Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Despite the Los Angeles Lakers' addition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash and an improved bench, oddsmakers are picking the Miami Heat to repeat as NBA champs.
Despite the addition of two future Hall of Famers in point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard, oddsmakers picked the Miami Heat to have a better shot at bringing home the hardware than the Lakers, giving LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company 13/10 odds to repeat as NBA champions. The Oklahoma City Thunder were given the next best odds at 9/2, followed by the Chicago Bulls at 14/1.
Oddsmakers like the Lakers' chances to walk away with their first Western Conference championship since 2010, giving the team 13/10 odds. The Thunder have the next-best shot at 9/5 odds.
The line for regular season wins for the Lakers was set at 59½, while the Heat are expected to win 61 games on the year.
The Lakers will open the 2012 NBA regular season on Oct. 30 when they host the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center.