Heat Favored To Win 2015 NBA Title Despite Loss To Spurs

Heat Favored To Win 2015 NBA Title Despite Loss To Spurs

It’s only been a few days since the San Antonio Spurs finished off the Miami Heat to win their fifth NBA Championship but bookmakers are already looking ahead to next season. A number of sportsbooks have already posted 2015 NBA Championship Futures odds and the Heat have been installed as a +300 favorite to regain their crown. The Spurs are a +600 second choice right ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder at +600.

The other top choices to win next seasons NBA title from Topbet are:

Los Angeles Clippers (+1000)
Indiana Pacers (+1200)
Chicago Bulls (+1500)
Houston Rockets (+1500)
Golden State Warriors (+2000)
Portland Trailblazers (+2500)
Cleveland Cavaliers (+3500).

Six of the top ten favorites are from the Western Conference which is a clear reflection of their perceived superiority over their Eastern Conference counterparts.

At the other end of the spectrum are the ‘have nots’ in the NBA and the longest odds to win the 2015 NBA Title belong to the Milwaukee Bucks (+25,000). That’s not a huge surprise since Milwaukee won only 15 games to finish with the worst record in the league and there’s little to suggest that the team’s fortunes will improve substantially next year. Other longshots to win the championship are the Philadelphia 76ers(+20,000), Sacramento Kings (+15,000) and a group of teams priced at +10,000 including the Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. The next group of teams is priced at +7500 and consists of teams with a good deal of upside such as the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Atlanta Hawks.

Typically these sports betting odds don’t experience substantial movement based on the results of the NBA draft–even the players at the top of the draft class don’t make enough of an impact to change a doormat into a championship contender immediately. Free agency is a different matter and can immediately alter the balance of power in the league and cause a shake up in futures odds. The Los Angeles Lakers are part of the two biggest potential free agent storylines of the off season involving LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. LeBron has an ‘opt out’ clause in his contract and is reportedly leaning toward making a move out of Miami with LA, Chicago and Cleveland all possible destinations. Anthony is unlikely to re-sign with the Knicks and while his impact won’t be as huge as LeBron he’ll be a highly sought after free agent–and one the Lakers reportedly have some interest in.

Bovada Sportsbook oddsmaker Kevin Bradley provides some examples of how free agent movement could impact futures odds. LeBron James leaving Miami would drop their odds from +300 to +25,000 at Bovada and the team he signs with would see their odds improve dramatically. Bradley would move the Bulls to a +200 favorite should they sign LeBron and would be priced at +500 should they sign Carmelo Anthony. The Cleveland Cavaliers would drop from +3500 to +300 if LeBron returned to the team that originally drafted him.

The Lakers have concerns other than free agency, most specifically the health of franchise superstar Kobe Bryant. They’re currently priced at +5000 but that clearly assumes Bryant returns to the lineup and remains effective. If he suffers a setback in his off season rehab or re-injures one of his banged up knees the Lakers could find themselves back near the bottom of the Western Conference and their futures odds would experience increase significantly.