Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers

NBA playoff odds: Lakers, Heat are favorites. Of course.


Here’s the thing to remember about gambling odds — it’s not about who the odds makers really think has the best chance, it’s about keeping money evenly spread around so the house doesn’t lose money.

Meaning the favorite on the betting line is really about that being the team bet the most so the book doesn’t want to give a lot of money back to those bettors.

In this case Lakers betters. And Heat betters. Because you all love those teams.

From, here are the odds for the NBA playoffs this season. You could make a lot of money on the Pacers… but maybe you should just send that money to me instead.

Odds to win 2011 NBA Championship
Los Angeles Lakers 11/4
Miami Heat 13/4
Chicago Bulls 7/2
San Antonio Spurs 7/1
Boston Celtics 15/2
Oklahoma City Thunder 12/1
Dallas Mavericks 18/1
Orlando Magic 18/1
Denver Nuggets 35/1
New York Knicks 45/1
Portland Trailblazers 50/1
Memphis Grizzlies 100/1
Atlanta Hawks 125/1
Philadelphia 76ers 150/1
New Orleans Hornets 175/1
Indiana Pacers 250/1

Odds to win 2011 Eastern Conference
Miami Heat 8/5
Chicago Bulls 7/4
Boston Celtics 7/2
Orlando Magic 9/1
New York Knicks 25/1
Atlanta Hawks 60/1
Philadelphia 76ers 65/1
Indiana Pacers 100/1

Odds to win 2011 Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers 1/1
San Antonio Spurs 9/4
Oklahoma City Thunder 13/2
Dallas Mavericks 8/1
Denver Nuggets 14/1
Portland Trailblazers 25/1
Memphis Grizzlies 60/1
New Orleans Hornets 80/1

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.