With the 2013 NBA playoff field set and a majority of teams locked into their seeding, it is a perfect time to check the latest odds and make some predictions on which squad will win it all.
The usual suspects are once again favored, but there are a few surprising organizations that could make a run to the 2013 NBA Finals.
Let’s take a look at a bet to make, a wager to avoid, the chances for every team and more.
*All odds courtesy of bovada.lv
Favorite: Heat 2-3
As expected, Miami is a heavy favorite to defend its championship.
After pulling off a 27-game winning streak and boasting the best player alive during the top season of his career—LeBron James, as if it needed to be said—it looks downright impossible to oust this club in a seven-game series.
Barring some tragic injury or freak accident, Miami is going to waltz through the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Heat are as good a bet as anything to make the Finals, although they could be challenged when they get there.
San Antonio and Oklahoma City both have the pieces to give the Heat a run for their money, but the odds for either of those teams winning are drastically lower.
Bad Bet: Knicks 15-1
At 15-to-1, there just isn’t proper value in betting the Knickerbockers to win it all.
While they did nab the No. 2 seed and get to avoid the Heat until the conference finals, it’s just not worthwhile to sink hard-earned money into this prop bet.
New York could possibly be facing a first-round exit to the Celtics—a proud, veteran team that will not roll over. Boston will use its physicality to challenge the banged-up Knicks and make earning every point a challenge.
Even if they escape Beantown, this Big Apple-based team has to navigate a difficult path that will eventually go through South Beach. We just can’t foresee the Knicks knocking out the Heat, no matter how good Carmelo Anthony is playing.
X-Factor: Denver Nuggets 22-1
The Nuggets are one of the more intriguing teams in the postseason, although they took a major blow when Danilo Gallinari went down for the remainder of the season.
Will Miami repeat?
Regardless, Wilson Chandler is picking up the slack and bringing his versatility to various lineups that include studs like Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Corey Brewer, Kenneth Faried (who is vowing to play despite his recent ankle injury), Andre Miller, JaVale McGee and more.
Considering the Nuggets are a ridiculous 37-3 on the season at home, playing at the Pepsi Center is going to be a nightmare for the opposition. If Denver is able to steal just one game on the road after the first round, it’s going to have a huge leg up in advancing.
While it would still be tough for this unit to overcome Miami, the Nuggets’ unique roster and style of play would give the Heat fits.
Odds To Win NBA Finals (via Bovada.lv)
Miami Heat 2-3
Oklahoma City Thunder 9-2
San Antonio Spurs 17-2
New York Knicks 15-1
Denver Nuggets 22-1
Indiana Pacers 22-1
Los Angeles Clippers 22-1
Memphis Grizzlies 35-1
Los Angeles Lakers 40-1
Chicago Bulls 50-1
Boston Celtics 60-1
Brooklyn Nets 60-1
Golden State Warriors 100-1
Houston Rockets 100-1
Atlanta Hawks 125-1
Utah Jazz 250-1
Milwaukee Bucks 300-1