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September 23, 2014

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Heat, not Spurs, favored in Las Vegas to win next year’s NBA title

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Tony Gutierrez / AP

Miami Heat forward LeBron James responds to a question during a media availability for the NBA basketball finals on Saturday, June 14, 2014, in San Antonio.

The Heat shut off last night.

Miami’s quest to notch the first NBA championship three-peat in more than a decade broke down with a chilling 104-87 loss in San Antonio. The Spurs froze the Heat with the largest point differential — plus-70 points in five games — in NBA Finals history.

With LeBron James holding the option to opt out of his contract this postseason — along with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, though both are expected to stay in Miami — some are ready to write off the Heat’s chances at extending their dynasty.

Not oddsmakers. The Heat found themselves in a familiar spot Monday in Las Vegas after the Finals concluded Sunday — on the top of the betting board.

Miami is the favorite to win the 2015 NBA Championship, listed at odds of 5-to-2 at the LVH Superbook. The team that just exacted revenge on the Heat for their 2013 Finals loss falls right behind at 9-to-2.

The Spurs are even with the team they paraded past in the Western Conference Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on their way to a fifth title in 15 years.

Five of the eight teams offered at 20-to-1 or lower odds come from the Western Conference. The Eastern exceptions, other than the Heat, are the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls at 12-to-1 apiece.

These future prices will bounce around like lottery balls before the start of the season in October, though. A stacked NBA Draft on June 26 and the start of a frenzied free-agent period on July 1 will have an impact.

As the best player in the league, James’ decision 2.0 alone could alter the odds radically. And then there’s Carmelo Anthony, the 2013 scoring champion, who holds a player option on his contract with the Knicks.

Reports have linked Anthony to interest in three teams already in the group of Las Vegas contenders — the Heat, Bulls and Houston Rockets at 20-to-1. Anthony’s future is another sports-book domino.

Check below for the full LVH Superbook betting board to win the 2014-2015 NBA title.

Miami Heat — 5-to-2

Oklahoma City Thunder — 9-to-2

San Antonio Spurs — 9-to-2

Los Angeles Clippers — 10-to-1

Indiana Pacers — 12-to-1

Chicago Bulls — 12-to-1

Golden State Warriors — 20-to-1

Houston Rockets — 20-to-1

Portland Blazers — 30-to-1

Washington Wizards — 30-to-1

Brooklyn Nets — 40-to-1

Memphis Grizzlies — 40-to-1

Dallas Mavericks — 40-to-1

Denver Nuggets — 50-to-1

Toronto Raptors — 50-to-1

New York Knicks — 50-to-1

Minnesota Timberwolves — 50-to-1

New Orleans Pelicans — 50-to-1

Los Angeles Lakers — 60-to-1

Boston Celtics — 60-to-1

Cleveland Cavaliers — 60-to-1

Phoenix Suns — 60-to-1

New Orleans Hornets — 60-to-1

Atlanta Hawks — 60-to-1

Utah Jazz — 100-to-1

Sacramento Kings — 100-to-1

Detroit Pistons — 100-to-1

Orlando Magic — 100-to-1

Philadelphia 76ers — 200-to-1

Milwaukee Bucks — 300-to-1

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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