Defending NBA Champion Heat Deserve To Be Favored To Win It All

Defending NBA Champion Heat Deserve To Be Favored To Win It All But The 5-8 Price Is Ridiculous

200-Unit NBA Playoff Game Of Year Tops Highlights Post-Season, Plus At Least Four 100-Unit Games 

By Kelso Sturgeon

The NBA playoffs are almost here and there is no argument on my part the Miami Heat should be favored to win their second straight championship but bookmakers are committing robbery by offering them to the public as odds-on 5-8 favorites to win it all since at least six other teams have a legitimate chance themselves to march right to the winner's circle.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Denver Nuggets, the Memphis Grizzlies and the New York Knicks are priced from 7-2 to 25-1 (see odds below) and it would surprise no one if one of them got all the money. These six teams are talented, playing extremely well and will back up from no one, including the Heat.

While Miami and the aforementioned six have all the pieces of the puzzle to win it, I can promise you for certain the once-feared Los Angeles Lakers have no chance to even get out of the first round and should be 500-1 to win another championship instead of the 50-1 at which they are being offered.

Los Angeles has had a terrible season and had to play its guts out to even make a run at the playoffs. They are so drained, exhausted and down-and-out I have already bet my money they will go down 4-0 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. The Lakers have absolutely no gas left in the tank and are at best running on fumes.

It is a simple fact tired teams can play at a high level for the first half and then lose their focus and fall apart after intermission.

The Milwaukee Bucks, the only one of the 16 playoff teams with a losing record, are the longest price on the futures board at 300-1 and they have a better chance to advance than do the Lakers.

Odds To Win The NBA Championship

Here are the odds to win the NBA championship as posted at the Super Book at the Las Vegas Hotel. All teams listed have either already qualified for the playoffs or are still alive for a spot. The first number is the futures line at which each team opened, followed by current odds.

Team Open Current
Miami Heat 5-2 5-8
Oklahoma City 5-2 7-2
San Antonio Spurs 7-1 6-1
Los Angeles Clippers 30-1 20-1
Denver Nuggets 30-1 25-1
Memphis Grizzlies 30-1 25-1
New York Knicks 60-1 25-1
Chicago Bulls 5-1 30-1
Indiana Pacers 20-1 30-1
Brooklyn Nets 200-1 50-1
Los Angeles Lakers 12-1 50-1
Boston Celtics 20-1 60-1
Golden State Warriors 100-1 60-1
Houston Rockets 100-1 75-1
Utah Jazz 100-1 100-1
Atlanta Hawks 60-1 200-1
Milwaukee Bucks 100-1 300-1

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  • Daily NBA Best Bets rated from 10-to-25 units.

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Two Handicapping Factors Will Rule Playoffs

Humbly I acknowledge the fact I have long had tremendous success in handicapping the NBA, accepting all the challenges many handicappers duck, and then beating the sport at its own game. This has been a good year in the pros and there is no reason to think I will not be even more successful in the post-season, where the game is far more "honest" that it is during the regular season.

That statement brings me to the two most important elements in handicapping the playoffs.

I use the word, "honest" in a handicapping way and not to suggest there is chicanery going on. During the 82-game regular season, every single team, from time to time, will simply take the night off and just go through the motions for the first 43 minutes of play and then try to bail things out in the final five minutes.

It has always been a problem to figure out (1) whether a team is going to play to its ability or (2) take the night off and just play out the string.

Then during the regular season, many injury reports are pure fiction, made up for whatever the reason. Players who are not supposed to play do and some that are expected to play don't. We do not have to deal with that in many playoff games. Teams come to play and the spotlight is so focused on each contest that lying about injuries.

"Honestly" played games permit handicappers to analyze games far more accurately, knowing teams will show up to play and that injury reports are mostly true.

While getting an honest performance from each team is the number one factor in handicapping the post-season, right behind that is the home court element. Some teams are almost unbeatable at home. For instance the Miami Heat are 34-4 at home this season and the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs are 36-3.


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