NBA Picks: 2015-16 NBA Championship Odds, Props & Picks

Kevin Stott

Monday, October 26, 2015 3:24 PM GMT

The NBA Regular Season tips off on Tuesday night, so let’s take one last look at the highest NBA Championship odds from various books and see if there is any value in this market.

The NBA’s 70th Regular Season tips off on Tuesday night with three games, including LeBron James and the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers traveling to the United Center in Chicago to face Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls in the night’s first game (TNT, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; Odds: Bulls -2½, Bet365) followed by Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans heading to Oakland and the ORACLE Arena to face Stephen Curry and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the nightcap (TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT; NBA Odds: Warriors -9½, Pinnacle). We looked earlier at a couple of NBA Futures markets here including Regular Season Team Win Totals and Will They Make The Playoffs?, so let’s now take a last look at the current highest NBA Championship odds from the sportsbooks in the marketplace listed on the Oddschecker screen for all 30 of the league’s teams and try to come up with a decent Futures Bet pick and then offer up some backwards, process-of-elimination analysis for this professional American basketball league in which maybe four or five teams have a realistic chance of capturing this season’s championship.

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Highest NBA Championship Odds—(Oddschecker, Monday, 10 a.m. EDT)

Atlanta Hawks 33/1 Totesport, Betfred, Stan James, Sportingbet, Ladbrokes
Boston Celtics 125/1 Paddy Power
Brooklyn Nets 250/1 Paddy Power, Stan James, Ladbrokes
Charlotte Hornets 300/1 William Hill
Chicago Bulls 18/1 Sportingbet
Cleveland Cavaliers +280 Sportingbet
Dallas Mavericks 100/1 Ladbrokes
Denver Nuggets 300/1 William Hill
Detroit Pistons 200/1 Coral, William Hill
Golden State Warriors +280, Sportingbet
Houston Rockets 20/1, Sportingbet
Indiana Pacers 70/1, Paddy Power
Los Angeles Clippers 10 Sky Sports, Totesport, Boylesports, BetVictor, Paddy Power, Coral
Los Angeles Lakers 200/1 Ladbrokes
Memphis Grizzlies 40/1 Ladbrokes
Miami Heat 50/1 Totesport, Betfred, Stan James, Paddy Power
Milwaukee Bucks 80/1 Coral
Minnesota Timberwolves 500/1 William Hill
New Orleans Pelicans 40/1 BetVictor, Stan James, Ladbrokes
New York Knicks 250/1 Stan James, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes
Oklahoma City Thunder 8 Sky Sports, Totesport, Boylesports, Betfred, Sportingbet, Ladbrokes
Orlando Magic 300 Boylesports, Paddy Power, Stan James, William Hill
Philadelphia 76ers 500/1 bet365, Boylesports, Betfred, Sportingbet, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes
Phoenix Suns 150/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill
Portland Trail Blazers 250/1 Ladbrokes
Sacramento Kings 200/1 Coral, William Hill
San Antonio Spurs 4/1 Boylesports, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Coral
Toronto Raptors 66/1 Boylesports, Ladbrokes
Utah Jazz 100/1 >Almost everywhere
Washington Wizards 40/1 Stan James, Sportingbet

 

Conclusions and a Realistic Choice Between Three or Four Teams
Once Again The NBA is a star-driven league, with teams having solid Starting 5’s, a really good Bench, a good Head Coach and a believing Fan Base and city the most likely candidates to have a realistic chance to win an NBA championship. And trying to avoid Injuries to key players in a season which can run from October to June—if you’re Lucky—is also key, so depth and planning for those potential losses of personnel is a big part of the pie. This season, like the 2014/15 NBA season, will more than likely be a battle between three main teams—the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. Last season, the Warriors and Stephen Curry (+600 Regular Season MVP, Bet365) defeated LeBron James (+300 Regular Season MVP, Paddy Power) and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the franchise’s fourth NBA title and first since 1975 and with pretty much the whole Warriors Roster returning, Head Coach Steve Kerr (+550 Coach of the Year, Stan James) and this team is again in a good position and if Curry and fellow backcourt mate Klay Thompson (100/1 Regular Season MVP, Ladbrokes) stay as hot shooting as they were last season, Golden State (3/1 to win Western Conference, 32Red) has a legitimate chance at repeating as NBA champs. But there is a big old shark swimming in the Western Conference waters in the San Antonio Spurs (+229 to win Western Conference, Paddy Power), who, with the addition of Free Agent-signee LaMarcus Aldridge (40/1 Regular Season MVP, Sportingbet), are the team to beat in the NBA in my mind this campaign, especially with driven and genius Head Coach Gregg Popovich (+550 Coach of the Year, Paddy Power) in charge. Along with Aldridge and veterans Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, San Antonio has key cogs like Danny Green, Patty Mills, Matt Bonner, David West, Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard (50/1 Regular Season MVP, Paddy Power) and it will be interesting to see how the powerful Aldridge assimilates into the Spurs lineup although his mere presence will provide cover for guys like Duncan and Leonard who could stand much less physical basketball in the pain to help prevent Injuries and lengthen their NBA careers. Aldridge (23.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg last season with Trail Blazers) may end up being like a combination Bouncer-Rebounder-Scorer for San Antonio and seems like the best signing in the Offseason and the perfect fit for this perennially aging but dangerous Spurs basketball team.

Over in the Eastern Conference—again significantly less talented than the Western Conference although still gradually improving overall—it’s all about LeBron and the Cavaliers, especially after Cleveland finally re-signed Tristan Thompson last week. The University of Texas and Findlay Prep product was compared to Dennis Rodman for his Rebounding in the NBA Playoffs last season, but this kid is raw and can score if needed. But with players like starting C Timofey Mozgov, PF Anderson Varejao returning from Injury, PF, Kevin Love, SG Kyrie Irving, SG JR Smith, PG Mo Williams and, of course, LeBron (25.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 7.4 apg last season), Thompson doesn’t have to score and is just be another very key piece of a deep Cavaliers puzzle. And if any team is equipped to deal with whomever comes out of the West it’s Cleveland. The Chicago Bulls appear nice on paper (or your Mobile device or DumbPhone), but with star and team leader Derrick Rose perpetually injured, big men Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah on the downside of their careers and team MVP Jimmy Butler probably frustrated, this team just can’t hang with the Cavs and expect some degradation. But expecting another team in the East like the Washington Wizards and PG John Wall (66/1 Regular Season MVP, BetVictor) or the Atlanta Hawks and Paul Millsap (150/1 Regular Season MVP, BetVictor) to overtake the deep and inspired Cavaliers in the East and then beat someone like the Warriors or Spurs in a best-of-7 NBA Finals series is asking a bit much. There’s nothing wrong in making Futures bets on teams one pulls for or is close to, but being realistic about that team’s chances and knowing the bet is more Recreational than Profit-seeking is important. Making a Futures bet on the Toronto Raptors or the Orlando Magic to win the NBA championship just to pull for your team is one thing, but expecting them to navigate the rigors of the 82-game NBA Regular Season schedule, get through teams like those Cavaliers, Bulls and Hawks in the East and then knock off a heavy like Golden State or San Antonio from the West just isn’t realistic when analyzing team’s past performances and current Rosters in comparison to other really good NBA teams.

 

NBA CHAMPIONSHIP FUTURES BOOK PICK: San Antonio Spurs +400 (Ladbrokes)