2016 NBA title odds: Vegas says LeBron's Cavaliers are favorites

The Westgate LV SuperBook on Monday opened betting on the 2016 NBA title, and Cleveland - not Golden State - is the clear favorite. The book opened the Cavaliers at 9-to-4, followed by the Warriors and Thunder at 5-to-1.

"You're seeing what the Cavs are doing right now without their second- and third-best players," SuperBook director Jay Kornegay told CBSSports.com. "With LeBron James carrying the entire team on his back, they're pushing the current best team to six or seven games in the NBA Finals.

"Not only do we expect [Kevin] Love and [Kyrie] Irving to be back, you've got to expect they're going to add a couple role players to make them deeper for the long playoff run."

There's a sizable gap between the Cavs and the Warriors/Thunder, and another big gap between those two and the other contenders. The book pegged the Clippers at 10-to-1, the Spurs and Bulls at 12-to-1. and the Hawks, Pelicans and Rockets at 20-to-1.

"The Thunder could easily make a run," Kornegay said. "It's going to be interesting to see what kind of chemistry [new coach] Billy Donovan has with the players. It could be terrific, or it could be oil and water.

"The Clippers need stronger bench play and they could easily take care of that this offseason," Kornegay added. "Take the heat off that starting five."

The Cavs' odds are lower because they get to play in the East. The NBA is looking into a new playoff format but changes aren't expected soon.

"When you look at what Cleveland has to face in the playoffs, that's definitely part of it," Kornegay said. "They don't have to go through the Thunder, Clippers and Spurs just to reach the Finals."

Here are opening odds to win the NBA title, followed by odds to win each conference:

CAVALIERS 9-4
WARRIORS 5
THUNDER 5
CLIPPERS 10
SPURS 12
BULLS 12
HAWKS 20
PELICANS 20
ROCKETS 20
WIZARDS 30
PACERS 30
GRIZZLIES 30
RAPTORS 30
BLAZERS 40
MAVERICKS 40
HEAT 30
CELTICS 80
BUCKS 80
PISTONS 80
JAZZ 80
SUNS 80
LAKERS 80
NUGGETS 80
KNICKS 80
NETS 100
KINGS 100
76ERS 200
MAGIC 200
WOLVES 200
HORNETS 200

EASTERN CONFERENCE

CAVALIERS 5-9
BULLS 11-2
HAWKS 9
WIZARDS 14
PACERS 14
RAPTORS 14
HEAT 14
CELTICS 35
BUCKS 35
PISTONS 35
KNICKS 35
NETS 45
76ERS 80
MAGIC 80
HORNETS 80

WESTERN CONFERENCE

WARRIORS 5-2
THUNDER 5-2
CLIPPERS 5
SPURS 6
PELICANS 10
ROCKETS 10
GRIZZLIES 15
BLAZERS 20
MAVERICKS 20
JAZZ 40
SUNS 40
LAKERS 40
NUGGETS 40
KINGS 50
WOLVES 100

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