LAS VEGAS -- When we did this for the first time a year ago (well, technically it was less than 10 months ago since we had to wait until Christmas Day for the NBA season to start), we pretty much ranked the top seven teams by their future-book odds and discussed each team's chances. We didn't mean to say the Miami Heat were the best team to bet, just that they had the best odds to win the title. However, there was some confusion and in the comments section I got statements such as:
"Why Miami? absolutely no backcourt and Chris Bosh is just a wee bit better than average. Their center is 6-foot-7, and the bench is full of old, washed up players." -- smithc222
"The Heat at one??? Really???...3 deep, no defense, no bench...no championship." -- Olden_B
Never mind that the Heat ended up being the winning bet. The comments knocked the Los Angeles Lakers as the No. 2 team in the future-book odds (and assumed by many as our second choice as the best bet).
So this year we'll rank the teams by what we believe the readers are looking for: the teams representing the best betting value on the board in relation to their current odds.
Note: For bettors, the most betting value of all to bet on or against a team is the over/under season win totals that we discussed in last week's NBA preview story.