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Cavaliers, with LeBron James and Kevin Love, favored by oddsmakers to win 2015 NBA title

Aug 26, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT

LeBron James LeBron James

Now that the NBA deck has just about finished shuffling in what was an unusually exciting offseason, it’s time for the oddsmakers in Vegas to weigh in with who they believe has the best chance of taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy next June.

Not surprisingly, the Cleveland Cavaliers — fresh off of signing LeBron James in free agency, and trading for Kevin Love from the Timberwolves — land at the top of the list to win the 2015 NBA title.

Bovada lists Cleveland at 5/2 as the favorites, followed by the Spurs at 4/1, the Bulls at 11/2, and the Thunder at 6/1.

It’s worth noting that sports books don’t set these odds based on who they actually are predicting to win the NBA title; if that were the case, teams like the Spurs (who won it last year) and the Thunder (who have the reigning MVP and a core that’s been together for a few years) would have been much better choices.

The odds are based on where the money is anticipated to come in, and casual fans will be easily swayed by the media swarm surrounding LeBron and Love, thereby being more likely to throw a few bucks down just in case the Cavaliers are able to put things together perhaps more quickly than expected.

Future wagers like these are beyond silly, of course, because all it takes is one key injury over the next 10 months to throw everything into complete chaos. If you are inclined to give it a shot, you want to try to find as much value as possible — which makes San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and possibly even the Clippers (12/1) or Rockets (16/1) far better investments than the Cavaliers.

Bovada’s complete championship odds for all 30 teams are listed below.

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

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Before everyone goes nuts, remember that Vegas sets odds based on public perception and not objective reality. Most bettors want to bet Cleveland so they are going to get the “best” odds to win meaning the lowest payout if they actually do. It’s all about the money.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      I know that’s in the article already… I mean… I always read the article first. I’m just saying that because other people probably don’t read it. Yeah.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      In general, preseason odds are a good predictor

      http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-last-teams-standing-in-the-nba-playoffs-are-no-surprise/

  2. spthegr8 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    The Spurs would beat the BRAKES off the Cav’s. IJS!!! No doubt about it!!

  3. ranoversquarells - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Boooooo Israel

  4. balsagna - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    I honestly wonder how the Spurs will perform this year without the haunting image of game 6 that seemed to drive them so much last season. I don’t doubt them I am just curious to see it play out.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      ^^ They still have Pop, Duncan, Parker, Manu & Kawahi so, If I had to guess. I am pretty sure they will be the same well oiled machine, If not better. IMO!!

      • antistratfordian - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        “They still have Pop, Duncan, Parker, Manu”

        That’s the issue. Those guys have an underachieving streak in them. First round floundering is not uncommon with that group.

      • spthegr8 - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        ^^ You lost me when you said ” underachieving streak in them ” They have only won 4 championships together and have 15 yrs in a ROW of 50 plus wins. I am Laker fan so, I don’t like the Spurs. However, I respect the HELL outta of them. You saying they “underachieve” is reaching. Even for you Anti!! ^^

      • blogsk3tball - Aug 26, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        I think anti got it wrong, they dont underachieve. But they tend to choke or completely whiff on the playoffs every 3rd year or so

  5. greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    So Miami who is bringing almost everyone back (minus that one guy) and adding Granger, McBob, and Deng are 40-1… the same as the Pacers who lost Paul George?? Okay then

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Pacers lost more than Paul George. Lance isn’t around either you know…

    • antistratfordian - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      I think if Wade’s health wasn’t such a question mark that they would easily be higher.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      I like Wade and the Heat but I can tell you exactly what their odds are at a championship this season 0%. There are no amount of injuries or scenarios that can lead to them winning the finals. I wouldn’t bet on them at 50,000-1 odds. You really think a team has a chance with Bosh as their best player?

