With the Heat still riding their incredible winning streak, are they really a shoo-in for a repeat championship? Odds makers are certainly giving them plenty of love and for good reason. However, there is also a reason why they play the games and there are a few teams that might be able to challenge the South Beach boys come playoff time. Here’s a brief look at a few of the top dogs and their updated odds, courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Miami Heat: 10/11
Surprise! The Miami Heat are the overwhelming favorites to take down the 2012-2013 championship and repeat as NBA titleholders. Based on what we’ve seen from their current 26 game winning streak, there’s really no way we can dispute or argue against their worthiness to be on top of the odds chart. However, the fact is bettors still aren’t getting a ton of value in betting for the Heat. So, naturally many bettors are looking for someone, anyone that could step up and have a legitimate chance to take them down.
Oklahoma City Thunder: 4/1
And that team is still the Thunder. The Thunder came closest to dashing the Heat’s hopes last year and with the same squad minus James Harden, they’ll have the best chance again this year. Oklahoma City has dominated the very competitive Western Conference again this season, so if any team can end the Heat’s reign of glory, then it’s the Thunder. And at 4/1, you stand to make a little money if they do, so it’s not a terrible pick.
San Antonio Spurs: 13/2
Once again, the Spurs have been on top the West standings for most of the season, but for a team with so many aging stars, the playoffs are typically a time when they start to slow down. Injuries could also be an issue, as Tony Parker just came back from missing a few weeks. The Spurs have earned their contender status, but in the end that’s probably all they’ll be. In a seven-game series, I don’t see them being able to keep up with the Thunder or the Heat. Still, 13/2 offers you decent value, so if you want to take a shot with the old guys, then go for it.
Denver Nuggets: 14/1
The Heat aren’t the only team streaking. In fact, Denver is currently on a 15-game streak of its own, as it has quickly climbed into from dark horse to the contender ranks during the second half of the season. The Nuggets are young, talented and love to run – a combo that will certainly pose a threat to the likes of OKC and Miami. However, what Denver is lacking is playoff experience and a history of clutch performances. Still, value wise, this is the best pick out of the four. If the Nuggets catch fire at the right time, they are capable of winning it all and at 14/1, you’ll be a big winner too.