Odds to Win 2012 NBA Championship
More than in any other professional team sport, season titles in the NBA are won by teams that are expected to win. Very few long-shots have endured the marathon of the long regular season and the increasingly extended playoffs to win the championship. The lowest seeds to win an NBA title over the last 13 years have been the 2002 Lakers, the 2004 Pistons, the 2007 Spurs and last year's Mavericks. And they were all three seeds on their side of the bracket. Not exactly shocking.
Yes, this regular-season is abbreviated down to 66 games. But the playoffs remain the same. And over those too-many weeks team strengths come to the forefront, and weaknesses are revealed and exploited.
That all being said, here's a quick look at the upcoming NBA championship tournament, with odds provided by Bovada.lv.
The Miami Heat, in their effort to get LeBron James (and others) that first ring, top the NBA championship betting at Bovada at 3/2. The Heat loom as the team that is supposed to win the title, which can be a tough thing to play with. But Miami has the horses, and the hunger, and the went into the All-Star break on a roll.
Oklahoma City is the second choice on Bovada's NBA championship board at 17/4. The Thunder entered the break tied with the Heat for the best record in the league at 27-7, and they were three games up on San Antonio in the battle for the best record in the West. The only thing they lack is experience.
The Chicago Bulls, the No. 1 seed in the East last year, are the third pick at 5/1. The Bulls owned the best record in the East most of this season, until getting caught by Miami just before the break. Still, Chicago and the Heat appear destined for an Eastern Conference Finals rematch.
In what may be a bit of an underlay the Los Angeles Clippers are the fourth choice on Bovada's board at 12/1. Yeah, it's been nice to see the Clippers finally enjoying some success, but should they really be listed among the top four teams on an NBA championship board? Well, Bovada seems to think so, as does apparently a portion of the betting public.
Those old stalwarts of the West, the LA Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, come next, both listed at 14/1. The defending league champion Dallas Mavericks and the re-energized New York Knicks are both getting 18/1 on Bovada's NBA championship board. Coach Collins' Philadelphia 76ers are getting 30/1. And the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic and Portland Trailblazers are all lined at 35/1.
Finally, on the outer edges of contention, the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies are all being offered at 50/1 at Bovada to win the NBA title this season.
The Western Conference has held an edge in recent years, winning 10 of the last 13 NBA championships.