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LeBron James’ decision makes Heat the favorite in Las Vegas

Miami now a 9-to-5 favorite to win the 2010-2011 NBA title

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Tom Donoghue/www.donoghuephotography.com

LeBron James.

Updated Friday, July 9, 2010 | 5:09 p.m.

Las Vegas already has felt reverberations from LeBron James' decision to join the Miami Heat some 2,500 miles away.

Although some sports books around town have yet to post future odds on which team will win the 2010-2011 NBA Championship, many have immediately swayed their numbers in favor of the Heat.

Lucky's, which operates the sports books at Terrible's and the Plaza, and the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook have listed the Heat as 9-to-5 favorites to win next year's title after James' decision to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Florida. As recently as July 1, Lucky's price on the Heat to win next year's championship was 7-to-1.

The Los Angeles Lakers opened as the favorite to defend their championship at Lucky's at a price of 12-to-5. After James announced his intention to go to Miami, the Lakers price jumped up to 5-to-2.

According to VegasInsider.com, the Heat had as high as 25-to-1 odds to win the title before Wade, Bosh and James committed to them. A large number of sports books have not posted NBA future odds because of the many top-tier free agents in the NBA this summer.

Lucky's and the Hilton both added to their Heat wagering menu Friday. Lucky's has set the over/under for Miami's win total next season at 62.5. Both the over and under are listed at a price of -110 (risking $1.10 to win $1). Lucky's also offers a prop asking bettors whether or not LeBron James will win a championship in the next two seasons with the "yes" listed at -200 (risking $2 to win $1) and the "no" at +175 (risking $1 to win $1.75).

The Hilton has already posted future odds on next season's eastern and western conference. The Heat come in as 1-to-2 favorites to win the East, while the Lakers are 6-to-5 in the West. Without James, the Hilton now lists the Cleveland Cavaliers as 300-to-1 to win the NBA Championship.

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