2015 NBA Championship Odds with Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 6/20/2014
The Spurs have won yet another NBA title, so it is a good time to look ahead to what might happen next year. The next season is still months away, but Bovada has already posted NBA championship futures. Let's take a look at some odds to win the NBA Finals with picks and predictions.
Miami Heat (7/2): The betting public often gets accused of being morons. That isn't always fair, but if they bet this team at this price it is certainly deserved. You just can't justify even remotely considering this team the favorite - not at this kind of price, anyway. They just got smacked around by the Spurs. It was ugly. LeBron James was great as always, but the Big 3 was largely a Big 1, and beyond those top three there just isn't enough to keep this team positive. As they stand now they just aren't good enough anymore, and there isn't a whole lot of payroll space right now to make significant changes. On top of all that, there is no certainty at this point that James will even be on the team. That would have seemed not worth considering a year ago, but James could opt out, and given how things turned out and how unclear the future looks there is certainly an argument to be made that James could look elsewhere this summer. He could land wherever he wanted, and he would make his new team the favorite to win it all. Miami is still the favorite to keep him, but other scenarios are far from unlikely. James certainly isn't going to be concerned that a move could taint his reputation. Until there is more certainty - and some improvements - in South Beach it would be absolutely moronic to bet on them at this price or anything close to it.
San Antonio Spurs (5/1): It is a flat out insult that the Spurs aren't favored - and heavily. They are coming off an all-time great season and playoff performance. They have the best coach on the planet right now. They have proven time and again that they can compete. Their core is likely to remain intact, and Kawhi Leonard is only going to get better - and he already as a championship MVP to his credit. I don't think that there is any value in this price because the West remains so tough, but compared to the Heat right now this price is a massive value.
Oklahoma City Thunder (13/2): It's hard to know what to do with this team right now. They have the second best player in the league and some nice pieces to go along with him. Time and again, though, they just keep showing us that they aren't quite ready for prime time. Do you have faith that they can grow into themselves? Or that they can add a piece that can take them over the top? Or that they can just find a hole to sneak through in the postseason that finds them in the final in the brutal west? I find it tough to get excited about them.
Chicago Bulls (9/1): You could argue that betting on the Bulls at this price could make sense because of the potential for the price to go much lower. If Derrick Rose can finally find some health and some luck then the team will be improved. They are also big players in the reported pursuit of Kevin Love on the trade market, and they would be a big factor in King LeBron speculation if he decides to move on right now. I don't hate the price where it is - though it doesn't offer value. If everything were to fall into place, though, then you could laugh all the way to the bank with a ticket at 9/1.
L.A. Clippers (10/1): Like the Bulls, the Clippers are a play with some potential upside here. They aren't going to be burdened with all the Sterling drama this year, and assuming the sale is finalized they are going to have an enthusiastic new owner with very deep pockets. That will change things for this team. They are also going to be big players in James' upcoming decision. James and Chris Paul have long talked about playing together, and there are ways to make it work in L.A.. You could argue that the Clippers can be competitive enough to make them attractive - or at least not hideously unattractive - at this price. If they do strike gold, though, then things could really get interesting.
Philadelphia 76ers (100/1): I obviously am not suggesting that the Sixers are going to win the title. Absolutely no chance of that. I mention them here, though, because they have the best chance to see their price drop dramatically by this time next year. Michael Carter-Williams is a year older and wiser. Nerlens Noel will join him this year, and they will add two Top 10 draft picks if they keep their picks in next week's drafts. They made some tough changes last year and thinned out some of the extra baggage that wasn't helping them. There is a lot to like about the future of this team. I won't bet on them in the futures market, but if I could buy and hold their stock for the long term I certainly would.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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