Championship Predictions For The Summer Sports Calendar

If you haven’t noticed, three big-time tournaments are currently underway — the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, the NBA postseason, and the UEFA Euro Cup. Even more, all three will be decided within the next month or so.

So which teams will be crowned champions in each respective tourney? Maybe you have a betting interest or heck, just a curious fan. Welp, we have title-winning predictions for you right here!

Championship Predictions For The Summer Sports Calendar
“NBA Finals” by abc7 is licensed under CC BY 3.0

NBA Finals

This is the most wide-open NBA playoff picture in recent memory. No LeBron. No Steph Curry. No dynasties. In fact, four of the remaining seven teams have never raised an NBA title in its franchise’s history. 

If this NBA Finals hunt wasn’t a crapshoot enough, a rash of injuries and even an illness has thrown another wrench into the fold. A number of superstars have uncertain status at the moment. The who’s-who list includes Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Chris Paul. So what’s to make of all this?

Honestly, with the current information we have, we’re most confident in the Suns and Nets making it to the NBA Finals. Phoenix has been the most impressive team thus far and with a ticket already booked to the conference finals, has time to get Paul back from the COVID-19 list. As for the Nets, Kevin Durant is playing out of his mind right now and could single-handedly carry them to the finale. 

In a championship series between the two franchises (neither has ever won a title before), we’d ride with the Suns. Not only are they more healthy than the Nets — aside from Irving, James Harden is playing on a bad hamstring for Brooklyn — but they’re just a more complete team. They can score and defend with the best of them. Expect a championship parade in Phoenix soon enough. 

NHL Stanley Cup

Hockey is the furthest in its tournament with only four teams — Las Vegas, Montreal, New York, and Tampa Bay — remaining in the championship fold. Thus far, each conference finals has been a back-and-forth affair.

Nonetheless, our picks to win their conferences are the Golden Knights and Lightning. Both teams have been title contenders since the start of the pandemic-affected season and they haven’t let up thus far. Tampa, of course, are the reigning champions, whereas no team has won more games this season than Las Vegas.

Between the two, we like the Golden Knight’s chances more. For one, they are a top-5 team in both offense and defense. But two, they just look hungrier. Las Vegas looks and plays like they are desperate to deliver the first-ever pro title to “Sin City.” As they would say in Vegas, bet on it to happen!

UEFA Euro Cup

Championship Predictions For The Summer Sports Calendar
“Euro Cup” by Roland Schlang/EREPA-EFE is licensed under CC BY 3.0

This tournament only began a week ago. That means we’re still in the group stage with all 24 teams remaining in the championship chase. But let’s be honest, realistically there’s only six or so teams that are true contenders. That group includes the likes of Belgium, England, France (reigning World Cup champions), Italy, Portugal (defending Euro champs), and Spain. 

Unlike the NHL and NBA tourneys, the knockout bracket isn’t set yet for the Euros. Picking an exact final here is a tad more difficult, but what the heck, we’ll give it a go anyway. 

Belgium, who is primed to win Group B, will win its side of the bracket, which will likely also include Italy and the Group F winner (France, Portugal, or maybe even Germany). That’s a tough draw but the Red Devils — currently ranked No. 1 by FIFA — have all the talent to make it through.

On the opposite side of the bracket, we believe Portugal will survive. This scenario only happens if they finish runner-up in Group F, which we think is likely as France is our pick to win the “group of death.” Back to Portugal, though, this side might be the most talented in Cristiano Ronaldo’s illustrious history, which is saying something. 

Belgium and Portugal is our Euro finale prediction. In the showdown, we’d back Belgium to win. Its “golden generation” of players are all in their primes, while Portugal still feels like a year or two away from truly peaking. 

So there you have it. Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Belgium — those are our picks to win their respective titles. Agree or disagree with us? 

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