The NBA Free Agent frenzy has finished and most of the top players in the league have found new homes. The biggest change in the off season was obviously Lebron James choosing to go home to Cleveland. When this announcement was made the Cavs odds for the NBA Championship shortened dramatically and they are now considered the favourite according to the oddsmakers. New reports out the past few days indicate that Kevin Love will also likely be coming to Cleveland to form a new big three of Lebron, Love and Kyrie Irving. If this happens it’s no surprise that the Cavs are the frontrunner to win this years Championship.
That said there are still several other teams who have a legitimate shot this season, which makes the 2015 NBA season even more exciting than normal.
2015 NBA Championship Odds
Here are the odds for the teams who I think actually have a chance at winning the NBA Championship. In the NBA it is nearly impossible for a weak team to catch fire and make a run for the Championship (this can happen in the NHL) so I’ve not included teams with no chance in 2015.
I’m using whichever sportsbook provides the best odds for each team out of the three Canadian sportsbooks we promote.
These odds are from July 31st.
- Cleveland Cavaliers 4.69
- San Antonio Spurs 5.50
- OKC Thunder 7.50
- Chicago Bulls 10.00
- LA Clippers 13.00
- Houston Rockets 15.00
- Indiana Pacers 19.00
- Golden State Warriors 24.00
- Dallas Mavericks 34.00
- Miami Heat 34.00
There are the 10 teams in the NBA who I think have some shot at winning the NBA Championship this upcoming season. Now let’s look at my favourite picks to win the title.
My Favourite Picks
San Antonio Spurs 9/2
The Spurs are the defending champions and they have once again kept the core of their team together. Sure, they are one year older, but people have been saying this for the past 5 years and they are still always a top contender. I think that Tony Parker is one of the most important players to a team in the league and if Leonard can once again take a step forward to becoming a key part of this teams core they could once again be unstoppable. When they destroyed the Heat in the finals it showed just how much better the West is than the East, even among the top teams and I don’t expect this to change that much this year. I like the Spurs at 9/2 because I think they still have the best chance to win the West and once they do that they will be favourites in the finals.
LA Clippers 12/1
Donald Sterling is finally out as owner of the Clippers and this means the team will not have to play with that over their heads this season. This should lift a weight off top guns like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin who should be primed to make the jump to one of the best duos in the league. The Clippers are right there with the Spurs and Thunder and if they can take a step forward this season I could see them making the finals and then finishing the job. It would be pretty sweet if the Clippers won the NBA Championship the year after Sterling was forced out as owner.
Miami Heat 33/1
The Heat lost Lebron this summer, but Pat Riley was able to keep the other important players such as Bosh, Wade and Haslem in Miami to keep the Heat as a playoff team. This Heat team will have no pressure this year and you can be sure they will be motivated to prove that they can win without Lebron James. Bosh and Wade are very proud individuals themselves and they will be eager to show that the team wasn’t solely relying on Lebron for their success. If they run into Cleveland in the playoffs you should expect fireworks. I think the Heat could make some noise in the playoffs and at 33/1 they are a decent dark horse.
Cleveland Cavaliers 4.69
The Cavs haven’t got Kevin Love, but let’s assume that they do get him. This Cleveland team will still likely be worse than the Heat were last year. They should be the cream of the Eastern Conference, but with the Bulls getting Rose back and the Heat having a ton of motivation to outdo the Cavs there is not guarantee that Cleveland will even win the East. Then they will also have to beat the elite of the West, who I am confident will be the favourites in the finals. Also, in the past it takes time for a newly put together team to find success. Even when Lebron went to Miami they didn’t win the first year and you can argue that was when the 3 cornerstones were at their personal bests. Another great example is when Kobe, Howard and Nash teamed up in Los Angeles just to have a horrible season. There will be growing pains with this team, so I don’t expect them to win out of the gate and I especially wouldn’t bet on them at that price.
Houston Rockets 14/1
Howard and Harden aren’t a good enough duo to win the West. These two seem very content for the Rockets to simply be their team and to not add a third elite player and this will not result in a Championship. The Rockets aren’t on the level of the Spurs, Thunder or Clippers in the West so I would steer clear of betting on them.
**Once again, this article was written on July 31st. There is still another 10 months or so before the 2015 NBA Champ is crowned. Check out any of the sportsbooks outlined above to see the up to date NBA futures throughout the season.