Miami Heat are favourites to win the NBA in 2013/14 but there could be some value in backing the Chicago Bulls at three times the price. The Bulls look to have benefitted most from off-season trades and they have the ability to be the best side in North America for the first time since 1998. Only the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have won more league championships than the Bulls but this could be the season when they are the best team in the league for seventh time in their history.
The side from Miami have been made favourites as they have the best overall record in NBA over the last three years. They are the current champions, won the title in 2012 and lost in the play-off final to Dallas the previous season. Eight of the 30 franchises have never been champions and the odds are very long that there is a first time winner this season.
The NBA is the most lucrative and famous basketball league in the world and with the Pre-Season now taking place focus of attention will turn from baseball to this sport. The National Basketball Association is the governing body of the sport in North America and covers 30 franchises in cities across the United States and Canada. Bet Enthusiast will cover this sport but not until the end of October at least at which point we will have some relevant scoring data.
Basketball is all about numbers so the sport lends itself to handicap and totals betting but it is also possible to bet on the money line. Matches are played in quarters of 12 minutes and all the betting options are available for each quarter. Half point handicap and totals odds are quoted to prevent the tie. UK bookies usually follow the Vegas lines which are subject to significant fluctuations, often due to injury news.
The NBA is part of the quartet of sports in North America that also includes baseball, ice hockey and American Football. Baseball has now reached the post season but the autumn and winter months are the busiest for North American sports fans as the three other sports take place. NBA players are the highest paid sportsmen in the world, based on annual average earnings for each player.
As in the other US sports the draft system is a key element of the league. This is a process by which teams make picks from rookie and college players. The purpose of the draft is to make each season competitive and prevents a situation that occurs in many soccer leagues in which only a small number of teams can be champions. However, the process has not prevented Los Angeles winning five titles since 2000 and San Antonio winning three championships over the same spell.
One element of the draft is a lottery which determines a team’s ranking. This is weighted so that the team with the poorest record from the previous season has the best chance of recruiting the better picks. The lottery is open to the non-play off teams which did not qualify for the previous post season. By definition the lottery teams will be the weakest and hence the draft helps to equalise relative standards of sides from one season to the next. After the draft for the upcoming season the franchise in Chicago looks well placed to again win the league championship.