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NBA Handicapping Picks: Futures Odds to win 2015 NBA championship

2015 NBA Betting By Chance?

The 2014-15 NBA season is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years.

The move of LeBron James and Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers has shifted the overall landscape of the league, and while the Eastern Conference may have two of the top teams in the Cavs and Chicago Bulls, it’s the West that has elite teams scattered all over the conference.

The big question here is: Can anyone dethrone the San Antonio Spurs after the impressive run they put together last season? There’s no denying they’re a year older, but that’s yet to be a concern, as evidenced by their most recent Larry O’Brien Trophy.

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2015 NBA Futures: Cleveland Cavaliers (5/2)

In the eyes of oddsmakers, the Cavaliers are the favorites to win the 2015 NBA championship — and it’s easy to see why. The Big Three of James, Love and Kyrie Irving is arguably the best trio in the entire Association, and while chemistry could be an issue to start the year, all three players are incredibly selfless.

The only concern aside from immediate cohesion is defense. James is one of the best defenders in the league, but Love and Irving are on the other side of the spectrum. The hope here is that James’ leadership will influence the other two to step up on the defensive end, and that the team as a whole can become one of the most dynamic squads on both sides of the floor.

Not everyone will have Cleveland as their favorites, but any unbiased fan (possibly not from Miami…) will recognize that this group deserves to be near the top.

2015 NBA Futures: San Antonio Spurs (4/1)

The San Antonio Spurs are the reigning champions, and they are rightfully considered one of the favorites entering 2014-15. The only problem? This group has never repeated as champions during its run over the past two decades.

Although age will be a concern, as it is every season, you have to give this franchise the benefit of the doubt. Not only have the stars remained productive despite their veteran status, the roster has been filled out nicely with complementary role players and extra athleticism.

Don’t forget about Kawhi Leonard, either, who could legitimately become the best player on this team within a year or two. His development will be crucial toward another championship, and if he can take his game to All-Star levels, he’ll help lead the way in this possible championship campaign.

2015 NBA Futures: Chicago Bulls (11/2)

The Chicago Bulls are ready to conquer the East. Carlos Boozer is out, Paul Gasol is in and Derrick Rose is ready to make his return. The only catch is that we’ve seen Rose return once before, and it didn’t exactly go as planned.

Rose’s health will be the primary contributor toward a successful championship run. If he suffers a third injury in as many years, it’s going to spell trouble for a team that struggles scoring. If he’s injury-free, this team has all the pieces in place to take down the Cavs as champions out East.

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Odds on this team will remain high so long as Rose’s health is a non-issue. In the eyes of some, they’re favored over the Cavaliers, so it depends if you favor chemistry or star power at this point in the process.

2015 NBA Futures: Oklahoma City Thunder (6/1)

When you have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook leading the way, you know you’re going to be a favorite entering the NBA season. That’s the situation for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that’s why OKC finds itself in the top four of 2015 championship odds.

The only significant departure this team endured over the offseason was Thabo Sefolosha. He was never an integral part of the offense, but he did two things in his role as a starter: defend the perimeter and allow a scoring guard to come off the bench.

Filling those holes will be tough, but OKC deserves credit as one of the best teams in the league even without Sefolosha manning the three-point line defensively.

Honorable mentions for top title contenders are the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

2015 NBA Futures: Odds to Win 2015 Championship

  • Cleveland Cavaliers 5/2
  • San Antonio Spurs 4/1
  • Chicago Bulls 11/2
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 6/1
  • Los Angeles Clippers 12/1
  • Houston Rockets 16/1
  • Dallas Mavericks 18/1
  • Golden State Warriors 22/1
  • Washington Wizards 33/1
  • Indiana Pacers 40/1
  • Miami Heat 40/1
  • Portland Trailblazers 40/1
  • Memphis Grizzlies 50/1
  • New York Knicks 50/1
  • Toronto Raptors 50/1
  • Charlotte Hornets 66/1
  • Los Angeles Lakers 66/1
  • Brooklyn Nets 66/1
  • Atlanta Hawks 100/1
  • Boston Celtics 100/1
  • Denver Nuggets 100/1
  • New Orleans Pelicans 100/1
  • Phoenix Suns 100/1
  • Minnesota Timberwolves 150/1
  • Detroit Pistons 200/1
  • Orlando Magic 200/1
  • Sacramento Kings 250/1
  • Utah Jazz 250/1
  • Milwaukee Bucks 300/1
  • Philadelphia 76ers 300/1

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