With the exact makeup of NBA's post-lock out rosters unknown, making any super informed predictions about the upcoming abbreviated season is sort of a shot in the dark. Though, with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh on the Heat, picking them to win the NBA championship is likely your best bet, so its no surprise that Vegas odds-makers have them as 2-to-1 favorites.
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MGM Mirage's race and sports director Jay Rood considers Miami a 2-to-1 favorite to win the title, followed by the Lakers (9-to-2) and the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder (5-to-1). Meanwhile, Jay Kornegay, director of the Las Vegas Hilton Race and Sports Book, has tabbed the Heat as 2-to-1 favorites, unless the Chicago Bulls (6-to-1) get past them. That puts the Lakers (7-to-1) in a third-place tie with the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder.
A word of caution: to a certain extent Las Vegas odds don't necessarily represent any informed probability that something is going to happen, but rather gambler's perceptions. So really that means Vegas thinks most people are going to end up betting on Miami to win.
Which, as we said before, isn't such a bad bet. They'll be defending East Conference champs, and the core trio is still intact. Meanwhile, the effects of the lockout and new contract deal on the Dallas Maverick's roster is unknown. There's a good chance that key players like Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea may not be returning this season.