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NBA 2015 title odds: LeBron, Cavaliers surface as favorites



By Sam Spiegelman
XN Sports

Now that the major dominoes in NBA free agency have fallen, Bovada has released its updated odds for the 2015 championship. Oh, and how things have changed.

With LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team has overtaken the defending champion San Antonio Spurs as the favorites for 2015. The return of Derrick Rose and addition of Pau Gasol have certainly impacted the Chicago Bulls' chances, while the departure of Chandler Parsons has seemingly had no effect on the Houston Rockets.

Here are the updated championship odds:

Cleveland Cavaliers, 7-2

With LeBron back in the fold, the Cavaliers are now the favorites to take home the Larry O'Brien trophy next season. So are we discounting the Spurs' run just a month ago? Or are we overstating the impact James will have in Cleveland?

Maybe Vegas is counting on the Cavs acquiring Kevin Love, otherwise I don't believe James' return to Cleveland should make the Cavs the favorite over San Antonio. If James returned to Miami, I'd still consider the Spurs the favorite.

San Antonio Spurs, 9-2

As I mentioned earlier, the Spurs should be the favorite to begin the 2014-15 season. The team remained in tact this summer, retaining Boris Diaw and Patty Mills.

Maintaining that depth was essential, as the team-wide play gave the Spurs the edge over Miami in the Finals. No team will be as deep as San Antonio, and no coach is better at managing that talent like Gregg Popovich.

Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, 13-2

Rose has yet to prove he's back his former MVP self yet, but already the Bulls are even with the Thunder in terms of a championship-caliber team? Oh no.

Rose does have the ability to shake up the Eastern Conference, and the addition of Gasol is an upgrade over Carlos Boozer, but I still consider the Bulls a project until Rose proves he's 100 percent.

Oklahoma City hasn't made any major roster moves. It lost Thabo Sefolosha and Caron Butler, and added Anthony Morrow. Big deal. This team will only go as far as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will take them. It fits in well with the third-best odds.

Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, 10-1

How are the Rockets this high up? Houston lost Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons, then whiffed on Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron. Now it's Dwight Howard, James Harden and a water machine. They're bound to regress.

The Clippers are still missing a certain piece. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan are a great core, but none seem able to take over. That always seems to bite them in the back when it comes to the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, 20-1

Can Golden State pull off a deal for Love? Can Indiana retain Lance Stephenson, or even deal for Rajon Rondo? The offseason is far from over for these two teams.

The Warriors have a new coach, so it remains to be seen how Steve Kerr changes the team's dynamic, for better or for worse. And it remains to be seen if the team adds any more talent.

Indiana could take some major steps back if it loses Stephenson or deals Roy Hibbert. Right now, though, we can say they're definitely not capable of being the No. 1 team in the East.

Miami Heat, 25-1

The LeBron-less Era in South Beach has begun, and now Bosh is the face of the Heat along with a deteriorating Dwyane Wade and role players like Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts.

It's a long fall from great for the defending Eastern Conference champs, and while they should be in the top half of the conference standings in 2014-15, their championships odds are truly slim to none.

Notable: With 'Melo back, the Knicks have the same title shot as the Mavericks, Trailblazers, and Wizards. For the Knicks and Wiz, it's a product of being in the East. The Mavs are much better with Parsons, while the Trailblazers were on the cusp a season ago.

RELATED LINKS

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5 Potential landing spots for Carlos Boozer

New reality has NBA superstars shortchanging themselves

Lance being Lance, Stephenson bolts Indiana for Charlotte Hornets

Atlanta Hawks grant us undervalued lesson in free agency

For more sports coverage, please visit XNSports.com.

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rodshiley71 July 16 2014 at 4:37 PM

It would be nice to see the Cavs win. Been a long time coming.

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KEN July 16 2014 at 4:44 PM

There is no way in hell the Cav's will win the title next year! I will bet my house on that!

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3 replies
Randy1953 July 16 2014 at 9:24 PM

The Spurs went nine deep with their talent last year . Even with Kevin Love the Cavs will be six deep this year . Pretty much what the Heat had in talent last year . I expect the Spurs to win again .

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1 reply
accordmee Randy1953 July 17 2014 at 2:58 AM

You are not alone.

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clwgeorgetownlaw July 16 2014 at 6:14 PM

These odds are out of date -- The current odds on all Vegas sports books that I've seen have the Spurs as overall 2015 favorites. It was just a brief influx of Cleveland money that skewed the odds temporarily....

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1 reply
jdsept clwgeorgetownlaw July 16 2014 at 7:14 PM

Bovada is a Vegas sports book

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1 reply
iluvespn jdsept July 16 2014 at 7:44 PM

Get free daily picks against the spread at Predictem.com!

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accordmee July 17 2014 at 2:51 AM

Anyone who thinks that the Cavs. will win the title next year should put the pipe down and turn their life over to Jesus. Maybe i don't know what i am talking about either but the king was with Miami last year when the Spurs whipped their ass and they had played together for years so why should i believe that he can just show up somewhere and make them the champs as soon as he steps off of the plane?

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bestasuccess July 16 2014 at 8:02 PM

No way the Cavs will reach the finals. Even with Bron Bron they are 2 years away. Not enough scorers.

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supermax52 July 17 2014 at 8:21 AM

Cleveland #1? This great player now will never have the legacy of Jordon now that he is back to this team.

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samedayrepo July 17 2014 at 2:11 AM

So LeBron is better with a 2nd year point guard who has never been in the playoffs and a rookie first round pick than he was with Bosh and Wade who he won 2 titles with? Golden State lost in the first round and now with a new coach is better than Portland who knocked Houston out in 6 games? Houston is better than Portland after losing Parsons and Lin and getting no one and missing out on Bosh? Chicago is an injury waiting to happen and the Pacers are a bad meal from being a top 4 seed in the east. Who in the hell makes thes odd's??
The Spurs would destroy The Cavs and making this years fina'ls look like a competitive series, which it was not!

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1 reply
accordmee samedayrepo July 17 2014 at 3:03 AM

I actually heard a sportscaster say that if a person says that he doesn't want bron bron on their team that they are not telling the truth. Well i am a Spurs fan and i DON"T want him anywhere near them. He is just another bron lover idiot.

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ranewbould July 16 2014 at 10:04 PM

pleezeeeeeeeeee

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Charles July 16 2014 at 8:56 PM

I NOW LIVE TO SEE MELO LOSE!!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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