The first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs has finally come to an end, following one of the most exciting two-week stretches in league history. Now, eight teams remain in their quest to win the championship.
As the second round begins, the Miami Heat remain the favorites to win it all. The Heat were the only team to decisively take care of business in their opening series. They swept the Charlotte Bobcats, becoming one of two teams to advance in less than six games. LeBron James and Co. were never in any real danger of losing a game, winning the four contests by an average of 9.8 points per game.
After reaching the NBA Finals in three straight years and winning the title in back-to-back seasons, the Heat are odds-on favorites (1/3) to win the Eastern Conference. The Indiana Pacers were expected to give them a challenge in the postseason, but they barely survived against the No.8 seed Atlanta Hawks. Now, four of the remaining teams have better betting odds than the No.1 seed in the East.
Despite a seven-game series against the No.8 seed in the West, the San Antonio Spurs are still considered to be Miami’s toughest competition. After splitting the first six games with the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs showed why they led the NBA with 62 regular-season wins, beating Dirk Nowitzki’s team by 23 points.
The Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers have the worst odds of winning the 2014 title. While neither is expected to even advance to the next round, they had two of the easiest times of any first-round winner. Portland upset the No.4 seed Houston Rockets, clinching a victory in Game Six. Washington beat the Chicago Bulls in five games.
Below is each team’s betting odds to win the NBA championship. All odds are provided by Bovada.lv.
Miami Heat 7/5
San Antonio Spurs 3/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 9/2
Los Angeles Clippers 15/2
Indiana Pacers 12/1
Brooklyn Nets 16/1
Portland Trail Blazers 25/1
Washington Wizards 25/1