Las Vegas Predicts Miami Heat as Third-Most Likely Team to Win Eastern Conference

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The Miami Heat will enter the 2015-16 season with championship aspirations, according to oddsmakers.

Despite the 2014-15 Heat finishing last season without a postseason appearance, this year’s squad will have high expectations following one of the better offseasons of any team in the league. According to offshore bookmaker, Miami is considered the eighth-most likely team to win the 2016 NBA Finals at 20-to-1 betting odds.

The most remarkable aspect is the increase in the Heat’s championship betting odds since the 2015 NBA Finals concluded in June. On June 17th, Miami had 33-to-1 odds before dipping down to 40-to-1 odds on July 6th. As of October 2nd, they obviously have made strides in terms of championship odds.

Presently speaking, the Heat are now the third-most favored team to win the Eastern Conference. The defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, are favored to repeat this season, while the Chicago Bulls are considered the second-most likely team to win the conference.

With one of the most well-rounded starting lineups in the NBA, and a bench that now features high-caliber players such as Amar’e Stoudemire and Gerald Green, along with rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson, the Heat have become a trendy pick to contend with the Cavaliers in the East this upcoming season.

While all of the preseason hoopla is a nice touch, the only thing that will matter is how this year’s squad actually performs on the court.

Heat Nation will have its first look at the 2015-16 Heat when they take on the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena this Sunday at 6 p.m. EST.
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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.