  6. cheeks9441 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    If I had to put down $100 on 5 teams, I’d go with:

    Los Angeles Clippers 12/1 – I want to pick the Thunder, but I can’t bet on a team with Scott Brooks as its coach. Doc Rivers, on the other hand, I trust.

    Golden State Warriors 22/1 – Not overly confident in Golden State, but I think there’s some value here.

    Portland Trailblazers 40/1 – Seems like this should be closer to 25/1

    Brooklyn Nets 66/1 – Hey, they play in the East and they definitely could win the Atlantic, plus they have unlimited funds. Why not for 66/1?

    New Orleans Pelicans 100/1 – I’m sure a lot of you would prefer the Suns at 100-1, but I’ll take the team with the superstar as my longshot.

  7. 88heatnation - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Amazing how high they rank the Rockets

    • Hard On For Harden - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Yeah, it is pretty amazing considering Dwight is not even a top 10 center in the league who almost singlehanded pay cost the Rockets a first round series against the Blazers, Harden can only score when he’s getting to the line and is the worst defender in NBA history (I know this from a couple YouTube clips I saw), and they lost Parsons, who as we all know is about to vault Dallas from an 8th seed to a title contender. How the hell did that guy drop to the second round in 2011? SHAME ON MOREY FOR LETTING HIM SLIP THAT FAR!!! The other GMs? Saul Goode.

      • blogsk3tball - Aug 26, 2014 at 11:47 PM

        Maybe divert some of the blood from your D*** back to your brain

  8. getlow81 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    OMFG! I’m shocked!

    (Note the sarcasm)

  9. ans2034 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Dare to dream.

  10. phillysports1 - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Bulls ? I think Portland has a better shot than CHI.

  11. 2016olympics - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Honestly, how are the 76ers only 300/1??

  12. rosloe62 - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Great. Cleveland fans bet on your Cavs. Vegas needs your money. The Bulls, OC, and Spurs are a much better bet based on their current odds.

  13. zickhead - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Any team Lebron is on is always the favor to win, according to Vegas. So far I’d say their record is pretty bad.

  14. davidly - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Puhlease. Faves for the trophy should be the team that is best on paper, and that is hands down the ’12-’13 Lakers.

  15. tomtravis76 - Aug 26, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    The Cavs might be a circus. LeBron is calling the shots, there is nobody in that organization that will not say yes to him. They have tons of talent, but it’s a bunch of guys wanting to be apart of Lebrons team. The big difference which will be very noticeable is that Pat Riley put the team together during the 4 years in Miami, Riley was the leader,the decision maker.And Wade, Bosh and LeBron were not only friends away from the court,but went to battle on the court with Team USA, they respected one another as equals striving for a common goal.
    Cleveland has lots of potential as a basketball team, they will draw tremendous tv ratings, but it is never a good idea to let the inmates run the asylum. Time will only tell if Kyrie and Love are ready for the national daily scrutiny of their personal lives along with their games each night.

    • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Aug 26, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      You clearly don’t know much about David Blatt as a coach. He will be running this team, make no doubt about it. The circus that was Lebron in his previous stint in Cleveland will not be happening again. He has clearly matured as a player and a person, and sees what happens with an organization with one clear leader.

      • tomtravis76 - Aug 26, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        Not too many people do know much about him other than what you can read, he is a very successful coach throught Europe and Asia. I am sure he will be given the opportunity to be
        the HC, but it’s not Lebrons guy. If times get tough and Blatt crumbles under the media scrutiny in America, or makes poor decisions in key moments, he will not remain the HC while LeBron James is playing in a Cavs uniform. The NBA is clearly a different level of basketball,doesn’t mean he can’t be successful. NBA players, young millionaires, are typically making a tad more than the HC and there have been more then a few times ownership sees a greater value in a player rather than its HC. Can’t say I hope the guy does well, because it’s Cleveland.

  16. peralez2383 - Aug 26, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    The cavs won’t win the East much less the title, the Heat will also have a better record…GO SPURS GO

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