Las Vegas has the Dallas Mavericks at 30/1 to win the NBA championship in 2015. That puts seven NBA franchises in front of (or tied with) the Mavericks, including the favorite Cleveland Cavaliers at just 3/1. It looks to be worth a gamble on the Mavs, who you’ll remember, were the only team to give eventual champ San Antonio (4/1) any trouble at all in last year’s playoffs, pushing the Spurs to 7 games. That’s right last year’s Mavs were just a game away from knocking out the Spurs and maybe taking their own easy ride to the prize.
This year the Mavs are stronger. Nowitzki had his best year since the 2011 championship season last year, and Dallas brought big Tyson Chandler back to patrol the paint. Newcomer Chandler Parsons gives them a lot on both ends and Jameer Nelson is a winner with an attitude that will work well for this well-run organization. Coach Rick Carlisle has the players’ respect. The team is healthy and Monta Ellis, who can score in buckets, should have a monster year. Last season was his best, most controlled effort to date. The Clippers, Bulls, Thunder, Spurs, Rockets all will cost you more in a wager before the season starts. Ten bucks on the Mavs right now could pay $300 in June.