MIAMI ( – Both sides have yet to finalize the agreed upon collective bargaining agreement, but that hasn’t stopped the odds makers from declaring the Miami Heat as the team to beat in 2012.

According to’s odds makers, the Heat is a 9-4 favorite to win the 2012 NBA Finals and have an over/under of 49 wins in the 66-game shortened season.

After the Heat, next five favorites to win the championship include: Los Angeles Lakers (5/1); Chicago Bulls (7/1); Oklahoma City Thunder (15/2); and the defending champion Dallas Mavericks (17/2).

At the other end of the spectrum, ranked the following teams with the lowest chances of winning the NBA championship: Charlotte Bobcats; Cleveland Cavaliers; Minnesota Timberwolves; Sacramento Kings; and Washington Wizards; all of the teams face 150/1 odds from

For the Heat, the biggest question will be who surrounds the Big Three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

The Heat need a decent starting center and could use help on the perimeter and at point guard.

But, with money tight in the new rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the Heat are going to have to pull off quite a sell on any of the big name free agents who have expressed interest in joining the Heat.


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