Both of Boston’s winter teams exited the postseason earlier than expected last season; those that did any NBA betting on the Bruins or Celtics in the second round of their league playoffs got a seven-game loss instead of a boost to the bankroll.
However, both of those clubs are in the top tier of contenders for their titles next season.
The Bruins are pegged at +1000 on the NHL odds to win the Stanley Cup in the 2009/10 campaign. Tim Thomas and company finished atop the Eastern Conference standings last season and will have much of the same roster intact next season – or at least they are hoping they will. Sniper Phil Kessel broke out with a 36-goal season in 2008/09 but the team might not be able to get the restricted free agent to agree to a contract that won’t bust their salary cap. A trade or holdout remain distinct possibilities.
The Celtics are even less lucrative on the futures market right now – they’re at +425 on the NBA odds to claim the 2009/10 championship. Boston might have picked up a memorable win in the first round against the feisty Bulls last season, but their date with LeBron James and the Cavs was blocked by a series loss to the Magic in the conference semifinals. The Celtics (and their supporters) are hoping Kevin Garnett can stay healthy this year, and that newly-signed Rasheed Wallace puts them over the top.
The only teams higher than the Celtics on the NBA’s title odds list right now are LeBron’s Cavs and the defending-champion Lakers. Cleveland sits at +325, well ahead of the team that unceremoniously bounced them from the conference finals (Orlando, at +900). Los Angeles, meanwhile, is pegged as the +250 favorite to win back-to-back titles. The addition of Ron Artest has been the Lakers’ biggest move of the offseason.
Other top contenders on the NBA title odds list include the Nuggets at +1100, the Spurs and Jazz at +1400, and the Rockets and Trail Blazers at +1800. The Mavericks, Heat, and Hornets are all pegged at +4000, with the Pistons at +4700, the Hawks and Bulls at +5000, and the Suns at +5500. The longest shots on the NBA odds list heading into the season: the Clippers, Grizzlies, Bucks, Timberwolves, and Kings, who are all at +15000.
Meanwhile, the Bruins trail five teams on the NHL’s Cup odds list: the Red Wings (+400), the Penguins (+550), the Blackhawks (+700), the Sharks (+700), and the Capitals (+900). The second tier of NHL contenders includes the Flyers (+1600), the Canucks (+1600), the Flames (+1700), and the Ducks (+1800), with the Devils at +2000. And the longshots? That would be the Thrashers and Islanders, both at +10000.
Check the BetUS NHL and NBA odds sections for the latest lines on the league futures.