sportsbooks are complicated places

There are so many numbers on the walls. – photo via bangthebook.com

In its latest posting of odds, at least one Las Vegas oddsmaker, Cantor Race & Sports, believes that the Cleveland Cavaliers will make the playoffs.  At 75/1, the Cavaliers are getting identical odds with the Atlanta Hawks to win the NBA Championship, both with the 6th best chances of teams the Eastern Conference to walk away next season hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy and hosting a parade. 

The opening odds for the Cleveland Cavaliers were 100/1, which changed after the Bynum trade and also the supertrade between the Celtics and Nets changed the landscape of the Eastern Conference.    Also that Sergey Karasev has dominated the World University Games over the past two weeks in Kazan, Russia, leading the Russian team to a Gold medal with otherworldly per 36 minute statistics. 

Significantly, it also takes into account the Cavaliers or some other team’s chances of defeating the two time champion Miami Heat so that the Cavaliers would come out of the Eastern Conference.    This takes into account concerns about the Cavaliers health last season, most notably the health of Andrew Bynum, the newest Cavalier.   Clearly, Vegas believes in Chris Grant’s roster and improvement from the team that won just 24 games in 2012-13.


This is the first year in which the NBA Summer League concludes its calendar with the NCAA-style seeding and single elimination game tournament.  Out of 22 teams participating in the tournament, the Cavaliers finished a 3 game pool play series seeded 7th, and despite some offensive struggles have played a stout defense in arriving at this respectable seed which has made them an actual contender for the Summer League Championship.   This is without either of the 2013 first round picks, Anthony Bennett, whos rehabilitating from a shoulder injury and Sergey Kasarev who has been busy at age 19, as the best player on Russia’s National Team.  This is with Dion Waiters, who, despite a hyper-aggressive offensive approach, has struggled with a cold shooting hand.  

Some of the strategy employed by the Cavaliers includes elements of Mike Brown’s defensive schemes, including having the team’s center, now Tyler Zeller, to pop out to the top of the key on defense and return to the post.  Although few of the Summer Cavaliers will play with the team in October when the season opens, there are points of progress being made on a smaller level.  But if Waiters can regain his stroke, the Cavaliers have a chance at piledriving their way through 4 wins and taking this tournament.

And just the day after the oddsmakers have speculated the Cavaliers into the playoffs, the summer Cavs will test the San Antonio Spurs summer squad in that push summer glory.