Although the Championship game is still some way away it makes sense to start placing your bets on which team will end the season on top sooner rather later. By betting now you will get the best ante-post odds whereas, if you waited until the playoffs, your odds would be lower, and if you waited until the Championship Series they would have diminished further.
Right now the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs are the favourites at around 3.00. LeBron James’ return to Cleveland sees the Cavaliers come in at 3.50, but instead of going for the two favourites look to the Chicago Bulls. Although the Cavs have already beaten the Bulls this year, it was in pre-season. Since then they have gone onto find their feet. With a current price of 7.00 with Betfair for the NBA Championship the Bulls offer a very healthy return on any money wagered. What’s more, their odds are ever slightly too high. Expect them to come down over the course of the next month.
The Bulls did well in the summer. Bringing in Pau Gasol from the L.A. Lakers was a sound piece of business. Standing at 7-feet tall, the Spaniard is a beast in the rebound department. So far this season he has averaged 11.0 rebounds per game and 19.4 points per game. The 34-year-old is already proving to be influential to the Bulls. He gives them another attacking outlay, which should free up Derrick Rose.
Speaking of Rose, the 2011 MVP is slowly getting back to his best. The point guard was plagued by injuries the past two seasons, with both his knees completely shot. With him on the side-lines there was very little Chicago could do but now he is back on the court, there is no reason why the title can’t go to Chicago come the season’s end.
Now though, Rose is very much back in the side, albeit he is taking tentative steps, but by the time the playoffs come around he will very much be back in the swing of things, and a Rose that is firing on all cylinders is just as dangerous as a Kevin Durant or LeBron James.
But what will really be pleasing the Bulls’ fans is the emergence of Jimmy Butler as a stellar basketball player. In the 15 games he has played this season he has averaged 21.9 points per game, the ninth highest total in the NBA.
He is also weighing in with 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game. If he can maintain this form for the entirety of the season then the Bulls have an attacking Big Three.
People are thinking that it is a done deal that the Spurs and the Cavs will be in the final. However, it is incredibly short sighted to overlook the Bulls. Gasol, Rose and Butler can easily be just as good as the Spurs’ “Big Three” while Cleveland are still side looking to gel into a cohesive unit.