NBA Betting – Heat the Betting Favorite To Win It All In 2011

With the rise of a couple of key contenders in the Eastern conference, the NBA playoff landscape will look very different this season. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat have put themselves in position to challenge the defending conference champion Boston Celtics in the east, while out west it appears as though it is still the two-time defending NBA champions and everyone else. Here is a look at the top online sports betting contenders for the 2011 NBA playoffs.

The Favorites

Los Angeles Lakers + 150

The Lakers will have more than history working against them in their quest for a third straight NBA title, as the Western conference appears much stronger with the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, and Oklahoma City Thunder all improved and at full health. Los Angeles will need center Andrew Bynum to be healthy to have any shot at making another run, something that could be a concern after he hyper-extended his knee against the Sacramento Kings. Bynum will be a key piece alongside Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, and it is hard to argue with a team that has looked dominant at times this season. As long as they are healthy the Lakers have the talent and pay per head experience to go all the way once again.

Miami Heat + 400

The Heat have been the favorite team to talk about since the infamous “Decision”, and despite holes in their roster they are also among the sports betting favorites. Miami has serious question marks beyond the big three of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh with a lack of presence in the paint, and their bench has been very suspect at times this year. The Heat feel that they made a statement with a big win over Boston in the final meeting of their season series, but that won’t mean much until they show it in the NBA postseason.

Next In Line

Boston Celtics + 600

There is confusion among some sports betting bonus players as to why the Celtics have been knocked down underneath Miami and Orlando in terms of favorites to emerge from the East. After reaching the NBA finals in two of the past three years, Boston is stronger than they have ever been, and have the experience to get back to the top.

Orlando Magic + 700

The Magic will rally around Dwight Howard with a team that more closely resembles the one that went to the NBA finals two years ago. Jameer Nelson is healthy and averaging 13.2 points and six assists per game, and will find Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu at every opportunity. Orlando will need their top scorers to perform when the pressure is on, and they will have every chance to perform with Howard dominating down low.

The Darkhorse

Oklahoma City Thunder + 1500

The addition of Kendrick Perkins gives the Thunder the missing piece that they have lacked in previous years, a strong inside presence that they will need if they are going to compete with the Lakers and Spurs. Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook experienced what it takes to be a true contender in last year’s postseason, and one year later could help Oklahoma City surprise.

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