Oddsmakers not impressed with Miami Heat’s off season

The Miami Heat are getting little respect for their second half of last season and off-season signings. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat returns the core of a team that posted the second-best record in the NBA for the second half of last season plus has added two rotational players.

Yet, the Heat are receiving little respect from the oddsmakers.

The most recent odds from the online gambling site, Bovada, has the Heat listed at 66/1 to win the Eastern Conference. The odds may seem reasonable except Miami is tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference with Detroit and behind not only Cleveland, Boston, Washington, Milwaukee and Toronto, but also Philadelphia, a team that won 28 games last season.

The Heat were 41-41 and tied with Chicago for the No. 8 seed last season, losing out on a playoff spot due to a tiebreaker.

The site was not impressed with Miami’s off season, one in which it re-signed forward James Johnson and guard Dion Waiters along with adding free agent Kelly Olynyk and draft pick Bam Adebayo. The Heat’s odds to win the championship got longer since free agency started, climbing to 150/1 from 100/1.

ESPN is giving the Heat a bit more credit, an 80 to 1 chance of winning the title, which is an improvement from their opening odds of 100/1. Still, that is No. 7 in the East.

The Sixers not only have better odds than the Heat of winning the East according to both sites, but both have them fifth and Toronto No. 6. Philadelphia added No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz along with free agent JJ Redick. In addition, 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons returns after missing the entire 2016-17 season and Joel Embid, the No. 3 pick in 2014, has played just 31 games in his first three seasons.

The Warriors are favored to repeat as champions at 5 to 8 according to Bovada and 5 to 11 according to ESPN. Cleveland is No. 2 (9/2 and 4/1).

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