Las Vegas gives Raptors 35:1 odds at winning championship
Old 08-31-2009, 09:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Las Vegas gives Raptors 35:1 odds at winning championship

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The odds of the Raptors winning the NBA title aren’t good, but the bookies figure Toronto’s revamped roster isn’t bad, either.

In the latest numbers released by the odds-makers in Las Vegas, the Raptors have been installed as 35:1 longshots to claim the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Considering Toronto opened at 50:1, the folks in Vegas have reinforced the improved state of the Raptors.

Another telling number will be the season win total, a figure that’s expected to get posted next month.

It’s not a stretch to suggest the Raptors are capable of winning 50 games in an Eastern Conference that is shaping up to be very competitive and compelling.


The reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers are the overwhelming picks by Vegas to repeat, even though no team has defended the title since the Lakers’ run of three successive championships (2000-02).

L.A. has added Ron Artest, who basically replaces Trevor Ariza, but Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger and his durability looms as a crucial issue this season.

The Lakers opened as 3:1 picks to win it all and the current odds have slightly improved to 5:2.

Cleveland comes second at 3:1, followed by Boston (9:2), Orlando (5:1), San Antonio (6:1), Denver (8:1), Dallas (10:1) and Utah (10:1).

At the bottom end of the betting spectrum are teams such as Sacramento and Minnesota, both prohibitive longshots at 250:1.

A team that has caught the eye of Vegas are the Washington Wizards, who opened at 50:1, but currently sit at 30:1.

The Wizards won’t win games based on their defence, but the team promises to score a lot of points.

With Flip Saunders in charge and with the additions of Mike Miller and Randy Foye, Washington figures to be there with the likes of the Raptors, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers.

The wild card in Washington remains Gilbert Arenas and his surgically repaired knee.

Earning their Spurs

San Antonio knew it had to spend money this off-season following its early exit in last year’s post-season.

Given its market size, the Spurs have historically resisted the urge to exceed the league’s tax threshold.

But desperate times call for desperate measures. In this case, the Spurs had to pay the price to keep pace.

“The face of the league has changed significantly over the last two years,’’ head coach Gregg Popovich said. “We’ve hung in there as long as we can. And this year we’re going to have to spend money like some other people."

To their credit, the Spurs recognized their vulnerability and addressed issues best accomplished by spending money.

In the case of acquiring Richard Jefferson, that meant taking on a contract that still has two years and some $30 million US remaining.

San Antonio had to find a complement for Tim Duncan and dangled its mid-level exception.

For roughly $6 million, the team lured Antonio McDyess.

It’ll be interesting to see if the suits at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Limited ever see fit to allow Bryan Colangelo to go over the tax and pay the punitive dollar-for-dollar penalty.

State of turmoil

A mess may not properly describe the state of the Golden State Warriors, whose history of mismanagement and miscalculation is laughable.

Stephen Jackson has improved his image and his game, but he wasn’t worth the four-year extension that guarantees him $35 million.

Jackson now wants out and says he wants to be traded to either Cleveland or to one of the three Texas-based franchises.

Good luck.

Marco Belinelli is doing cartwheels somewhere in Italy because he knows he won’t be returning to the zoo by the Bay Area.

And to think basketball was rejuvenated in Oakland during the Warriors’ memorable and historical opening-round upset of Dallas in the 2006 playoffs.

As currently constituted, the Warriors are on the verge of becoming the new Los Angeles Clippers.

CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - Basketball - NBA Toronto: Roster changes improve Raps' odds
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cleveland at better odds than Boston, Orlando and San Antonio?
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cleveland at better odds than Boston, Orlando and San Antonio?
Everyone's got a hard on for Fat Shaq? I don't get it, this isn't 2004.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Jeff, Shaq is not fat. He's still pretty damn cut actually.

Moreso, he's another big in the East and Dwight won't be able to simply out muscle him as he did Zydrunas and Varejao.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm still of the opinion that Big-Z was more suited to Lebron's game and that having Shaq down low will actually make it harder for Lebron to get inside.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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But it will also make it more easier for him operate from the outside and play more a traditional inside outside game. Plus, I think Shaq will be able to create more space for LeBron to go to work.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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keep in mind that these odds are not "out of the blue", but a direct result of how many people bet at a certain price point. The fact that our odds have improved so much is a direct result of lots of people feeling that 50:1 is good odds for the bettor.

that being said, last season I'm pretty sure we've started at 20:1.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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30:1 is good enough for me! GO RAPTORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm still of the opinion that Big-Z was more suited to Lebron's game and that having Shaq down low will actually make it harder for Lebron to get inside.
speaking of Big Z, where is he now?
wasnt he a FA this summer?
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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speaking of Big Z, where is he now?
wasnt he a FA this summer?

Nope. He has an option, but he's not taking it.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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35:1 is insane for the Raps lol.... I'd put them around 50 or 60 to 1.

The Spurs are a great bet at 6 to 1. That would be the one I'd be laying money on.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Apparently next week the odds on team wins will be out. That'll be interesting.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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utah? eh? 10:1? as if.
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