2012 NBA Championship Odds: Conference Finals

We’re down to the Final Four for the 2012 NBA Championship and Bovada has the odds for us. The big favorite right now is the San Antonio Spurs at 13/10 and for good reason. They’ve been there and they’ve done that. They (arguably) have the best coaching staff of any of the remaining teams and they are facing an inexperienced Thunder team in the Conference Finals. It’s easy to see why the bookmakers think they could make an impact and win it all. The last ride of the San Antonio Spurs is a very intriguing narrative heading into the last two rounds.

Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that the Thunder are a very dangerous team with tons of scoring weapons. What they lack in experience they make up for in athleticism and they can simply play at a level that the Spurs can’t keep up with. When things are going right for the Thunder there are very few teams that can keep up with them. From a pure, fun to watch perspective I am rooting for the Thunder and Heat to make the Finals as that series just has all the elements of a modern day Celtics/Lakers type of match-up. Kevin Durant is the closest we have to a rival for Lebron James from a talent perspective and I’d love to see them face-off. Plus, Westbrook and Wade are cut from the same cloth and could have a highly competitive showdown. I really want that series.

The Heat, at 3/2, should definitely be in the Finals. No offense to the Celtics, but at 12/1 it’s clear that the bookmakers don’t have much faith in them. They are an aging team on their last legs going against a team that is hellbent on winning a championship. Unless something crazy happens I can’t see Boston coming close to even making the Finals. If they don’t, it’ll be interesting to see where the Celtics go from here. The core of players isn’t getting any younger and the Heat aren’t going anywhere so the front office of Boston will have to make a decision on where they go next. It’s hard to imagine Paul Pierce playing in a different uniform, but that might be a reality that Boston fans need to accept going forward. Stay tuned.

Personally, I see Miami as the favorite heading into the Conference Finals. The Thunder and Spurs series will be long and it will be hard while the Heat could finish this one in four or five games. The Big Three is just so locked in right now and I honestly can’t see Lebron not grabbing his first title. He’s come so close too many times and he is just so on his game right now. Especially after the way things went last year, I just can’t see the same type of collapse. This is the Heat’s year. No matter who comes out of the West though, this Finals has the potential to be an all-time great.

San Antonio Spurs 13/10
Miami Heat 3/2
Oklahoma City Thunder 17/4
Boston Celtics 12/1

NBA Championship Futures March 2012

As we get closer to the playoffs let’s take a closer look at Bovada‘s NBA Championship Futures.

The Miami Heat are still the big favorite at +145 and they seem to be on a collision course with the next favorite team out of the Western Conference, the Thunder at +450. We’ve said before that these two teams could be the modern day equivalent of the Celtics and Lakers in the 80s and I really hope that we can see a seven game series between them. This is the most exciting time to be an NBA fan as the depth of talent in the league is finally starting to pay off and the Thunder/Heat could be the culmination of that. The beginning of a whole new era, really.

The Lakers have seen their stock drop quite a bit down to +1400 and that is the effect of going from Phil Jackson to Mike Brown while your whole team gets older in a nutshell. Andrew Bynum is just a constant injury risk and he is a big part of what they do. While the Lakers are always going to be a tough team, their window may be rapidly closing as the younger teams of the NBA start to take their place.

The same could probably be said about the San Antonio Spurs, but they just don’t seem to want to go anywhere. At +1800 they are unlikely to win the championship, but they will definitely be a factor in the playoffs and the Thunder will have a hard time getting through them on their way to the Finals. While OKC has the young talent and more of it, San Antonio far out paces them when it comes to coaching and you just can’t deny the effect that has in a seven game series. I’d love to see that series happen and it would be a good gauge of where the Thunder are at in terms of championship contention.

Right in the thick of things is the Chicago Bulls at +450, the non-Thunder/non-Heat favorite to win the championship. This team is just tough on defense and they are not afraid of anyone. While the Heat have the Big 3, the Bulls make up with that in depth and straight up bullying. This is an all-time great defensive team and that can take you really far in the playoffs. Will it be enough to beat the Heat? It could be, but I’d feel a lot better about taking Chicago if something happened to one of the big three. If they’re all healthy, they remain the favorite.

Full NBA Championship Futures odds are listed below courtesy of Bovada. You can bet any of these online at http://www.Bovada.lv

Miami Heat +145
Oklahoma City Thunder +450
Chicago Bulls +450
Los Angeles Lakers +1400
San Antonio Spurs +1800
Los Angeles Clippers +1800
Dallas Mavericks +2000
New York Knicks +2500
Orlando Magic +4000
Philadelphia 76ers +5000
Boston Celtics +5000
Memphis Grizzlies +6000
Indiana Pacers +6600
Denver Nuggets +6600
Atlanta Hawks +8000
Portland Trailblazers +8000
Houston Rockets +12500
Utah Jazz +25000
Minnesota Timberwolves +25000
Milwaukee Bucks +40000
Phoenix Suns +40000
Golden State Warriors +50000
Cleveland Cavaliers +75000
New Jersey Nets +75000
Sacramento Kings +100000
Detroit Pistons +100000
Toronto Raptors +150000
Washington Wizards +250000

2012 NBA Championship Futures (Updated)

We hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday. I know I enjoyed the NBA games on Christmas as I am beyond excited to have NBA basketball back in our lives. With the season starting back up, we have full NBA Championship Futures from Bovada.

