Bulls replace Cavaliers as betting favorites to win NBA title

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The Cavaliers opened the season as championship favorites – no surprise, considering their high-profile additions of LeBron James and Kevin Love to go with Kyrie Irving.

But Cleveland has struggled, and expectations have fallen. Despite the Cavaliers’ incredible popularity, a new favorite has emerged.

Bovada has released its latest 2015 NBA championship odds (hat tip: Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago):

  • Chicago Bulls 5/1
  • Cleveland Cavaliers 11/2
  • Golden State Warriors 11/2
  • San Antonio Spurs 11/2
  • Dallas Mavericks 15/2
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 15/2
  • Los Angeles Clippers 12/1
  • Toronto Raptors 16/1
  • Houston Rockets 18/1
  • Memphis Grizzlies 18/1
  • Portland Trail Blazers 18/1
  • Atlanta Hawks 22/1
  • Washington Wizards 25/1
  • Phoenix Suns 66/1
  • Miami Heat 75/1
  • New Orleans Pelicans 100/1
  • Brooklyn Nets 150/1
  • Milwaukee Bucks 150/1
  • Sacramento Kings 300/1
  • Boston Celtics 400/1
  • Indiana Pacers 400/1
  • Charlotte Hornets 500/1
  • Denver Nuggets 500/1
  • Detroit Pistons 500/1
  • Los Angeles Lakers 500/1
  • New York Knicks 1000/1
  • Orlando Magic 1000/1
  • Utah Jazz 1000/1
  • Minnesota Timberwolves 5000/1
  • Philadelphia 76ers 5000/1

It’s important to remember these odds aren’t based on predictions. They’re designed to generate betting action and make Bovada money.

That said, there is obviously some overlap between what makes sense and how people will bet.

Do the Bulls deserve favored status? They make a case, especially because – as the odds reflect – it will be so difficult to get out the Western Conference. It’s possible the NBA’s eight best teams are all in the West. Good luck predicting which won makes it out alive. That’s why it’s enticing to pick Chicago and difficult to take the Warriors, Spurs, Mavericks, Thunder, Clippers, Rockets, Grizzlies or Trail Blazers.