Not All Odds Makers See Cavaliers as the Favorite

The odds on favorite to become the Eastern Conference champions in the NBA next season are the Cleveland Cavaliers thanks to their acquisition of the league’s top player LeBron James.

Odds makers like Bovada and sportsbook.com have the Chicago Bulls just behind the Cavaliers in the Easter Conference race.

However, not all odds makers feel the same way about the chances of the Cavaliers. One odds makers has said that the odds currently reflect how the betting by the public is going, as well as how odds makers such as topbet and betonline anticipate how public bettors will bet.

The price on Cleveland started shrinking as soon as there was a hint that LeBron might return to the Cavaliers after he opted out of his contract with Miami.

As soon as his move was made official, Cleveland vaulted to the top of the futures list with odds makers.

However, not all bookmakers believe the Cavaliers should be at the top, not yet anyway. One odds maker said if Cleveland is not able to pull off the trade to bring Kevin Love to the team, then they likely will not win the title this season.

Going forward, the Cavaliers have loads of talent and will be a force in the like, but when LeBron first arrived in Miami, they did not win a title his first season.

Some odds makers say that Chicago has the better opportunity to enjoy instant success. Chicago added power forward Pau Gasol to their lineup and if Derrick Rose is able to return to top form, they will be better this coming season than the Cavaliers will be.

However, since the public is behind the Cavaliers, then odds makers must make that distinction. If Cleveland acquires Love the scales would be tilted immediately in favor of Cleveland and shorten their odds even further.

However, until the trade is made, some odds makers believe the Eastern Conference favorite should now be Chicago, while the West has a handful of teams that could hold down that spot.

Out West the San Antonio Spurs re-signed their own free agents and will bring back almost the exact same roster that won the 2014 NBA Title.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers have added talent to their rosters, and will once again give the Spurs a run for their money in the West.

2014-15 NBA TITLE ODDS

SAN ANTONIO SPURS 7 to 2
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 7 to 2
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 9 to 2
CHICAGO BULLS 7 to 1
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 8 to 1
INDIANA PACERS 15 to 1
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 20 to 1
HOUSTON ROCKETS 20 to 1
MIAMI HEAT 25 to 1
WASHINGTON WIZARDS 30 to 1

NBA Futures Re-Adjusted After Frenzy of Free Agent Activity

The futures for the NBA Championship have been adjusted again following a weekend full of free agents signings. Carmelo Anthony re-signed with the New York Knicks, while Pau Gasol exited Los Angeles for Chicago.

When LeBron James signed for Cleveland the frenzy of free agency in the NBA was just beginning. Moves over the weekend impacted the outlook for the NBA for the 2014-15 season.

Gasol signed with the Bulls and will be paired with center Joakim Noah. That gives Chicago the best NBA passing frontcourt.

Whether or not that translates to more wins will eventually be seen, but the two skilled big men should help open the Bulls offense.

Last season Gasol averaged 17 points, close to 10 rebounds and over 3 assists per game.

Chicago opened on Bovada and betonline following the NBA Finals at 12 to 1, but following the signing of Gasol that was halved to 6 to 1.

The Bulls were at 6 to 1 as early as last Friday since some bookmakers, such as sportsbook.com and topbet figured Anthony and or Gasol might sign for the Bulls.

For Chicago to be valued at such a price, oft-injured Derrick Rose must remain healthy following knee issues that have kept him out most of two straight seasons.

If Rose can stay healthy and Chicago gets offensive help from Doug McDermott their rookie from Creighton on the perimeter, the team could once again be a legitimate contender.

Carmelo Anthony was at one time said to be going to Miami to form the Big Four or joining James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston, but in the end, he re-signed to play in the Big Apple with the Knicks.

The Knicks opened at 50 to 1 and that has been shortened to 40 to 1, which is a slight adjustment but would have been much more significant the other way if he had signed with another team.

With Anthony leading the way, New York reached the second round of the playoffs in 2013 therefore a return this season to the postseason with Derek Fisher as the head coach will not be a stretch.

The Heat lost LeBron but was able to re-sign Chris Bosh. Of course, they are not in the title contender discussions at this point, but are re-assembling their franchise and should be a strong contender for the postseason.

The Heat expect that Dwayne Wade will also re-sign giving them two-thirds of the Big Three back in the fold. Miami also signed Luol Deng who will be their new small forward replacing James.

The Heat went from their opening price of 2 to 1 following the NBA Finals, to 100 to 1 after LeBron departed. They have been readjusted with the signing of Bosh, Deng and possibly Wade to 30 to 1.

