Heat, Lakers favored to reach NBA Finals

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In what comes as no surprise at all, the defending champion Miami Heat and the loaded Los Angeles Lakers are favored to reach the NBA Finals.

Gaming site Bovada.lv released its odds for winning the championship and has the Heat at 11-5 and the Lakers slightly higher at 5-2.

Miami has reached the Finals each of the last two years, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games last season. Los Angeles has not reached the conference finals since it last won the title in 2010 but added superstars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason.

The Thunder is 9-2 to win the title, followed by the Chicago Bulls at 14-1 and the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics at a somewhat inviting 18-1.

The Heat are an odds-on 5-8 to win the Eastern Conference. The Lakers are 13-10.

The site also released its over-under win totals for each team. That list has both the Heat and Thunder at 60.5 wins, with the Lakers next at 59.5 wins. That is well below the bold prediction from our editor-in-chief.

The only other teams with totals above 50 are the Spurs (54.5), Indiana Pacers (51.5), Celtics (50.5) and Denver Nuggets (50.5).

The numbers for the Spurs and Celtics seem a bit low, as do the totals for the Los Angeles Clippers (49.5), Brooklyn Nets (44.5), Utah Jazz (42.5), Golden State Warriors (35.5) and Toronto Raptors (32.5).

Teams whose numbers seem a bit high are the Chicago Bulls (48.5) and Houston Rockets (30.5) and Charlotte Bobcats (20.5).

The odds and totals for all teams are below.

TEAM ODDS TOTAL
MIAMI HEAT 11-5 60.5
LOS ANGELES LAKERS 5-2 59.5
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 9-2 60.5
CHICAGO BULLS 14-1 48.5
SAN ANTONIO SPURS 18-1 54.5
BOSTON CELTICS 18-1 50.5
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 25-1 49.5
BROOKLYN NETS 30-1 44.5
DALLAS MAVERICKS 33-1 44.5
INDIANA PACERS 35-1 51.5
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 35-1 48.5
NEW YORK KNICKS 35-1 46.5
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 50-1 47.5
DENVER NUGGETS 66-1 50.5
ATLANTA HAWKS 75-1 42.5
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES 75-1 42.5
HOUSTON ROCKETS 75-1 30.5
UTAH JAZZ 100-1 42.5
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 100-1 34.5
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 125-1 35.5
MILWAUKEE BUCKS 125-1 35.5
PHOENIX SUNS 150-1 33.5
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS 150-1 25.5
ORLANDO MAGIC 150-1 23.5
TORONTO RAPTORS 200-1 32.5
DETROIT PISTONS 200-1 32.5
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 200-1 31.5
WASHINGTON WIZARDS 200-1 31.5
SACRAMENTO KINGS 200-1 29.5
CHARLOTTE BOBCATS 500-1 20.5
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