Bookmaker's Corner: Odds to Win NBA Championship
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 2/23/2010
The race for the NBA playoffs is on and with at least five teams capable of winning this year’s NBA Championship, your odds of making a few smart picks have never looked better. Bodog’s NBA betting lines and NBA futures have been updated to reflect last week’s NBA trade deadline moves, so here’s where things currently stand…
The New York Knicks have been a losing wager against the spread on most nights for NBA bettors, even though they’re getting points more often than not. Their deadline deal involved acquiring Tracy McGrady from the Houston Rockets, but the jury’s still out as to whether or not McGrady’s presence on the court will help the Knicks finish strong.
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The thinking is that the McGrady deal was more about freeing up next season’s cap space to take a run at pending free agent LeBron James than this season’s competitiveness. But McGrady can still play as he showed Saturday in his New York debut, putting up 26 points in a losing effort against Oklahoma City.
And speaking of which, the Thunder has been a great bet most of this season. Oklahoma City finished last year with a record of 23-59, so expectations were hardly through the roof in October.
The Thunder didn’t exactly start the season on fire, either; on Christmas Day, they were a modest 14-14. Since then, however, it’s been mostly victories, with Kevin Durant emerging as a true NBA star. The win over the Knicks was the eighth in a row for Oklahoma City – the ninth followed the next day – and Durant is currently battling King James for the most points per game in the league.
Still, we’re not seeing a flood of betting action on the Thunder like we would if the Lakers or Celtics went on a big run. That’s partly because bettors don’t yet trust the team and also because its fan base is relatively small. Not to say we’re not seeing an increase in wagers on Thunder games, but it’s not like we have to adjust the point spread in a big way to draw interest on their opponent.
As for the Thunder’s NBA title odds, they’re currently at 40/1 to win it all, with 10 teams getting lower odds than that.
The two futures favorites continue to be Cleveland and the Lakers, both at 2/1. For obvious reasons, the action has been steady on these two squads.
The Boston Celtics are at 13/2 odds to win the NBA Championship and 3/1 odds to win the Eastern Championship, but nothing’s a given considering their performance of late. The Orlando Magic, on the other hand, are seeing more action at 4/1 odds to win the East and 17/2 odds to win the NBA title.
Still, if you’re looking for a bigger bang for your betting buck, Utah’s at 14/1 odds to win the West and they’re at 35/1 odds to take it all. Now that Carlos Boozer can put the trade talks behind him and focus on helping the Jazz with their playoff push, bettors may be tempted to show Utah a little love.
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