Top Five NBA Championship Futures

SAN ANTONIO SPURS 7 to 2

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 4 to 1

OKLAHOMA THUNDER 9 to 2

CHICAGO BULLS 6 to 1

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 8 to 1

James Return to Cleveland Moves NBA Futures Board

LeBron James announced on Friday he was returning to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami. It did not take long for odds makers to make adjustments on the NBA futures placing the Cavaliers at or near the top depending upon what bookmaker you looked at.

Online odds makers Bovada and sportsbook.com quickly reacted by changing the odds for Cleveland to 3 to 1, giving the Cavaliers the shortest price of all futures for the NBA championship.

When topbet and betonline first opened the NBA Futures only hours after the San Antonio Spurs had won the NBA title, the Cavaliers opened at 30 to 1.

When rumors started that James could possibly return to Cleveland, the Cavaliers started this week at 12 to 1, but late in the week it was 6 to 1 and ultimately lowered on Friday afternoon to 3 to 1.

As high as the Cavs rose, the Miami Heat cooled off and plummeted. Miami was adjusted to 100 to 1 on the announcement, while books had both the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 4 to 1.

After a short while, a number of books moved Cleveland to 4 to 1 with the Spurs. The books also adjusted Oklahoma City to 9 to 2.

The books received a great deal of action on Cleveland when the club was at 30 to 1 as well as when it drifted down to 12 to 1.

Some sites left San Antonio and Oklahoma City at 4 to 1, where they were prior to the announcement. They made Cleveland just 9 to 2.

The Heat has very little chance of winning the title without James in the lineup. It does look as though they will re-sign Chris Bosh which would likely help keep them where they are now on the futures chart.

One sports casino did not offer any futures on the NBA for the 2014-15 season just because of the doubt on where James would play.

The casino preferred not to become exposed while the basketball world waited to find out where the sport’s best player would end up playing.

A number of bookmakers have Cleveland close to even money to win the NBA Eastern Conference. However, others are remaining cautious to see where Carmelo Anthony ends up playing and if Kevin Love is traded.

The Chicago Bulls number could get shorter if they are able to sign Pau Gasol and or Carmelo Anthony to free agent contracts.

James had seven very successful seasons with Cleveland and the likelihood of the Cavaliers going deep into the postseason in 2014-15 is very high.

In his first time in Cleveland, he was immature and finding his way in the NBA. Now, James is a two-time NBA champion and looks to add to that back home in Cleveland.

Spurs and Heat Reduced to Best of Five with Series Even at 1-1

The NBA Finals are tied at 1-1 after the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night in a thriller 98-96.

Last season the Spurs missed a few free throws that likely cost them the NBA title. Déjà vu reared its ugly head on Sunday when a few more misses from the free throw line by two of their top players likely was the difference from being up 2-0 to the reality of being tied 1-1 heading to Miami for Games 3 and 4.

The Spurs had good games from their top players with Tony Parker scoring 21 and Tim Duncan hitting for 18, but the two missed all four of their attempts from the charity stripe in a critical period during the final quarter.

LeBron James recovered from his leg cramps to score 35 for the Heat.

The two teams play Game 3 on Tuesday at American Airlines Arena in south Florida.

Last season Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili missed some costly shots in Game 6 of the NBA Finals that allowed Miami to overcome a 5-point deficit with just 28 second left to send the game to overtime and then win it.

This 0 for 4 at the free throw line did not take place in such a dramatic fashion but the outcome was as costly.

The early line on Bovada and sportsbook.com for Game 3 in Miami has the Heat favored by 4.5. On topbet and betonline, the point total for the overall under opened at 198.5.

Prior to the loss on Sunday, the Spurs had won 8 consecutive home games during the playoffs, with all coming by 15 points or more, but everything comes to an end.

Without much time to regroup or to practice foul shots, the Spurs will head to Miami on Monday for Tuesday’s game.

Do not expect the air conditioning to go out in Miami or any other strange phenomenon taking place. What you can expect is some of the best, intense back and forth play from what are arguably the two best teams in the NBA.

James was able to show all basketball fans and in particular the ones at the AT&T Center in San Antonio why he is the best player in the NBA.

In a short span of three straight Miami possessions during the third quarter on Sunday, James by himself reduced a six-point Spurs lead to a Heat 2-point advantage.

James started the offensive display with a 3-pointer from the left side of the foul line, followed a San Antonio miss with a jumper over Boris Diaw and  followed a second San Antonio miss with another 3-pointer in transition. The result was an 8-0 Miami run and a two-point Heat lead.

