NBA Favorites on Tap as I Get Back in the Basketball Swing

LeBron Love
LeBron James and Kevin Love have to stay healthy if the Cavs are to live up their preseason billing.

I’m going to do my very best to get back in the swing of the action on the hardwood today because it feels like forever since I’ve discussed it. Rather than jump back in with lines for tonight’s action, I’m going to give you the latest odds on who wins the National Basketball Association title. Odds provided by our friends at Bovada.

Cleveland Cavaliers 4/1

Golden State Warriors 5/1

The Cavs are still the darlings of Las Vegas despite injuries to LeBron James and a less than 100% Kevin Love. Currently, Cleveland is sitting in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference and they trail Conference leader Atlanta by 12 games. I don’t see the Cavs getting the one seed and you shouldn’t either.

The Warriors are sitting in the catbird seat in the West three and a half ahead of Portland. They’ve nine of their last ten games and have lost just once in 19 games at home. Retaining the top spot will not be easy because the Western Conference is still where the powerful teams reside but I expect the Warriors to be in this for the long haul barring injuries.

Will Popovich be able to rest his vets and keep the Spurs in the upper half of the Western Conference?

San Antonio Spurs 13/2

Atlanta Hawks 7/1

The defending champion Spurs are in the seventh spot right now eight games behind the Warriors. They’ve won eight of ten and are just five and a half games out of the second spot held by the Blazers. In usual Gregg Popovich form, he’s making sure the veterans are getting the right amount of rest. My concern for them though is will it matter? The West is so good and young that I’m not sure a repeat is in the cards.

Atlanta is far and away the best team in the Eastern Conference and they sit five games ahead of second seeded Washington. They’ve won 13-straight games and are beating teams by an average of almost seven points per game. The one major concern with the Hawks is that their opponents in the East are a far cry from the talent level out west. That said, all the Hawks need to do is get to the NBA Finals where anything can happen.

Dallas Mavericks 15/2

Chicago Bulls 8/1

Dallas is tied with rival Houston for the fourth/fifth spot in the West. They’ve won seven of ten including their last two in a row. The trade for Rajon Rondo has certainly paid dividends and his presence will be crucial down the stretch.

The Bulls have lost two straight and have won just four of their last ten games. Still, their comfortably in the fourth spot four and a half games ahead of the Cavaliers. My honest question for you if you like the Bulls here is what can you expect from Derrick Rose?

Oklahoma City Thunder 10/1

OKC is currently sitting in the ninth spot and out of the playoffs if the season ended today. The season doesn’t end today however and that’s good news for the Thunder. They’ve won three straight and six of their last ten so perhaps this team is starting to come together for a second half stretch run behind a healthier Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Longer Shots I like

Washington Wizards 25/1 – With the Cavaliers struggling, perhaps they get by the Hawks and into the NBA Finals.

New Orleans Pelicans 200/1 – Right now, the Pelicans are four games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference and when you have a player like Anthony Davis, why can’t the Pelicans make a run?