According to online gambling site Bovada, the Houston Rockets are 150/1 to shock the world and win the NBA Championship. The line opened at +30000 but is now down to +15000 a day before the first game of the series.
They are 75/1 to come out of the Western Conference.
Even with the appealing odds, you'd have to be a complete degenerate (and possibly clinically insane) to throw down a couple bucks on James Harden's gang. I'd be surprised if Houston gets more than a game on the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the first round.
Mainly because of their laziness, the Rockets have one of the worst transition defense in the league, while the Warriors score a league-leading 20.9 fast break points per game. Also, the Rockets cough the ball up 16 times per game and Golden State will certainly take advantage of the Rockets' turnovers.
As Matt Moore of CBS Sports said, "[The Rockets] have the mental fortitude of a five-year-old upset someone tore down his blanket fort, which is appropriate since that's about as much resistance as their defense offers."
The case for Houston stealing a couple of games is if "Playoff Dwight" shows up and the Rockets actually give him the ball. Plus James Harden has to go absolutely nuts and drop 50 points in a couple of games. It also wouldn't hurt if Steph Curry or Draymond Green tweaked a hamstring.
If you're into prop bets, a tasty one is the "Average Points Per Game" line for Dwight Howard. The line is set at 13.5, which seems low to me. Howard, who is averaging 13.7 points per game this year, has been a tremendous playoff player for Houston. Just two years ago, he scored 26 points per game in the playoffs. In three regular season games against Golden State, he has recorded 15.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. If you're a betting man, take the over.