We are less than a month in to the 2012 condensed version of the NBA regular season and there are a few early surprises. We take a quick look at how the sportsbooks view the chances of winning the NBA title and how these teams have done against the spread.
The Miami Heat are off to a fast start and are favored at online books at about +125 to win the NBA title. Against the spread, Miami is about .500 at 5-5 ATS. They’ve gone over the total 7 of the first 10 games.
It looks like the three best teams are the Heat, Bulls, Thunder and Lakers and that’s exactly how the oddsmakers see it. Both Chicago and Oklahoma City are also off to fast starts and both are +425 to win the title while the Lakers started slow but are playing well and are +525 to win it all. Chicago is 9-2 overall and 7-4 versus the spread while Oklahoma City is 9-2 overall and 5-6 ATS. The Lakers are 7-4 overall and 6-2 against the spread including 0-3 ATS on the road.
According to the odds, Dallas and the LA Clippers are next at +1550 to win the title. The 5-5 Mavericks have struggled and looked older this year. They are 6-4 against the spread after a rough start. The Clippers are much improved at 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS but expectations are up there now.
In the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia looks like they could be for real. Still +4250 in NBA Championship odds, the Sixers are 7-2 SU and a solid 8-1 against the spread. Another team improving is the Indiana Pacers. Indiana has no real shot to win the championship but they are 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS. A couple of other playoff teams are in Orlando and Atlanta. The Magic are just waiting to move on from Dwight Howard already but Van Gundy has them at 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS. Atlanta has knocked off the Heat and Bulls this year. The Hawks are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS.
Boston looks old and tired but at +2450 odds, probably shouldn’t count out the veterans. The Celtics are 4-4 SU and 5-3 ATS while in New York, the Knicks want to be contenders but they are inconsistent early on with a 5-4 SU record and 2-7 ATS including 0-4 vs. spread at the Garden.
Finally Cleveland isn’t going anywhere anytime soon but they are playing decent and off to a much better start this year at 4-5 SU (5-4 ATS). Toronto, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Detroit, Charlotte and Washington are all terrible. The Pistons are only 2-8 ATS.
In the Western Conference, it looks like San Antonio (+2450), Portland (+1850) and Denver (+2550) could be contenders while the Utah Jazz (+12500) are playing like one early on.
Looks like Minnesota, Phoenix, Golden State, Sacramento, Memphis, Houston and New Orleans are garbage.
Against the spread, Denver is 8-2 ATS. Sacramento is 3-7 ATS.
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