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Rockets Odds: New Team, Same Story?

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For now, the Houston Rockets will enter the 2012-13 season with so many young players that we've quickly labeled Chandler Parsons a "seasoned veteran" by comparison. And yet, oddsmakers haven't seemed to mind, as the Rockets are still expected to finish, er, middle of the pack.

As in, fourteenth-pick-in-the-draft middle of the pack. Funny stuff, oddsmakers. Well done.

Here are the updated 2012-13 championship odds from Bovada:

1. Miami Heat 5/2

2. Los Angeles Lakers 3/1

3. Oklahoma City Thunder 11/2

4. Chicago Bulls 9/1

5. San Antonio Spurs 14/1

6. Dallas Mavericks 18/1

7. Los Angeles Clippers 18/1

8. Boston Celtics 25/1

9. Indiana Pacers 25/1

10. Philadelphia 76ers 25/1

11. Memphis Grizzlies 30/1

12. Brooklyn Nets 35/1

13. Denver Nuggets 35/1

14. New York Knicks 35/1

15. Orlando Magic 40/1

16. Atlanta Hawks 60/1

17. Houston Rockets 75/1

18. Portland Trailblazers 75/1

19. Utah Jazz 75/1

20. Golden State Warriors 100/1

21. Milwaukee Bucks 100/1

22. Minnesota Timberwolves 100/1

23. New Orleans Hornets 100/1

24. Phoenix Suns 100/1

25. Cleveland Cavaliers 150/1

26. Charlotte Bobcats 200/1

27. Detroit Pistons 200/1

28. Sacramento Kings 200/1

29. Toronto Raptors 200/1

30. Washington Wizards 200/1

According to these odds, the Rockets are expected to contend with a good Utah Jazz team that is continuing a successful rebuilding project of their own. They've also been given a better chance to win a title than two improved Western Conference teams in the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors.

If you ask me, of the teams on this list, I'd place Minnesota, New Orleans, Golden State, Utah, Portland and perhaps even Milwaukee ahead of the Rockets. But as young as Houston is, they've got some good pieces and you better be sure that there are still some really, really bad teams out there that may give Houston more wins than one might expect.

Who knows, maybe a team of Linsanity, Asik & Destroy, Donuts, Lambsanity and Speed Racer can wind up turning some heads. All the way to the fourteenth pick.

Just kidding. I hope.