NBA Outright Odds – Cleveland a decent price?

Shane Lambert looks at the Eastern Conference and while he thinks Cleveland Cavaliers are short for the title they look a better value bet to win the NBA Title.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are not a team that I have had a lot of faith in this season. However, with a 2-0 lead in their second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, the Cavs are looking stronger and stronger. I don't see the Toronto Raptors beating Cleveland and the Miami Heat are a tough pick now that Chris Bosh is in fact done for the season. For a team that suffered so many bad-timing injuries last season, maybe luck is heading Cleveland's way now as it seems to be the other teams that are battling injuries in the 2016 playoffs.

However, I'm still not big on the Cavaliers' betting odds and I don't think I will be for the balance of the season barring a significant lengthening. I would take Miami at 6 to 1 (888Sport) to win the East before I took Cleveland at 2 to 9 in the same market. I would take Golden State at 10/11 with Paddy Power before I bet Cleveland to win the NBA title.

That said, in recognition of the fact that some readers are big on backing Cleveland, I'll digress from my own picks and offer some advice outside of them. That advice is to focus on the NBA Finals instead of the Eastern Conference when it comes to the Cavs. The reason that you have to focus on the finals is that the best price on Cleveland in the Eastern Conference is at -450 (2/9) with Sportingbet. However, the odds on the Cavs winning it all are a lengthy +320 (16/5) with Marathon Bet.

To break things down, to get one hundred units of profit at 2/9 you have to pound a 450-unit bet through. To get 100 units of profit at 16/5, you need only risk about 31 units. In short, in order to get a 100-unit return, 2/9 requires a 14.5 times greater bet than 16/5. That makes the Cleveland Cavaliers' lines to win the Eastern Conference a pretty silly bet. It makes more sense to gamble on a round further at the much lengthier odds and with a much-much smaller bet.

Game 3 of the series against Atlanta goes on Friday, the first of two upcoming games that will come from Georgia. If Cleveland get a split out of games 3 and 4 then the series promises to be a short one. I see Toronto and Miami taking longer to settle their score, with Cleveland then entering the Eastern Conference finals as the better-rested team and looking good to at least make the finals.