Long Shots To Win The 2016 NBA Championship

Posted by Joe Solari on Wednesday,February 3, 2016 5:43, EST in

Looking at the latest 2016 NBA Champion Odds, it’s no surprise that the Golden State (+150), Cleveland (+260), San Antonio (+550), Oklahoma City (+1200) and L.A. Clippers (+1200) dominate the top-heavy list. Matter of fact, given the history of the odds to win the NBA championship, our likely Champ for the year will probably come from the above five-team list. But if you are looking for a worthwhile longshot to consider in the NBA betting futures, then here are some value NBA picks to choose from.

Which NBA Odds Long Shots Could Make a Run for the Title

Indiana Pacers (+2800)

I’m not really sure if the Pacers (25-23, No. 8 in the East) should be considered as a long shot, considering their value is high among the top-10 most favored teams. That notwithstanding, the biggest question here is whether or not Indiana can make a deep run and possibly win the 2016 NBA Championship. On paper, the Pacers are commendably improved in their rebuilding year and have a couple of decent components in the team, led by his excellency Paul George, a player that gives fits to any opponent he faces. In reality, though, the Pacers still lack sufficient go-to guys and firepower to make any sort of run in the playoffs, so it won’t be easy for them to go past the much-more endowed teams like Cleveland and Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks (+3300)

Speaking of Atlanta (28-22, No. 3 in the East), the players lost by the team in the offseason has made it difficult for them to replicate their incredible run in the 2014-15 season. Even so, there are still a couple of shiny pieces in the team, and if the Hawks can somehow find a way of bringing their lethal sharpshooting A-game that we’ve occasionally seen in the year, they’d probably be able to do better than they did in the punishing four-game sweep to the Cavs last season.

Houston Rockets (+3300)

If only James Harden could actually be able to get some consistent help in Houston offense and Dwight Howard could also get some boost in the defense, the Rockets (26-25) would be sitting higher than 7th in the Western Conference. Still, tons of credit goes to this Houston team for overcoming an atrocious start to the year—which came with the firing of the team’s head coach—and now climbing up the ranks in the conference. As per their momentum, I see the Rockets finishing around No. 4 or No. 5 in the conference, thereby getting a team like Memphis, Dallas or LA Clippers and trying to make another run for the Western Conference Finals like last year. Of all the teams in this longshot list, the Rockets are arguably the deepest of them all (or at least in the West), which should see them make the deepest run for Championship.

Toronto Raptors (+4000)

The Raptors must be getting tired of being first-round fodder in the East, something they’d probably want to change this year. Fortunately for them, they are solidly 33-16 as of February 2nd, which is interestingly more-or-less the same mark they had on Feb. 1st, 2015, when they were 33-15. The bad news, however, is that the 2014-15 Raptors finished the season poorly (going on a 16-18 run), before getting annihilated by the Washington Wizards in the first round. If the Raptors are to avoid such a catastrophic spiral of their season, they will need to channel their beloved OVO spirit for a NOVO finish, which will give them the motivation to do better in the playoffs.

It’s not enough for them to keep chanting “We The North” when everything about their game keeps on going South in the Playoffs. That’s not acceptable, not when they boast of stellar talents like the backcourt duo of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, along with a surging Jonas Valanciunas in the middle, and strong supporting cast in Cory Joseph, Luis Scola, $60-million man DeMarre Carroll and Drake calling plays in team.

Memphis Grizzlies (+5000)

I never used to understand how the Grizzlies (29-20, No. 5 in the West) managed to win games, yet their offense is as cold as can be. Then I watched them for a couple of games and noticed how their old-school type of defense can choke down even the best of offenses. Yes, I know it didn’t work in that 50-point early season blowout to Golden State, but it has considerably improved as the season has progressed. Meanwhile, the likes of Z-Bo and Marc Gasol are starting to take more shots, something which—if improved on—could cause playoff trouble to teams like OKC and L.A Clippers, who fear their physical game.

Boston Celtics (+6600)

If there’s one team I’d seriously love to see make at least the second round of the playoffs (or even magically win the Eastern Conference), it’s this Boston team. Though they are still gelling the pieces and they lack a true Big Man scorer to dominate their opponents, Isaiah Thomas (even with his challenged verticalness) has been lights-out for his team, constantly wreaking havoc on any type of opponent. In the meantime, Jae Crowder has grown into an irreplaceable piece for the Celtics on both sides of the flow, and other young players are equally coming up. It’s looking all good, at the moment, but it is not good enough to win them the championship. Getting a couple of marquee trade deadline moves could help them impress in the playoff, but in the end, Boston (28-22, No. 4 in the East) will need to invest better in draft and future trades for a possibly bigger year in the 2016-17 season.