Tuesday, February 23, 2010

NBA Future Odds Update

By Sonny Palermo, www.BetRepublic.com

A look at players listed in the box score from the loss to the Magic shows just three players remaining from the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championship runner up team from the 2006-2007 season: Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejo and that other guy.

And the only starter on rosters from both editions is that other guy.

In the time between the two versions of Cavs, the team has made a lot of moves to find the missing pieces of the Championship puzzle to compliment that other guy – LeBron, and to keep him from testing the free agency waters.

After failing to San Antonio in the finals that year, the Cavs were eliminated by the Celtics in the next post season, and last year they couldn’t get past the Magic. Orlando has always been a tough team for the Cavs, matchup-wise, and so this recent edition of Cavs was built specifically to overcome that obstacle.

Shaq was brought in to provide a formidable presence in the middle to counter Superman, aka Dwight Howard, and last week the Cavs employed what will be the final piece of the puzzle – someone who gives them another big body, a perimeter game and quality minutes – Antawn Jamison.

No longer is Cleveland seen as a one-star town, as LeBron now shares the stage with Shaq and Jamison. And many people seem to think the Jamison trade makes the Cavs the favorite to finally win the title.
They are the odds on favorite to win the East at all betting shops, and a short distance in front of the Lakers to win the championship at most others.

Considering history and current odds (-165, see below), the wager “Cavs to win the East” has no value. In fact, it flat out sucks. To do so, they would have to outlast Boston, who already beat them in Cleveland at the start of the season, and Orlando, who they are 1-1 against thus far this year. But it is the second of those games that is most telling, if you are trying to decide whether or not to lay future odds on Cleveland.

Yesterday, the team that gives them fits, matchup-wise, the Magic, beat them 101-95 on national television, with the newly acquired Jamison. Is it possible the new chemistry is combustible? Since Antawn came over, the Cavaliers are 0-3, with one of the losses to a Denver squad that is a possible finals opponent, as the Nuggets just may be the team that dethrones the Lakers. And the Nuggets played that game WITHOUT Carmelo Anthony, and IN Cleveland!

Regardless of the outcomes, the payoff odds for the Cavs to win the East and/or the Championship just don’t seem like a good investment when weighing the risks.

Despite all the best efforts of GM Danny Ferry, despite all the changing of the guards, forward and center over the past three years, the Cavs are still unlikely to win the Championship again this season. And quite possibly, lose the LeBron James free agency sweepstakes too.

NBA Odds:

Eastern Conference favorites:
Cavs -165 (wager $165 to win $100)
Magic +400 (wager $100 to win $400
Celtics +450 (wager $100 to win $450)
Hawks +1000 (wager $100 to win $1000)

NBA Championship:
Cavs +220 (wager $100 to win $220)
Lakers +250 (wager $100 to win $250)
Nuggets +800 (wager $100 to win $800)
All other teams at higher than 10-1.

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