With yesterday’s blockbuster trade sending NBA Championship guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavs for bench players and picks means it’s time to revisit my updated 2015 NBA Championship Odds.
As crazy as it sounds, Cleveland is still riding the high of the return of LeBron and are the favorites to take home the NBA Championship even though they haven’t played as well as other championship calibre teams like the Golden State Warriors. In fact, Golden State is a co-second choice with San Antonio to win the NBA Championship.
— America's Pregame (@AmericasPregame) December 19, 2014
The Favorites To Win The 2015 NBA Championship
- Cleveland Cavaliers 3/1
- San Antonio Spurs 4/1
- Golden State Warriors 4/1
Analysis: You can only bet on Cleveland if you really think that LeBron hasn’t lost a step. Since it’s more likely that LeBron has indeed lost a step, it might be wise to go for one of the longer shots in the Easter Conference to get into the NBA Championship. Cleveland doesn’t appear to have much of a bench.
One team with a bench in the favorite’s category is Golden State. The Warriors are loaded with talent. They’ve only lost 2 games so far this season. More impressively, the Warriors are leading the NBA in field goal percentage per game at 48% while also leading the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at 41%. Golden State is a solid pick to win the NBA Championship at 4/1 odds right now.
San Antonio will be tough in the West, though. Greg Popovich is already resting his starters, which means that he’s determined to get them playing at their optimal level when playoff time emerges.
Oh Won’t It Be Fun If They Won the 2015 NBA Championship
- Oklahoma City Thunder 8/1
- Chicago Bulls 9/1
- L.A. Clippers 12/1
- Memphis Grizzlies 15/1
- Dallas Mavericks 10/1
Analysis: With the MVP back from injury, Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City is starting to look like a contender, but they may not have that third player that’s needed to help Durant and Russell Westbrook. OKC is an underlay at 8/1.
The Bulls have some issues. Yes, they’re talented and, yes, Derrick Rose is one of the best players in the NBA, but Rose doesn’t have the killer instinct that a true championship contender needs out of its top player. At 9/1, Chicago is a tough bet just because when push comes to shove, will Rose step it up?
The Clippers are a solid play at 12/1. The odds are much higher than they should be on a team with arguably a Top 3 power forward in Blake Griffin and the best point-guard in the NBA in Chris Paul. The Clippers also have a deep bench with a lot of role players to help Griffin and Paul when it comes playoff time. At 12/1, LAC is one of the best bets on the board at this point in the NBA Season.
Memphis has a great defense, but like Chicago, the Grizzlies don’t necessarily have that player with the killer instinct. They’re a pass at the odds. Dallas has offense for days but no defense. How will the addition of Rajon Rondo help them compete in the West?
Rajon Rondo will leave the Celtics having made a huge impact on both ends of the floor. pic.twitter.com/EXD3bypY5m
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 18, 2014
Longshot Underdogs That Could Make A Run To WinThe 2015 NBA Championship
- Houston Rockets 20/1
- Portland Trailblazers 25/1
- Toronto Raptors 25/1
- Washington Wizards 25/1
Analysis: Neither Houston’s James Harden, their terrific guard, nor center Dwight Howard will be good enough in the playoffs for the Rockets to beat either the Warriors or the Spurs. The 20/1 odds make them an underlay at this point.
Portland at 25 to 1 offers value and has a talented enough team to make it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Golden State and San Antonio are better teams, but LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard is one of the top inside/outside forward and guard combinations in the NBA. It’s not as breathtaking as Paul and Griffin, but it’s up there.
Toronto is one that could be worth a long look at the big odds. The Raptors are continuing to win games without their best player, DeMar Derozan. Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson and Louis Williams can score from anywhere on the court. Toronto’s defense is holding teams to less than 100 points per game while scoring 107 on average per. That makes Toronto a tough team to go against on most nights.
Contender or Pretender via @Scalabrine Grizzlies: Contender Warriors: Contender Raptors: Pretender Wizards: Contender Rockets: Pretender
— America's Pregame (@AmericasPregame) December 17, 2014
Washington could also surprise in a weak Eastern Conference. The Wizards sport one of the best defenses in the NBA while the offense shoots a blistering 47% from the field. John Wall has turned into one of the best players in the league. At 25 to 1, Washington is worth a long look.