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Bookmakers make Heat title favorites. Magic are best odds on the board.

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The Miami Heat are the favorites to with the NBA crown this season.

Not according to most pundits, they have them close but not quite (although some have picked them). But yes according to the bookmakers at Bodog.com. Here are their odds to win the NBA title:

Miami Heat                       17/10
Los Angeles Lakers            5/2
Boston Celtics                    17/2
Orlando Magic                   13/1
Oklahoma City Thunder   14/1
Chicago Bulls                     18/1
Dallas Mavericks                20/1
San Antonio Spurs             28/1
Denver Nuggets                  30/1
Portland Trailblazers         30/1

Last at 200-1? The Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves. Way to go Minnesota, getting those kind of odds without having a superstar leave you cold.

Best odds on the board? Orlando. That is a team that can win a title. A team that went to the finals two seasons ago, is coming in healthy and more focused this season, and is right there on the elite contender level. At 13-1 that’s a pretty good bet.

Already I can hear the Lakers fans complaining — why aren’t the Lakers the favorites? Why is there no respect for the Lakers?

Blame yourselves. You know why the bookmakers set those odds? To make money for themselves. The team with the lowest odds has that because that’s where the fans are putting their money. Right now that’s the Heat. Bookmakers are not making predictions, they are making odds to protect their money against your bets. It’s a business. And you are all betting on the Heat.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.