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Heat favored over Cavaliers and Raptors to win NBA title next season

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Westgate SuperBook gives Miami 20/1 chance to win championship in 2019.

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat - Game Four Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Miami Heat are favored over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors to win next season’s NBA title per the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Bettors give the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics the best odds at 7/2 and 8/1 respectively, followed the Heat at 20/1, among the Eastern Conference teams, to win it all.

Something may be going on behind the scenes when Vegas believes the Heat’s prospects are better than generally believed by most media commentators.

Time to go past obsessing about the 2017-18 season, which ended over a month ago for Miami, and figure out why Westgate gives only four teams a greater chance than the Heat to win the championship next season.

The odds seem to factor in that LeBron James might leave the Land to join the 76ers, the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, the Heat or the San Antonio Spurs, whose coach, Gregg Popovich, he admires.

ESPN said the oddsmaker will adjust the odds higher on the teams James doesn’t sign with once his decision is made.

“When you have LeBron in free agency, you have to be careful,” Westgate SuperBook oddsmaker John Murray told ESPN. “You’ve got Philadelphia, Miami, the Lakers and even Houston as potential destinations [outside of Cleveland]. We cut all of those teams’ odds down, and we’ll raise back up the teams he doesn’t sign with.”

One site says the 76ers at +150, top the Cavs +175, for James being on their team next season, with the Rockets, +250, and Lakers, +550, next closest in line before the 2018 free agency mayhem begins.