“There’s a storm coming,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra predicted on the day after the latest Game Of Thrones episode. He was talking about the second season, the real season, the postseason. The NBA Playoffs begin Saturday (click here to view live NBA playoff betting odds).
What separates the NBA from other major sports is that the best teams almost always advance. Matchup outliers create occasional havoc, but unlike the other sports with 7 game playoff series, the better team advances far more often than not. It’s why the NBA produces the most legitimate champion of the major sports.
We already covered the Heat, Pacers, Thunder and Blazers in previous NBA Championshp betting picks so I’m going to expunge on the lesser known commodities in the futures market.
Who Has The Best Odds To Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
Can The LA Clippers Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
The book on the Clippers has always been “built for the regular season” which usually means playoff death. We have all been wildly entertained by Lob City, but this season it’s been all about business and the paradigm shift in their mentality has transformed the race for the Western Conference title.
At this point, it’s safe to say that the Clippers can beat anyone. Getting their cans kicked by a playoff bully like Memphis taught the young Clippers how to toughen up in the post. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin have both played with a merciless fury so I’m less concerned about how well they’ll bing with the big boys from Houston, Portland, San Antonio or…well…any other team in the West.
Couple all that with the fact that they’re lining up the injury plagued Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs and you have a gift wrapped pass to the second round and you have them marching in to Oklahoma City where they can absolutely contend with the Thunder. Everything about the Clippers has been different since Doc Rivers arrived on the scene, and the potential that we all saw in this team a few years ago is finally bubbling to the surface. I do not personally love them more than the Spurs in the Western Conference, but even I couldn’t turn away from their 10-to-1 odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship. You’d be a moron not to throw a chip shot at their number considering the shaky state of the Western Conference.
Can The Chicago Bulls Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
If the old adage “defense wins championships” has as much weight as it should, then the Bulls should be on your radar for a lot of very good reasons. Hell, had Kirk Hinrich stayed healthy last year against Miami, Chicago might have knocked off the defending champions in 2013. There’s a ton to like here, especially with Chicago boasting +4500 odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship. But a lot of what Chicago is doing is riding on sheer effort, and the lack of talent here might catch up with them eventually. I think Joakim Noah is an absolute world beater and had Luol Deng not been traded away for no good reason, I’d like this team a lot more. I’m dying to see their opening round matchup against Brooklyn. If they perform well there, I might kick myself for not getting in with Chicago earlier.
Can The Toronto Raptors Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
Listen, crazier things have happened and their +10000 odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship are the type of bets that legends are made of, but it just doesn’t feel like a strong probability. These particular Raptors have only really been assembled for two seasons and have gone through a bevy of administrative changes and franchise alterations. They’re also a significantly young team with very little playoff experience. You need to understand the hostile environment of the post season.
That being said, I don’t hate Toronto as a flier play either especially with those long odds. Given enough time you could convince me that Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan could either offset or mitigate the production of LeBron James. I could be talked in to a high flying Toronto team thundering past a lost and unfocused Pacers team. There’s a chance that exhaustion sets in for the Bulls or Jason Kidd sabotages the Nets in a clutch moment. The possibility exists that Dwayne Casey’s 2011 Championship run with Dallas will give him the guidance to steer his band of misfits through the mayhem.
I doubt it, but the pieces are there for the underdog story of the century. I have been to Toronto several times and their love for basketball is vastly underappreciated. This city wants to succeed badly. That in itself could push Toronto farther than the oddsmakers expect them to go. Sure, I don’t see them winning the championship but they’re also 20-to-1 to win the Eastern Conference.
Nobody said NBA sports betting had to make sense. Part of the fun is being suicidal enough to make a brazen play. That’s all I’m suggesting.
Can The Houston Rockets Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
Nobody scores a more unimpressive double-double than Dwight Howard, and mostly because there was a point in his career when he was one of the top-3 players in the league. He’s still a likely top-15 player but the drop off is there, and the Rockets don’t have any other size in the middle other than the over inflated paper value of Omer Asik. That’s pretty much the only reason I don’t like Houston long term. Howard’s health, mental integrity and overall toughness terrify me. I can find much better value than the Rockets at +2500.
Can The San Antonio Spurs Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
Yup – and they probably will. Here’s the thing about San Antonio – they have an insane amount of efficient combinations on their roster. They can play small, big, fast and slow…and then every little degree in between. That means they’re ready for everyone, and they can obviously assert themselves on opponents whenever they’d like. Last year came down to a few lucky and unlucky bounces. This year, San Antonio is as good as anyone else out there and with +280 odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship, the oddsmakers have earmarked hem as the clear favorite in the Western Conference and the second favorite in the entire NBA playoffs. Nuff said.