Now the series is the best of five with Miami holding the home court advantage, let’s see how San Antonio reacts on Tuesday.

Spurs Favored by 4.5 Points in Game 2 Versus Heat

The San Antonio Spurs look to take a 2-0 lead on Sunday in the NBA Finals when they face the Miami Heat at the AT&T Center. On Thursday, the Spurs defeated the Heat in Game 1 of the best of seven series 110-95.

San Antonio is currently a favorite by 4.5 points on Bovada and sportsbook.com. The point total for Game 2 on topbet and betonline is now 198.5. The price for the series has San Antonio -240 and Miami +200. The Spurs were -135 prior to Game 1.

The Spurs win on Thursday was marred somewhat by the air-conditioning failing at the arena, which Miami says helped to cause LeBron James’s leg cramps that forced him to play just over 5 minutes in the crucial fourth quarter.

The Spurs out scored Miami in that quarter 36-17, including a run of 16-3 to end the game.

The combined points of 205 scored in Game 1, easily covered the over/under line of 198.5. The OVER has cashed in 12 of the 16 playoff games Miami has played and 11 of the 19 San Antonio has played.

The past four games in the NBA Finals these two rivals have played head to head have cashed on the OVER.

San Antonio is 8-0 SU as well as ATS over its past eight games at home. The average victory margin in those eight games is 22 points, with the smallest margin during that stretch being 15 points.

Miami is 2-4 SU as well as ATS over its past six games on the road. However, the Heat is an impressive 12-0 SU and 11-1 ATS over their past 12 games in the playoffs following a SU loss.

The Heat lost Game 1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, but won Game 2.

Most eyes will be focused on James for Sunday’s game. Even though James played just 33 minutes, he scored 25 points. If the Heat hopes to steal a win in San Antonio James will need to score a minimum of 30 points.

Miami’s bench was outscored in Game 1 by 14 points.

Tony Parker scored 19 points and handed out 8 assists on a sore ankle. Danny Green scored 11 points during the decisive fourth quarter for San Antonio.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs in scoring with 21 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds.

Miami is 5-0 SU in a Game 2 following a loss in Game 1. Miami has followed each of their past 12 losses in the postseason with a SU win.

The OVER might be the easiest of the line to take at 198.5. In 12 of the past 16 games, Miami has played in the postseason the point total has cashed to the OVER.

Pick: I like Miami ATS and San Antonio SU in a tight battle, with the OVER cashing as well.

Indiana Pacers Odds Double on NBA Title Futures

The Indiana Pacers must feel like their season is falling apart around them as they continue to lose games heading towards the postseason. In a week’s time, the Pacers odds of winning the NBA Championship on Bovada and sportsbooks.com have doubled.

Indiana on the season is 53-25 straight up and 35-42-1 against the spread. During the majority of the season, the Pacers looked to be the NBA’s best team as they started the season 25-5 SU before the start of the New Year.

Indiana at one time was 40-12, but since then has gone 13-13 after being the lone favorite on betonline and topbet to win the NBA Championship.

Since early March, the team is just 7-12 with poor play on both the offensive and defensive ends causing them problems. The pre-All Star break record in offensive efficiency has dropped from 102 points per 100 possessions to just 99. On defense, the same result with their rating climbing to 101 from 93.

The recent struggles the Pacers have encountered has caused online bookmakers such as Bovada to double the championship odds for Indiana from last week’s 3 to 1 to this week’s 6 to 1.

The Pacers’ odds to take the top spot in the Eastern Conference were doubled as well to 2 to 1 from even-money.

Over their past 10 games, the Pacers are 3-7 SU and 1-9 ATS. During the 10 games, the Pacers have lost two at home, where prior to this poor form they were close to unbeatable on their home court.

What is the most alarming is the two losses suffered at home were both blowouts losing 103-77 to San Antonio and 107-88 to Atlanta. Prior to the blowout loss to San Antonio, Indiana’s had won 33 of 37 home games.

From the perspective of the bettor, the doubled price for Indiana could be a pleasant sight. Even going back to the playoffs from last season, Indiana looked like a club that could contend for an NBA Title.

If bettors believe they are just going through a dry spell and can shake it off when the postseason arrives, then the present times has the Pacers at the best value since prices pre and during the early season were much shorter.

However, with the way the team is currently playing, they might not make it out of the first round against Charlotte.

