Spurs now favored to win NBA title; Thunder second fave, Heat sinking

Posted: May 18, 2012 in NBA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And just like that, with a 6-0 mark in the NBA Playoffs, including two blowout wins in the Western Conference semifinals, the San Antonio Spurs are the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA title.

Suddenly, the Miami Heat have dropped to the third choice by bookmakers, with the Oklahoma City Thunder sandwiched between the veteran-laden Spurs and suddenly struggling Heat.

As of 6:30 a.m. pacific Friday, the following odds to win the NBA Championship were posted at Sportsbook.ag:

Spurs +120

Thunder +250

Heat +350

Celtics +600

Pacers +1200

Lakers +3500

76ers +5000

Clippers +20000

While everyone had written off the Spurs at the start of the strike-shortened season, the experienced bunch from the Alamo is defying Father Time, and has dominated throughout the first round and a half of the playoffs. They’ve got one foot in the Western Conference Finals’ door, and appear to be in a good spot to walk shut the door on the Clippers after routing them in Games 1 (108-92) and 2 (105-88).

The Spurs, who have now won 16 straight games and haven’t lost since April 11, have won five of their first six playoff games by double digits, with three blowouts of the Jazz and the two wins over L.A. For the postseason, the Spurs’ margin of victory is 16.16 points per win. In their four home playoff games, they’ve laid between 10′ and 11′ points.

In their two road games they laid -5′ and -7′ against the Jazz, and have been installed as -3′ point favorite in L.A. for Game 3, which is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, at 12:30 p.m. Game 4 is Sunday. And while the Spurs are riding high, and playing on pure momentum right now, the Clippers may be out of their realm, having played seven games in 13 days, while they’ll have played nine in 16 by the time the weekend is over.

All of these odds changes don’t surprise me one bit, not nearly as much as the surprise of seeing the Celtics longer shots than Miami to win the title. Honestly, the Celtics and Spurs are both defying age-critics, and could be on a collision course for the NBA Finals. If the Celtics win tonight in Philadelphia, their odds will shrink, and if the Pacers win Game 4 on Sunday, don’t be surprised to see the Heat plummet to the oddsmakers’ fifth choice.

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