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NBA Betting – Bulls Replace Celtics as Favorites To Clash With Lakers in 2011 Finals

Written by Matt Stevens   
Thursday, 14 April 2011 00:29

NBA Odds ans PicksWith a couple of new contenders emerging in both conferences, the NBA playoffs will be deeper than ever in 2011. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers will each get their chance to return to the NBA finals, and a third showdown in four years isn’t unlikely at this point. Here is a look at the online sports betting favorites to win this year’s NBA championship.

The Favorites

Los Angeles Lakers + 150

The two-time defending NBA champions will look to make their fourth straight appearance in the finals, and win a third straight title. As long as Andrew Bynum is in the lineup there is no doubt that the Lakers are the strongest team in the west, with unmatched experience and a deep roster with plenty of size. Kobe Bryant is the ageless superstar that will catapult them back to the top once again.

Chicago Bulls + 250

Not since Michael Jordan was leading the Bulls to championships in the mid-90’s has Chicago looked so strong, but with MVP-candidate Derrick Rose doing his best impression of No. 23, they have become a legitimate contender once again. Rose is surrounded by a solid supporting cast that includes Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng, and has made each of those players better with his creative ability and style this year.

Next In Line

Miami Heat + 400

The Heat are among the favorites to win it all in the east, but there may be too much faith placed in the big three of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Miami lacks the true No. 1 center to compete with the Celtics and Orlando Magic in the Eastern conference, and their bench has been awful at times this year. The Heat will get to the second round, but they don’t have the pay per head depth to compete with the best in the conference just yet.

Boston Celtics + 600

Their late season struggles have pushed Boston down the ladder in the east, but there is no reason to doubt the defending conference champions. The Celtics improved with the additions of both Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal, as well as Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Boston will need both O’Neals to be healthy, and if they are then Paul Pierce and company will once again emerge from the east.

San Antonio Spurs + 600

With the Spurs finally able to remain healthy for an entire season, there is no reason to think that Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker can’t compete for another NBA title. Head coach Gregg Popovich is among the smartest coaches in the association today, and the one man smart enough to strategize against Los Angeles’ Phil Jackson.

The Darkhorse

Oklahoma City Thunder + 1500

The Thunder emerged as a legitimate contender to knock off the Lakers in last year’s playoffs, and with the addition of Kendrick Perkins and the continued development of Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook there is no reason to think that Oklahoma City can’t surprise in the west. Perkins gives them another key body to bang inside, and provides an inside presence on a team with a ton of sports betting bonus firepower.

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