Top 5 Contenders:
Miami Heat: Even: The Heat are the odds on favorite to win the NBA title. The odds seem a little off as the Lakers are the most talented team in the NBA. But what Miami does having going for it is Lebron James. If James has entered the ‘unstoppable Michael Jordan phase’ of his career then the next few championships will belong to Miami. But if James is still hesitant in the 4th quarter and gun shy during those final possessions of a game, they cannot beat a team like the Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers: +125: Los Angeles has better odds to win the NBA title than the OKC Thunder, as it probably should be. The Lakers have all-star talent at every position and championship know-how. They are going to be a match up nightmare for every team in the league, and should cruise to an NBA title-- that is unless Lebron James stops them.
Oklahoma City Thunder: +500: OKC let a golden opportunity slip through their hands during last seasons NBA finals. As many all-time greats will attest to, you don’t get many chances to play for an NBA title. Fans and experts alike may not want to admit it, but OKC cannot beat the Lakers. The unfortunate truth is that Kevin Durant and Co. might not see another NBA Finals game for a few years.
Boston Celtics: +1,200: The Celtics drafted a couple of sleepers in Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo, which could really make an impact. Boston would have to run a brutal gauntlet in the East if it were to win the title, but never count out Doc Rivers and his veteran crew.
San Antonio Spurs: +2,200: The Spurs are always a threat to make a deep run in the playoffs, but would need a very specific set of circumstances to play out in order to win a title.
Middle of the Pack:
Brooklyn Nets: +1,800: The Nets have put together quite a little basketball team. While it might be difficult to image them winning a title during their first year in contention, it wouldn’t be completely shocking. Any team that has Deron Williams leading the way will be a contender.
New York Knicks: +2,500: The Knicks showed how mismanaged and out of touch they really are by not resigning Jeremy Lin. Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are just not good enough to lead a team to a championship.
Los Angeles Clippers: +4,000: The Clippers are an intriguing team. +4,000 feels like it might be worth a bet, even though they are definitely a long shot to win and NBA title. But anytime you have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin surrounded by a solid group of role players, a championship is always possible.
Philadelphia 76ers: +4,000: The 76ers are going to be the sleeper in the East. They made out like bandits in the Dwight Howard trade and are probably looking at 50 win season.
None of these teams really have any shot at winning this years NBA title but the odds look fantastic. If I were a fan of any of these teams I wouldn’t hesitate to put a few bucks down and hope for a miracle.
Washington Wizards: +25,000
Phoenix Suns: +25,000
Toronto Raptors: +40,000
Sacramento Kings: +40,000
Charlotte Bobcats: +75,000