Phil Jackson leads the Los Angeles Lakers into the playoffs and Bovada has them as the favorite to win the championship. Despite a rough finish to the season that saw them stumble down the stretch, an injury to Andrew Bynum and finishing second in the conference standings; the Lakers are the favorite to win the NBA title at +200. There is a certain logic to that and it’s really hard to bet against Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant right now, but I wouldn’t have them as the favorite. There will probably be a lot of money coming in on the Lakers though so I can understand why sportsbooks want to hedge their bets so to speak.
That honor still belongs to the Miami Heat and their Big 3 who are at +350 to win it all. They still have the best player in the world and they finished the season on a 15-3 run. We said before the season that it would take awhile for this team to gel and it seems like they finally have. There are few teams hotter than them right now and even fewer teams that can match them in talent. This season has been all about the Miami Heat and I can’t imagine that changing heading into the playoffs.
The San Antonio Spurs have been mostly left out of the championship conversations at just +450 despite having the best record in the best conference in the NBA. People are always doubting them because of their age, but winning 61 games in the NBA is no easy task and I expect them to make a deep run this year. Could they make the FInals? Very easily. If there is one team I can see knocking off the Lakers, it’s the Spurs.
The top team in the whole NBA during the regular season was the Chicago Bulls who currently sit at +250 in championship odds. I know they had a great season and that they have an absolutely stifling defense, but I have a hard time seeing a young team like this get through the Heat, Magic and Celtics. I should probably know better than to bet against Derrick Rose, but this just seems like too much too fast for this team. They aren’t quite championship level in my opinion. Not yet at least.
One line that I don’t fully understand is Dallas +2000. They had the same record in the regular season as the Lakers, a better record than the Thunder (+1200), Dirk and an amazing coach in Rick Carlisle. Being a fourth seed in the West is not a great place to be, but I’m surprised they aren’t getting a little more respect. They would have to go against the Lakers and Spurs in road series just to make the Finals so maybe this line is right on.
LA Lakers +200
San Antonio +450
Oklahoma City +1200
New York +4000
New Orleans +20000