By my estimation, there are five teams worth discussing in 2014 NBA Championship expert picks with legitimate hype. I’ve listed the top five favorites below, and if I’m focusing on anything it’s their gas tanks.
How much do these teams have left and is it enough to wager on? Let’s find out…
2014 NBA Championship Expert Picks
Miami Heat are +220 to win the 2014 NBA Championship Odds
I like saying stuff like, “This is LeBron’s team” because it really is his team. The guy has played an absurd amount of minutes this season and literally had to shoulder the load that Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade weren’t capable of carrying this season. Projects like Greg Oden, Michael Beasley and Toney Douglass have absolutely backfired in the process.
None of that matters because LeBron is LeBron and as he long as he is still drawing breath, the Heat are a worthy bet to win the championship. He is truly that supernatural and the reason why the Heat are a trending in 2014 NBA Championship expert picks. There’s one reason to love Miami…and about 16 other reasons not to (I’m talking about their roster, not the other teams in the playoffs by the way).
The San Antonio Spurs are +300 to win the 2014 NBA Championship Odds
Part of my job is spinning things so that I make you think the same way I do. I’m good at it. The problem with San Antonio? I have nothing bad to say. They’re SO FREAKING GOOD and have done a great job of managing player health throughout the season. You want to know what their key stat is? No player on this team has averaged more than 29.6 minutes per game this season. By comparison LeBron and KD both played about 38 minutes per game.
You should know what the Spurs are by now. What you may not know is that they’ve been playing a multitude of different lineups to prepare for any possibility in the playoffs. They can match up and beat anyone in the post season, which is why they lead the way in 2014 NBA Championship expert picks. Your futures betting slip is incomplete without a take on the team I expect to win it all this season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are +400 to win the 2014 NBA Championship Odds
With Durant and Westbrook, anything is literally possible. The two could average 55 points combined, rampage the Western Conference so hard that they barrel in to the Finals with a “we don’t need Harden” attitude just to shut everyone the hell up. Of course, Westbrook’s knees could give out because Scottie Brooks has no idea what minute management is, and then we’re stuck with the same narrative that we always are.
Kevin Durant is a scoring machine and the league’s outright MVP. But you simply can’t win a title without a wingman or a solid team around you. Brooks should be crucified in Oklahoma City for failing to develop worthy talents like Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones and Steven Adams while leaning so hard on decrepit veterans like Caron Butler and Derek Fisher (Yup! He’s still alive!).
It would take a superhuman effort for OKC to survive in this playoff climate with the surging Clippers, the dominant Spurs and upstarts like Portland or Houston breathing down their throats. They have two guys that are certainly capable of producing that kind of effort…but for 16 wins? Even I’m skeptical.
The Thunder have two of the best players in the world, but their supporting cast is less than average. That’s Brooks’ fault and no one else’s. The Thunder’s NBA Championships odds aren’t worth touching at 4-to-1 right now.
The Indiana Pacers are +800 to win the NBA Championship Odds
At one point there was no way you could’ve talked me in to Indiana being shut down before the Finals. I just wouldn’t have believed it. Most of it is because I just wanted to believe in these guys. Paul George, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson are such likeable players on so many fronts. They’re all two-way players, they’re all young and they’ve all had to work for the recognition they rightfully deserve.
Now it’s starting to come out that they may not even like playing with each other. Indiana has proven in their last few games that they’re still capable of playing at the insane standard they set throughout the year. But I have my suspicions that they’re running on fumes, and that the exhaustion is weakening their relationships on and off the court while frustrating these youngsters to an unreasonable degree.
The 2014 Pacers are the exact reason why you don’t slam your foot on the gas pedal for 82 games straight just to send a message. It’s also why you shouldn’t back their slim, heavily backed odds no matter what 2014 NBA Championship expert picks try to suggest. Unless they’re my picks – because I’m telling you to spend money else where. These kids need a nap.
The Los Angeles Clippers are +1100 to win the NBA Championship Odds
Oh hell yeah I believe in the Clippers. I’ve made long standing jokes about this team for the last few years because they have been outright “built for the regular season, not the post season”. That’s changed with Doc Rivers. You can tell with the way they play – they LOVE beating the crap out of everyone. There’s a toughness and edge to the Clippers that’s been missing before. Talent has always been present on this team, but they’ve never had the right brand of leadership. With Rivers in town leading the way, the Clippers we have been begging to see are finally here.
Are the Clippers worth your wallet’s attention? Outside of the Spurs, the Clippers are probably my favorite 2014 NBA Championship expert pick and with 11-to-1 odds it’s hard not to get sucked in by the allure of this team.