NBA Championship Odds

NBA Championship Odds

The 2013-14 NBA regular season is coming to a close. All but four playoff spots have been decided, with six teams battling for the final two, including the lowly Knicks and fading fast Hawks. Even the most casual of pro ball fans know only a handful of teams have a legit shot of winning the title. The Miami Heat are looking for a third straight crown and fourth consecutive Finals appearance, while everyone else is itching to knock them from their pedestal. Here’s a breakdown of the latest odds to win the NBA Championship.

Miami Heat 9/4 – A late surge from the Heat coupled with a recent swoon by the Pacers has the two-time defending champs the favorite to “three-peat.” They have ½ game lead over Indiana with five games left to play. Friday’s matchup in American Airlines Arena could be the difference between the number one and two seeds in the Eastern Conference. Miami is 1-2 versus the Pacers and still has the pesky Grizzlies and Wizards left on their schedule. Regardless of where they finish, they are still the team to beat.

San Antonio Spurs 3/1 – Barring a collapse over the next week, the Spurs will seize the top seed in the West and overall best record in the league. They hold a 3 ½ game lead over the Thunder and have won 20 of their last 22. Six players average double-digits in scoring, but none more than Tony Parker’s 16.8. Of all the contenders, San Antonio is the deepest and most balanced. They might be old, but this crew still knows how to win when the pressure builds. The lack of a true superstar is their only negative. However, this roster is healthier and hungrier than the one that lost to the Heat in 7 games last June.

OK City Thunder 9/2 – Kevin Durant should and will win the MVP. He is the most potent pure scorer since Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson in their prime. As long as Russell Westbrook stays healthy and Serge Ibaka continues to be a reliable third option, the Thunder are very dangerous. How Westbrook’s knee handles the rigors of playoff basketball will ultimately decide how far this team can go. Then again, Durant is playing on another level in 2014, so seeing him carry them to a title on his back wouldn’t be shocking in the least.

Indiana Pacers 11/2 – What happened to the Pacers? Since March 4th they are 7-12 and have lost their grip on the number one seed in the East. Paul George is basically a one-man gang right now. The rest of the roster looks tired and at times frustrated. The trade for Evan Turner has been a complete disaster; the ex-Sixer has just four double-digit games since being acquired on February 20th. The hope was he would add youthful scoring to a beleaguered bench. The way they are playing at present, an upset at the hands of the Bobcats in the first-round is possible.

LA Clippers 8/1 – Boasting the league’s best offense, the Clipps will be a trendy pick to make noise in the postseason. Blake Griffin is in full beast mode. Chris Paul is dishing and scoring better than anyone at his position. DeAndre Jordan is a monster on the glass. Darren Collison is enjoying a breakout season. Injuries to Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger are a concern, but neither is integral to LA’s ability to run opponents out of the gym. The only thing they are missing is experience. A potential first-round meeting with Golden State would be fun to watch.