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Heat, not Spurs, is early favorite to win 2015 NBA title

Pro BasketballSan Antonio SpursMiami HeatBasketballCarmelo AnthonyNBANew York Knicks
The Heat, recently routed in NBA Finals and in danger of losing stars, still favored to win 2015 championship

The San Antonio Spurs have got to be wondering what an NBA team has to do to earn some respect from Las Vegas.

Apparently routing two-time defending champion Miami Heat by an average of 19 points in the final three games of the NBA Finals to clinch a fifth title in 15 years just isn't enough.

Because the Spurs just did all that, but still find themselves with only the second-best odds to win the championship in 2015, according to vegasinsider.com.

And adding to the insult toward the newly crowned champs, guess which team is the odds-on favorite to be hoisting the trophy after next season?

Yep, the Heat.

Miami has been given 5-2 odds to win the title, followed by the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder at 8-1. The Clippers (10-1), Indiana Pacers (15-1) and Chicago Bulls (15-1) are next.

The people who make these decisions must be assuming that the Heat's big three -- LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, all of whom can opt out of their contracts this off-season -- will decide to return. But, of course, that would leave Miami with the same star players that just got trounced by San Antonio.

So what do the oddsmakers know that we don't?

Maybe they're buying into the speculation that New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony will opt out of his contract and take his talents to South Beach. The online betting site Bovada gave SI.com 3-1 odds that Anthony will join the Heat and 1-5 odds that he won't. So there's that.

Or maybe they saw the recently concluded season as the last gasp for Tim Duncan and the aging Spurs. Or they realize that San Antonio has never won back-to-back titles.

So much is unknown at this point that there's really no safe bets. Which is why you might as well take a chance and pick Milwaukee to go all the way. Sure, it's pretty risky to bet on a team that won just 15 games in 2013-14, but you can't beat the odds -- 300-1.

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Pro BasketballSan Antonio SpursMiami HeatBasketballCarmelo AnthonyNBANew York Knicks
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