The new look Miami Heat have a record of 5-2 for the year. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh worked the free agency system this summer to potentially create a superpower and the trio have contracts that guarantee them a combined $327m over six years.
Miami had a disastrous start to the season losing 88-80 to Boston in their very first game. The Celtics came out firing from the opening tip and were always in control. LeBron James received a hostile reception from the Boston faithful who applauded his every missed shot.
The Heat have generated a great deal of resentment from the other teams in the league. There is a real perception that Miami has attempted to "buy" the NBA championship by signing three of the best players in the world. LeBron James has taken the brunt of the criticism as a result of his departure from Cleveland. The Cavalier fans have bombarded him on Twitter with unpleasant comments.
James has taken all the negativity in his stride and deep down I think he is enjoying his new role as the villain of the NBA. Miami will find life a lot harder on the road than most teams this year. Every team in the league wants to defeat the new bad boys of basketball.
From what I've seen so far, the Heat have a lot of work to do to win the NBA championship. The rotation is disjointed and there is no real system in place. Incredibly, they do not have a true point guard.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra needs to stamp his authority on the team and implement his own ideas. He will not last very long in the job if he lets the "big three" run the show on their own.
This team has way too much talent not to be successful but they may be vulnerable in the short term. I think this is the right time to lay them, particularly on the road. The Heat have to travel to Memphis,Orlando and Dallas at the end of the month and I think they will lose at least two or possibly all three of those tricky fixtures.
The Memphis Grizzlies have the talented Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph in the rotation. Randolph is an excellent low post player who could hurt Miami inside. The Heat will be heavily favoured for this game but the Grizzlies have a legitimate chance to spring the upset.
The Orlando Magic are unbeaten in their new facility this season and are leading the Eastern Conference. The Magic are one of the elite teams in basketball and will be very difficult to beat. Dwight Howard and company have started the season well and look like championship contenders.
The Dallas Mavericks are one of the most experienced teams in the league and will not be intimidated by Miami. Point guard Jason Kidd could really hurt them with his superb ball distribution. The Mavs are playing some decent basketball and beat Boston on Monday night.
The Miami Heat are under enormous pressure to deliver a championship this year. They are currently priced at 2.88 to win the NBA title. This price hardly represents value for a team that has only been together a few weeks.
By Nick Shiambouros
(read more at betting.betfair.com)