Cavaliers open NBA season as Championship favourites
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | October 27, 2015
Bulls face Cleveland in Conference semi rematch
The 2015/16 NBA season gets underway on Tuesday night with the Chicago Bulls playing host to the defending Eastern Conference champions Cleveland Cavaliers as 3.5-point favourites with Coral.
Chicago look to avenge their loss to Cleveland in last campaign’s Conference semi-final, which marked the fourth straight season that they failed to advance past the second round.
However, hope springs eternal in Chicago, with former MVP Derrick Rose expected to be in the opening night lineup despite his ongoing recovery from an orbital bone fracture that has impacted his vision.
The Bulls open the new campaign with strong 12/1 odds of winning their first NBA title since 1998, but trail the favoured Cavaliers in Central Division futures betting, with 7/2 odds, while Rose trails the favourites in MVP betting, at 33/1.
Cleveland open the season as strong 5/2 NBA championship favourites after coming short in last season’s NBA Finals, falling in six games to the Golden State Warriors.
LeBron favourite for MVP accolade
LeBron James also leads the way in MVP betting with 2/1 odds, and will be joined on the court on Tuesday night by Kevin Love, who missed time during the playoffs with a shoulder injury. Kyrie Irving remains sidelined as he recovers from knee surgery.
The Golden State Warriors will raise their first championship banner in four decades on Tuesday night, before taking on the New Orleans Pelicans as 9.5-point favourites.
Reigning MVP Steph Curry leads a Warriors lineup that returns largely intact, joined by Splash Brother Klay Thompson and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. However, the club opens the season trailing Cleveland on the NBA championship odds, at 4/1, and are second to the San Antonio Spurs in Western Conference futures betting, pegged at 5/2.
GSW meets a Pelicans squad that looks poised to take the next step this season. Led by phenom Anthony Davis, the Pelicans won 45 games last season, sneaking past Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the West.
Davis is a solid 5/1 bet to earn MVP honours this season, while the Pelicans are an intriguing 20/1 bet to win their first Western Conference title.
The Spurs open their season on Wednesday night, visiting Oklahoma City to battle the Thunder as 5.5-point underdogs.
Spurs joint-second favourites for title
San Antonio look to bounce back from an early playoff exit last season, and open the campaign alongside the Warriors with 4/1 odds of winning their fifth title since 2003.
The Thunder return after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both healthy, OKC is a heavy 1/33 favourite to win the Northwest, while Durant and Westbrook join the MVP favourites with 4/1 and 10/1 odds, respectively.
However, Oklahoma City has struggled against the Spurs, going 3-6 SU and ATS in their last nine meetings, dating back to their meeting in the 2014 NBA playoffs.
In other NBA opening night betting action at Coral, the Atlanta Hawks play host to the Detroit Pistons as 6.5-point chalk on Wednesday night, while the Miami Heat are favoured by 6.5 over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, and the Toronto Raptors open their home schedule as 5.5-point chalk against the Indiana Pacers.
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