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Cavs favoured for 2015-16 title on eve of NBA season tip-off

THE NBA season is about to bounce back onto our television screens with a vengeance and it feels just a little bit like last year at the top.

Lebron James and the Cavaliers fell at the final hurdle in their quest to bring an NBA title to Cleveland, but punters at are predicting he will go one better, with hopefully a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love by his side.

The Cavs are a skinny $3.50 to take out the title at the beginning of the season.

Those are short odds considering they have some of the stiffest competition ever seen in the mighty Western Conference.

That attack will be led by the offseason’s biggest mover and shakers, the San Antonio Spurs.

Head coach Gregg Popovic and that savvy front office snagged themselves a new marquee man in LaMarcus Aldridge and added veteran power forward David West – for the vets’ minimum – to complement the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and, of course, first ballot Hall of Famer and perhaps the greatest power forward of all time, Tim Duncan.

They became instant title contenders with the addition of Aldridge, who should excel in the Spurs system, which thrives on ball movement and unselfishness and it’s no coincidence they are the second favourites at $4.50 for the title.

It’s hard to believe the Golden State Warriors, who have really returned a full contingent, minus little-used big man David Lee, are only third on the line of betting, after they dismantled the Cavs in six games in last year’s finals to win the title.

Dead eye dicks Steph Curry – last year’s league Most Valuable Player – and Klay Thompson lead this team as parts of the best back court in the NBA, while up front, $80 million man Draymond Green marshals the troops, along with star Aussie centre Andrew Bogut and the versatile Harrison Barnes. The Dubs draw on plenty of experience off the bench, with Finals MVP Andre Iguodala one of the best sixth men in the business.

It is a deep and talented team and, at $5.50, appears value to go back-to-back.

Injuries ravaged the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, but that has not stopped punters from backing them in to $7 fourth favourites.

They missed the playoffs last season, but are expected to come back with a vengeance, with healthy former MVP Kevin Durant gunning to regain his superstar status, alongside electric point guard Russell Westbrook and that bruising frontline of Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter.

Durant was arguably the best player in the world before his injury and it will be interesting to see if he can regain the form that made him an MVP.

If you’re talking about depth, then the argument begins and ends with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers, like the Spurs, had an offseason to remember.

They didn’t actually add a star like Aldridge, but they found several pieces to complement star trio Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.

Keeping Jordan was a feat in itself, the towering defensive dynamo was all but on his way out of LA, bound for Dallas. He signed, they nabbed star veteran Paul Pierce and signed up the erratic, but talented, Josh Smith.

Lance Stevenson, though, might be the ace in the hole. The versatile swingman is a jack of all trades and, along with Jamal Crawford and Smith, gives the Clippers a formidable second unit that would probably start on 20 other teams.

They are the only other team in single figures to win the chip.

NBA title markets

Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.50)

San Antonio Spurs ($4.50)

Golden State Warriors ($5.50)

Oklahoma City Thunder ($7)

Los Angeles Clippers ($9)

Chicago Bulls ($11)

Houston Rockets ($15)

Memphis Grizzlies ($23)

Miami Heat ($26)

New Orleans Pelicans ($31)

Atlanta Hawks ($31)

Washington Wizards ($31)

Toronto Raptors ($41)

Indiana Pacers ($41)

Milwaukee Bucks ($51)

Utah Jazz ($67)

Los Angeles Lakers ($81)

Dallas Mavericks ($81)

Boston Celtics ($101)

Phoenix Suns ($101)

Portland Trail Blazers ($101)

Sacramento Kings ($151)

Detroit Pistons ($151)

Brooklyn Nets ($151)

Minnesota Timberwolves ($151)

New York Knicks ($201)

Charlotte Hornets ($201)

Denver Nuggets ($201)

Orlando Magic ($201)

Philadelphia 76ers ($501)

Odds provided by

NBA MVP markets

Lebron, being Lebron, starts as the $4 favourite, but there’s a man in New Orleans tipped to give him a serious run for his money. Anthony ‘The Brow’ Davis ($5) is as talented a player as there is in the NBA, but can he stay on the court for long enough to usurp The King (and last year’s MVP Curry, who is $6.50)? And there’s a guy in Houston who reckons he should have been last year’s MVP, James Harden, (a $6 chance).


LeBron James ($4)

Anthony Davis ($5)

James Harden ($6)

Stephen Curry ($6.50)

Kevin Durant ($7)

Russell Westbrook ($12)

Blake Griffin ($15)

Chris Paul ($24)

Paul George ($24)

LaMarcus Aldridge ($24)

John Wall ($51)

Derrick Rose ($51)

Kawhi Leonard ($51)

Carmelo Anthony ($51)

DeMarcus Cousins ($61)

Kyrie Irving ($85)

Rudy Gay ($85)

Odds provided by

2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Markets

With Ty Lawson out of the picture, the Denver Nuggets are now Emmanuel Mudiay’s team. And if his pre season for is anything to go by, the guy is just about a lock for Rookie of the Year at $3.75.

Emmanuel Mudiay ($3.75)

Jahlil Okafor ($4.50)

Karl-Anthony Towns ($6)

D’Angelo Russell ($7)

Stanley Johnson ($8.50)

Myles Turner ($11)

Justise Winslow ($15)

Mario Hezonja ($15)

Kristaps Porzingis ($18)

Nemanja Bjelica ($21)

Jerian Grant ($23)

Odds provided by

NBA Scoring Champion markets

Kevin Durant ($3.50)

James Harden ($3.50)

LeBron James ($5.50)

Russell Westbrook ($7)

Carmelo Anthony ($8.50)

Anthony Davis ($8.50)

Damian Lillard ($11)

Paul George ($18)

Stephen Curry ($18)

DeMarcus Cousins ($18)

Blake Griffin ($27)

Odds provided by

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