2014 Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions and NBA Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/10/2014
The Cleveland Cavaliers put together the biggest offseason in franchise history when they managed to win the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, bring back the NBA's best player in LeBron James and trade for perennial all-star Kevin Love. The huge roster moves pushed Cleveland from the bottom of the NBA to instant title favorites in the minds of most NBA experts before they were ever official, and now the entire city dreaming of its first major championship since 1964.
James and his supporting cast will face similar issues as the Miami Heat did four years ago when they tried to mesh two ball-handlers with a stretch forward that is accustomed to dominating the ball while trying to have all three players score 20 points per game. Even if the Cavaliers struggle out of the gate, they will still be the biggest story of the year and one of the most wagered on teams in the NBA. Let's take a closer look at Cleveland's 2014 futures odds with predictions and analysis. All odds come from Sportsbook.ag.
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Story Lines
Cleveland made a huge splash over the summer, but most NBA experts still question whether the team can make the pieces fit and actually bring back a title in 2015. James and Kyrie Irving both need the ball in their hands, and Love may struggle with being relegated to a third-option who is expected to rebound and play defense. The new Big 3 will surely be talented enough to make Cleveland a title contender, but as we saw with Miami's losses 2011 and 2014, it takes more than a group of talented players to win an NBA title.
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers Additions and Departures
Key Additions: LeBron James, Kevin Love, Mike Miller
Key Departures: Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins
There were a few NBA experts that questioned if trading Love for the last two No.1 picks in the NBA Draft-one of them being a potential superstar-was the correct move for the team. Long term, keeping Wiggins and Bennett would have probably been the best decision for Cleveland to make. However, that move could have wasted James' prime as the organization waited for those players to develop.
Trading for Love was designed to make the Cavaliers an immediate contender and take advantage of James at the peak of his powers over the next three to five years. The Love trade was also accompanied by the team signing Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion to the roster, which adds three veterans with playoff experience and leadership to the team.
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers Futures Odds
NBA Title Odds: +300 (first)
Eastern Conference Odds: -105 (first)
Division Odds: -180 (first)
LeBron James MVP Odds: +160 (first)
Win Totals: O/U 59 wins
Cleveland's NBA title odds at +300 are solid, even though San Antonio should be the actual favorite, and worth a wager for those bettors who believe they will win the title. The Cavaliers odds start to drastically lose value in the conference and division futures. The team is a heavy favorite at -180 to win is division, but the bet has little value and is not worth making at all.
Cleveland shares a division with Chicago, a team that has won the top seed in the East twice when Derrick Rose is healthy, and the Bulls will be gunning for 60 wins this season. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, do not need to win 60 games or grab the No.1 seed. Its main priority is making sure James will be rested and healthy heading into the postseason. Expect James to let the young legs on his new team do much of the heavy lifting over the year, which as a result will impact his overall numbers and his standing in the MVP race.
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
Playoffs: NBA Finals appearance
MVP: Second place
Cleveland's biggest issue is that its futures odds are overvalued and the squad should not be the title favorite heading into the new season. The San Antonio is still the best team in the NBA, and even Chicago, Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers could all be better than the Cavaliers.
However, that does not mean Cleveland's futures odds are worthless. The squad has three of the Top 20 players in the league and could end up being the best team in the NBA come June. Their odds are simply being overvalued because Cleveland has such a high profile at the moment, and the oddsmakers know that bettors will flock to their futures odds and single-game spreads.
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