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Would the Cavs Be Favored in the NBA Finals Against Western Conference Powers?

lebron cavs chalk

Kevin-Love-to-the-Cavs was finally finalized yesterday, though we more or less presumed that was a formality as soon as we had a chance to digest LeBron’s “Coming Home” letter. Cleveland is the odds-on favorite to win the NBA championship next season — Bovada has them at 5-2, with San Antonio at 4:1, Chicago at 11:2, Oklahoma City at 6:1, LA Clippers at 12:1, Houston at 16:1, and Dallas at 18:1.

My theory was that the Cavs are favored to win the title not necessarily because they’re entering the season as the best team, but because they’re more likely to make it out of the East than any team is to win the West. As it turns out, it would depend on home field advantage against the Spurs and Thunder. Bovada sportsbook director Kevin Bradley tells The Big Lead that, as the rosters are presently assembled, the Cavs’ odds would be as follows versus the five top teams from the West:

Cleveland (+115) @ San Antonio (-125)
Cleveland (+110) @ Oklahoma City (-120)
Cleveland (-130) @ LA Clippers (+120)
Cleveland (-175) @ Houston (+160)
Cleveland (-250) @ Dallas (+220)
San Antonio (+135) @ Cleveland (-150)
Oklahoma City (+140) @ Cleveland (-155)
LA Clippers (+180) @ Cleveland (-200)
Houston (+220) @ Cleveland (-250)
Dallas (+275) @ Cleveland (-350)

As you’ll recall, the Miami Heat took a year to really gel together with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, dropping their first NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. I actually think the Mavs are decent longshot odds for this upcoming season; they were a tougher out for the Spurs — taking the series to seven games — in these past playoffs than any other team, and they added Chandler Parsons.

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