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Vegas Has No Love for the Kings

How bad does Vegas think the Kings will be? Only two teams -- Oklahoma City and Memphis -- have longer odds to win the 2008-09 championship, according to Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune. The Kings are etched in at 125/1 odds. OKC is at 200/1, and Memphis is at a hilarious 300/1.

This isn't 100% lack of faith in the Kings -- small-market teams get less action, and thus lower odds, across the board. Siler notes Utah has 18/1 odds, despite two straight Conference Finals visits. Portland's at 12/1 with Phoenix, New Orleans is at 8/1.

There also the matter of conference strength: while the East continues to be bolstered at the top, the depth is clearly stronger in the West. So there will be an artificial discount on Western teams because the gulf between them (us?) and the top of the conference is great. There's basically no chance the Kings or Grizz can get to the Finals, let alone win them. In the East, it's easier to imagine lower teams do something fancy and race through the conference to the Finals, where I suppose anything can happen.

But ... Vegas says we have a bottom five team in our town. A few well-meaning, realist pundits have said the same. What do you think?