Once LeBron James made it known that he was heading back to Cleveland, the world responded with incredible acuity and perceptive depth, noting that the team with the best player on it would presumably have a good shot at being the 2015 NBA champions. The gambling hubs in and around Las Vegas are no stranger to this expectation and riding a wave of calculated shock and awe. Betting lines in Vegas are more about the gambling than the actual odds of something happening, and, put simply, they want the Cavs fans’ money.
James himself gave Cleveland the “no way” grade when it came to a possible 2015 title run in his Sports Illustrated essay that you’ve almost certainly read at least once already. The Cavaliers are probably the favorites to come out of the East so far, but that’s not as easy as its often made out to be — the East is definitely weaker than the West, but you’re still slogging it out past the Pacers, the Bulls, and the Wizards to get there. That’s not a joke about the Wizards, by the way: They could easily make it to the Conference Finals this year.
The other teams to get the nod from the oddsmakers? Right behind Cleveland, who are sitting as a 4-to-1 favorite, are the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, both sitting at 6-to-1. The next Eastern Conference favorites? The Chicago Bulls, now featuring Pau Gasol, at 8-to-1. All odds are courtesy of VegasInsider.