Grading the teams who have the best odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship ends up being a relative discussion. The word “best” is subjective, and coincides with the word “value”. A long-term projection on a futures market is only as worthy as it’s chances of coming to fruition, and after that the payout simply has to be worth it.
Do you prefer the stacked odds of Miami at +245 or Indiana at +275? Or do you like the Thunder with a larger payout of +455? How about the Lakers at an astounding +35000 payback? Let’s keep an open mind concerning the definition of “best” as we look at the teams that have the best odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship.
Who Has The Best Odds To Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
Can The Miami Heat Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
They’re the two-time defending champions, survived two absolutely grueling playoff series against Indiana and San Antonio to get there and are still pretty much the same team. The only reason to bet against the Miami Heat is because their odds don’t have the same payout as others, and there’s a lot of rumors floating around about James leaving…which means Bosh and Wade would do the same. We’ve already seen a slightly distracted LeBron collapse in the playoffs when he was mulling his future in Cleveland. Is he mature enough to avoid this distraction again? Probably. But there are slightly more attractive odds than the Heat’s +245 number right now.
Can The Indiana Pacers Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
The Pacers are the second favorite in the book at +275 to win the 2014 NBA Championship, and are also the best team in the Eastern Conference in the standings. I love the way that they’ve approached this season as if it’s all business and no pleasure. Of course, when you’re boasting a 38-10 SU record, I’m sure it feels pretty damn good.
So how good are the Pacers? They’re the only team capable of beating the Heat in a seven game series. That’s why I didn’t even bother listing any other Eastern Conference team in this piece. Nobody has demonstrated the physicality, swagger and confidence necessary to succeed in the playoffs like these Pacers. They were just one win away from busting through to the NBA Championship round last year and used the off-season to get even better. Luis Scola and C.J. Watson are solid bench contributors, which was a sore spot with Indiana last year.
Couple that with Lance Stephenson, Roy Hibbert and Paul George all taking gigantic steps forward as individuals and you have a collective team that looks downright scary. You need stoppers to beat the Heat. George and Stephenson are both proven counters to LeBron and Wade in the heat of battle, and Roy Hibbert devoured Chris Bosh last year in the ECF. With Hibbert getting added help in the form of Andrew Bynum and Scola, there’s literally no telling how good the Pacers might be by the end of the year. With their odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship nearing the 3-to-1 mark, there value is as good as anyone’s…especially if the Heat’s health doesn’t hold up.
Can The Oklahoma City Thunder Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
Yes! The Thunder’s +455 odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship are amongst my favorite in terms of sheer value. The biggest question with this team is always going to be the health of Russell Westbrook, but with Kevin Durant there’s always hope. And people are underestimating the overall impact of Serge Ibaka who continues to be a defensive force of nature while improving his offensive game. Ibaka’s 16.4 points through he month of January aren’t impressive on paper, but if you watch OKC play then you know he’s killing opponents almost every night. I think the Thunder are tired of incubating as a contender. A Thunder-Pacers final wouldn’t just be one of the best things to happen to basketball – it would probably put me in a freaking coma.
Let’s keep in mind that the Thunder have been on a rampage without Russell Westbrook. They don’t need to bring him back anytime soon. If you love this team without him, then you’re going to become infatuated with them when he’s back. And that means that the Thunder’s odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship are going to shrink. Buy this price now.
Can The Portland Trail Blazers Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
If you strapped me to an electric chair and asked me if the Portland Trail Blazers can win the 2014 NBA Championship, my immediate answer would be “no” and it doesn’t actually have that much to do with the rest of the western conference competition. I actually really like the way this team is built from the inside out, and they certainly have a great collection of young talent that started off wonderfully. Recently, however, they’ve been all over the map.
Portland has been rocked by Golden State, Memphis and Washington lately and barely edged the Knicks and the Raptors. They’ve also been creamed by Houston and Oklahoma City in the month of January. I’m not sure if this team knows how to soldier through adversity in general, which makes me wary of how they’ll handle the playoff climate. The franchise hasn’t been to a finals since 1991-92, and they haven’t won a playoffs series this entire century. The team is built well, but they’re not familiar with success which is why they’ve been up and down since having a target put on their backs.
I’m intrigued by the Blazers at +2000 to win the 2014 NBA Championship, and they’re worth a flier bet if they can get everything together but right now I’m not liking what I’m seeing. I think they’d get run over by the Spurs or the Thunder…or even Houston.
Can The Los Angeles Lakers Win The 2014 NBA Championship?
This is not a misprint. Neither is their +35000 odds to win it all. The Los Angeles Lakers might not have the best odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship, but they’re probably the most hilarious flier bet in all of sports. You’ve spent $10 on dumber things, and I bet none of those purchases could turn in to $3,500.
The truth is that Kobe Bryant’s return is still up in the air, but he is anticipated to come back some time near the end of the month. You can say what you want about Kobe, but he’s still one of the best players in the league and the Lakers are getting tons of run time together without him so everyone’s getting more experience. Strangely enough, the Lakers aren’t a terrible betting team because the oddsmakers are stacking the line against this porous team because there’s not much to rely on. And they’ve only gone 17-32 SU this season, ranking them at the bottom of the Western Conference along with Sac-town and Utah.
But like last year, Kobe and the Lakers could eventually go on a run to sneak in to the playoffs and if that happens then they could compete with nearly anyone in the west. It’s a great conference, but the Lakers match up well with almost all of the playoff teams. I’m not telling you to mortgage your home and throw it all at the Lakers, but if you have some spare change and you’re a Lakers fan, it’s a fun bet to make. The Lakers can win the 2014 NBA Championship…it’s just not very likely.