The Lakers are the team to avoid as we update the betting market for the 2011 NBA Championship.
The 2010/11 NBA season is now just around the corner and the Miami Heat, according to betting odds, are the team most likely to win the NBA finals next spring. With Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh forming an All-Star calibre nucleus the Heat have been priced at shorter than +200 (2/1) right across the board.
Los Angeles are the second favorite and they are the only Western Conference team in the top 5 favorites. They should have an easier schedule than Miami, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago as the only way the Lakers are going to have a challenge out west is if a team like OKC, Dallas, or Denver do something that they are not considered capable of doing at this point.
Here are the top 8 favorites for the 2011 NBA championship (outright winner's market):
- Miami Heat +187 (19/10) SportingBet
- Los Angeles Lakers +325 (13/4) Bwin
- Orlando Magic +1100 (11/1) bet365
- Boston Celtics +1200 (12/1) Blue Square
- Chicago Bulls +1600 (16/1) Boylesports
- Oklahoma City Thunder +1800 (18/1) Blue Square
- Dallas Mavericks +2200 (22/1) Blue Square
- Denver Nuggets +2500 (25/1) bet365
Things aren't necessarily going to be smooth in Miami. The best player on the team is Lebron James but he isn't the best leader on the team and that is a bad mix. Dwyane Wade is the best leader but he's not better than James and that could cause problems.
Getting all the talent to play together properly will be a challenge and Erik Spoelstra is no Phil Jackson. Spoelstra only has 2 seasons of experience as a head coach and his winning percentage is only .549 in those two seasons. He's never been past the first round of the NBA playoffs and while that should definitely change this upcoming season he could still EASILY get out-coached in a playoff match-up against Boston, Orlando, or especially Los Angeles.
The Lakers wouldn't be a bad pick at +600 (6/1) but you can't do any better than +325 (13/4) and those odds aren't that great. Kobe Bryant is a question mark as his stats are trailing off on a per minute basis except for when it comes to personal fouls per minute and turnovers per minute.
One thing about teams that are coming off of back to back titles is that they can be lacking in ambition as they have already proven themselves time and time again. The Lakers kind of meandered into the post-season last year, losing tons down the stretch before barely avoiding an elimination game in the first round and then they rode home court advantage to the title.
Teams like Miami, Orlando, Boston, Chicago, and OKC have a lot more to prove and having a fire lit underneath them is imporant.
Miami should properly be regarded as the favorite despite the coach but if you are making a value pick, you could easily skip +187. If you bet before the trade acquisitions and you got them at +1600 (16/1) or something like that then you have to be laughing but the value right now is with Orlando, Boston, and Oklahoma City.
Our recommendation is to three-bet the NBA Championship market with those three dangerous teams as their odds are more likely to shorten during the regular season. Their odds are all long enough to justify a three-pick in the market as only one needs to hit to turn a big profit on a winning bet.
Register with Blue Square to back the Celtics - MAXIMUMBONUS is your promo code for a free bet that can be used on the 2011 NBA finals.