The Miami Heat may have fallen on their faces in last season’s NBA Finals, but to Vegas oddmakers, LeBron James and company still look pretty good.
The Heat are 2-to-1 favorites to win the 2012 NBA championship, with the LA Lakers, OKC Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, and Chicago Bulls rounding out the list of title contenders.
From the LA Times:
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.
The reasons appear fairly simple. “They’re aging and have miles on them,” Kornegay said. “They don’t have a true point guard. And the coaching is a question mark. The Lakers have potential to be this year’s Philadelphia Eagles more than anybody right now,” Rood said. “Two of their guys (Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher) are getting long in the tooth. Kobe has been injured more often than not. With a shorter season, you don’t know if it will help or hurt them. If a significant player gets injured, it’ll be more difficult to overcome in a shorter season. They also don’t have the luxury of taking six weeks off and get back in the thick of things.”
Keep in mind, of course, that when the Miami Heat Voltron’d with LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh last summer, Vegas tabbed them as the NBA title favorites then, too.
Who would you put your money on to walk away with the ‘chip this year?