The Miami Heat are still the big favorite to win it all at just 9/5. Of course they are. There were some big moves in the offseason, but no one landed a player the caliber of Lebron James and surrounded him with a team as strong as the Miami Heat. I said this after the season and I’ll say it again, the Miami Heat are going back to the Finals. They deserve their place at the top of the odds.

Making a big jump is the Oklahoma City Thunder who look to do some serious damage this season with everyone having that Western Conference experience under their belts. The Heat and Thunder could end up being the Lakers and Celtics of this generation. Only the basketball would be way more athletic and a lot less violent. Wouldn’t that be great?

The Lakers and Bulls continue to linger as well at 13/2 and 6/1 respectively. For the Lakers it’s hard for me to see because of their age and the hiring of coach Mike Brown. No offense to Brown, but introducing a new offensive system to an aging team who just won two of the last three NBA championships seems like a bad idea. As for the Bulls, they are a great young team and if anything were to happen to Lebron James I’d be all over them. Unfortunately, as long as Lebron is healthy the Bulls aren’t winning anything.

The Mavericks at 15/1 seems generous for a team who got rid of their starting center and defensive centerpiece. While the Spurs still can’t seem to get any respect at 25/1. They are always one of the top teams in the West and one of these years things will break their way. Sure, they’re old but they are also deep with a great system and arguably the best coach in the NBA. They will always find a way.

Looking for a crazy bet? How about the Chris Paul led Clippers at 16/1? That is a huge upgrade and that will be a really fun team to watch. Or the Knicks at 15/1? Is Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony enough to get it done? I don’t think so, but it would be another team that is fun to watch.

Full NBA Championship Futures are below courtesy of Bovada. You can bet all of these at http://www.Bovada.lv

Miami Heat 9/5
Oklahoma City Thunder 11/2
Chicago Bulls 6/1
Los Angeles Lakers 13/2
Dallas Mavericks 15/1
New York Knicks 15/1
Los Angeles Clippers 16/1
Boston Celtics 20/1
San Antonio Spurs 25/1
Memphis Grizzlies 30/1
Orlando Magic 30/1
Portland Trail Blazers 35/1
Denver Nuggets 40/1
Atlanta Hawks 50/1
Houston Rockets 65/1
Indiana Pacers 65/1
New Jersey Nets 75/1
Golden State Warriors 100/1
Milwaukee Bucks 125/1
Philadelphia 76ers 125/1
New Orleans Hornets 150/1
Phoenix Suns 150/1
Utah Jazz 150/1
Charlotte Bobcats 200/1
Detroit Pistons 200/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 200/1
Sacramento Kings 200/1
Washington Wizards 200/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 300/1
Toronto Raptors 300/1

2012 NBA Championship Futures

Despite losing the NBA FInals to the Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat are still the favorites for next season’s NBA Championship while the Mavericks are a 10/1 longshot and fifth favorite team to win the title. It makes sense. In a lot of ways the 2011 season was a perfect set of events that allowed the Mavericks to win. They played great basketball, but they also won a lot of coin flip situations and had their fair share of luck. The Heat were just built to win and make the Finals which I think they will do again. The Mavericks? At their age and with all of the expiring contracts, they’ll need a lot of luck to get it done.

The Heat were so very close and I expect them to be right back in the thick of it next year. Lebron James somehow just keeps getting better and I could see this loss propelling him to another level next season. The Heat are a scary team and fully deserve to be the favorites heading into next season.

The Lakers come in as the second favorite at 11/2 and I’m not quite sure I understand this one. Phil Jackson is expected to retire and everyone is a year older. Sure they still have Kobe, but we’ve seen what happens to Kobe when Phil Jackson isn’t around and it’s not pretty. He may have grown and matured, but I’m taking a “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach to this one.

On the intriguing end of the spectrum, we have the Bulls at 6/1 and the Thunder at 8/1. These two young teams looked great in the playoffs, making it to their respective Conference Finals. I think one of them makes the leap to the following round next year. The Bulls, unfortunately, share a conference with the Heat so I’m going to have to go with the Thunder here. They just have so much young talent that can score at will and they should only continue to get better. The Thunder taking on the Heat would be an amazing match-up of the young talent that the NBA has to offer.

The Spurs were one basket away from beating the Mavericks last year and finished with the best record in the Western Conference, but still sit at just 20/1 this year. They beautiful game of basketball they play just can’t seem to get any respect from bookmakers. They’re old, but they are still one of the best teams in the NBA every year. Where’s the love?

Full, early NBA Championship Futures for the 2011-12 season from Bovada are below. You can bet any NBA Futures at http://www.Bovada.lv

Miami Heat 5/2
Los Angeles Lakers 11/2
Chicago Bulls 6/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 8/1
Dallas Mavericks 10/1
Boston Celtics 12/1
San Antonio Spurs 20/1
Orlando Magic 22/1
New York Knicks 28/1
Portland Trail Blazers 30/1
Denver Nuggets 40/1
Atlanta Hawks 40/1
Memphis Grizzlies 40/1
New Orleans Hornets 45/1
Houston Rockets 50/1
Utah Jazz 60/1
Philadelphia 76ers 65/1
Phoenix Suns 65/1
New Jersey Nets 65/1
Charlotte Bobcats 75/1
Indiana Pacers 75/1
Los Angeles Clippers 75/1
Detroit Pistons 100/1
Golden State Warriors 100/1
Milwaukee Bucks 100/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 100/1
Sacramento Kings 100/1
Washington Wizards 100/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 100/1
Toronto Raptors 150/1