Top 10 to Win 2014 NBA Title

Miami Heat 8 to 5

San Antonio Spurs 5 to 2

Oklahoma City Thunder 3 to 1

Indiana Pacers 6 to 1

Los Angeles Clippers 12 to 1

Houston Rockets 20 to 1

Golden State Warriors 30 to 1

Chicago Bulls 40 to 1

Portland Trail Blazers 40 to 1

Toronto Raptors 40 to 1

Will Clippers Odds Shorten if Granger Signs

Rumors have flown back and forth from one coast to another regarding where Danny Granger will end up. The latest has the former Indiana Pacer headed to the Los Angeles Clippers. At least one source said the former All-Star has decided to head west and sign a deal with the Clippers.

The Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs all attempted to convince Granger to play for them, but it was the Clippers that offered the shooting forward the best opportunity to play a large number of minutes on a team that is contending for the NBA title.

If Granger does sign with the Clippers, it could give the club an advantage over other Western Conference opponent in the scoring column. Granger was the Pacers leading scorer prior to injuring his knee in the 2012 playoffs and missing nearly all of last season.

Odds makers at Bovada, sportsbook.com, betonline and topbet will make adjustments to their NBA title futures board if the Clippers sign Granger, as it should shorten the odds for Los Angeles.

It is expected that Granger will clear waivers on Friday afternoon. He was waived officially on Wednesday after he bought out his contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.

He had been acquired by the 76ers from the Pacers prior to the trade deadline for Lavoy Allen and Evan Turner.

If Granger is not claimed by any team, he is able to sign with whom he wants. On Thursday Granger was in Los Angeles and was working out at a gym said the source.

If he signs, he could play as early as Saturday when Los Angeles hosts New Orleans.

If the Clippers sign Granger it will be the second signing in the past week by coach Doc Rivers of a veteran player. Earlier the team signed Glen Davis, who had many suitors. Davis’ contract was bought out by Orlando. Davis played in Boston for Rivers when they won the NBA Championship in 2008 and when they lost the finals in 2010.

The Clippers last week traded Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens to make room for possible new signings and backed out of two trade negotiations for Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert with the Knicks.

This season Granger has only played 29 games coming back from calf and knee injuries. He was averaging 22 minutes per game and 8 points. However, for his career he has averaged nearly 18 points per game.

Grangers lives in Los Angeles during the offseason and has practiced at the Clippers facility during the summer.

If Granger is signed by the Clippers, the team should become one of the favorites to win the Western Conference and battle for the NBA title. With Blake Griffin leading the team in scoring and Chris Paul just behind Griffin in scoring and handing out a league high in assists, the Clippers could be the team to beat out West.

New NBA Futures have Indiana Favored to Win NBA Title

NBA odds makers released new championship odds on Monday. The Indiana Pacers moved into first place alone this week after sharing first with the Miami Heat last week. The Pacers are 40-11 on the season and hold the best record in the league. Miami is four games behind at 35-14.

The Pacers saw their odds shortened this week from 2 to 1 to 9 to 5. The Heat remained at 2 to 1 where they were last week.

This has been the first time since LeBron James came to the Heat that Miami has not been the favorite to win the NBA title on topbet, Bovada or betonline, with the exception of a playoff situation when they trailed in a particular series.

Odds makers at sportsbook.com believe that Indiana, Miami and the Oklahoma City Thunder are the three top teams in the league. However, Miami is known to take certain nights off during the regular season playing as if it were at times the preseason.

This year however, it might be harder for them to turn on the switch when they need it come playoff time, said one well-known odds maker at Bovada.

In the deep Western Conference, a team emerging as a dangerous threat to the status quo is the Phoenix Suns who are currently at 50 to 1. To start this season, the Suns were at 2000 to 1, the second longest odds in the league.

It is easy to call the Suns, coached by Jeff Hornacek, the league’s biggest surprise this season.

Phoenix likely will not push the elite teams of the conference and threaten them with elimination in a postseason series, but their 30-20 record proves they have talent and will be around making noise during the postseason.

The Suns are led by Goran Dragic with 20 points and 6 assists per game and Eric Bledsoe with 18 points and nearly 6 assists per game.

The two guards run the team’s up-tempo scoring machine that is fifth in the league in scoring at 105 points per game. However, on defense, the Suns are giving up nearly 102 points per game.

If the season ended today, Phoenix would play the Portland Trail Blazers, who the Suns have defeated two out of three times this season.

The NBA All-Star break takes place this weekend and will give every team an opportunity for four days of rest. Players who have injuries will also have time to rest without missing additional games.

The Thunder, ranked No. 1 in the Western Conference are expecting their starting point guard Russell Westbrook back from his knee surgery following the break. Westbrook has missed 25 games thus far this season.

