team has a shot at winning the NBA Finals this year.