Current Top 5 in NBA Championship Odds

Indiana 9 to 5

Miami 2 to 1

Oklahoma City 7 to 2

San Antonio 12 to 1

Los Angeles Clippers 12 to 1

Updated NBA Championship Futures Released

The NBA has just reached the halfway point of the regular season. Odds makers have adjusted their futures for the NBA championship odds this week with the gap between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers getting smaller.

Indiana is finally getting some respect from odds makers even though they have led the league nearly from day one of the season. At this time, the Pacers sit atop the league with a record of 33-7, two games ahead of the second place San Antonio Spurs and 4½ games in front of Eastern Conference rival and two time defending NBA champions the Miami Heat.

Nevertheless, until a team knocks the Miami Heat out of the postseason, the crown will stay in south Florida. Indiana is giving it its best shot, but half the season remains.

When the season started, Miami was 5 to 7 to win the Eastern Conference and 2 to 1 to win it all on sites like Bovada and sportsbook.com. At the same time, Indiana was 6 to 1 to take the conference and 12 to 1 to win the title.

At that time, Indiana on betonline and topbet trailed the Chicago Bulls, but due to an injury sustained by Derrick Rose, the race in the East was trimmed from three teams to just two.

At present, the Pacers are even money to take the East and 5 to 2 to win the title. However, they still trail Miami as the Heat are 5 to 8 to take the East and 3 to 2 to win the title.

In real time, the Heat trail Indiana by 4½ games. Indiana is 21-1 at home this season and is No. 1 in the league in points allowed at 88.2 per game. They are led by the sharpshooting Paul George, who is averaging 23 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game. George has emerged as a legitimate superstar who has impacted the game on both ends of the court for Indiana.

Miami, on the other hand, plays at times as if they are bored with the regular season, especially during mid season prior to the All Star break. The Heat is just 5-5 in their past 10 games overall including Monday night’s loss against Atlanta.

However, the regular season is long, with 40 or more games for each team left and the championship will run through Miami.

If Indiana can secure the home court advantage for the playoffs, it would put the Pacers in a better position than the past two years, when they were eliminated by Miami who held home court advantage.

Top Ten Odds for 2013-14 NBA Title

Miami Heat 3-2

Indiana Pacers 4-1

Oklahoma City Thunder 6-1

San Antonio Spurs 8-1

Golden State Warriors 10-1

Los Angeles Clippers 15-1

Houston Rockets 15-1

Minnesota Timberwolves 50-1

Memphis Grizzlies 50-1

Odds Makers Release NBA Regular Season WIn Totals

The Major League Baseball season is entering the playoffs, the NFL is in week five and the NHL started their season this week. Next in line is the NBA, which has its first preseason games scheduled for this weekend.

Odds makers released their first list of projected regular season wins this week with the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls close to the top and the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knick having lower expectations.

Houston and Chicago moved up the ladder due to the additions of Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose respectively. The two reflected in the regular season win totals for both that were released on Tuesday by odds makers and can be found on sites such as Bovada, topbet, sportsbook.com and betonline.

Both the Rockers and Bulls were winners last season of 45 games and reached the postseason. They have been projected by odds makers of winning in the mid-50s for the upcoming 2013-2014 season, which puts them both close to the top.

To the surprise of no one, the Miami Heat are the top dog on the list, although the opening number for Miami of 60 wins is six less than they tallied a season ago when they won their second consecutive NBA title.

One reason they have just 60 wins this season, is they won 27 in a row during last season and that will be tough to repeat.

Sportsbooks like Bovada and topbet also point out that Dwayne Wade is prone to injury and many criticize the way Chris Bosh plays.

If LeBron James were to miss a week or two due to injury, the Heat numbers would decline as well.

Injuries to players, specifically Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant will have a big impact on the leading teams in the West. Westbrook will miss several weeks to start the season, while Bryant hopes to play from the first game on.

Due to the injury to Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder was given just 50.5 wins to open. That is nearly 10 less than the 60 they won last season.

However, the Lakers are even further down with just a projection of 35.5 wins. The Lakers are loved by the public and there will be a number of bettors on sites like sportsbook.com and betonline that will take the OVER on the Lakers wins.

The Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks both won in the mid 50s last season, but have both been downgraded by odds makers. With the Nets looking to be tougher and the Bulls with Rose back, it is difficult to think the Knicks will win 50-plus games again this season. With Lionel Hollins no longer coaching at Memphis, odds makers believe it will affect the team’s performance at least for the first year.

Here is the top 5

Miami Heat – 60

Los Angeles Clippers – 57

Chicago Bulls – 56.5

San Antonio Spurs – 55.5

Houston Rockets – 54.5