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Rubio's Arrival To Alter NBA Betting Odds For Timberwolves

Look at any sports books' odds on the 2012 NBA season, and the Minnesota Timberwolves will be listed somewhere near, or at, the bottom. The Timberwolves have been the laughingstock of the league since they traded Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics.

In the time since that acquisition, the Celtics have vaulted to the top of the betting choices when it comes to winning a championship. Boston has already won one title with Garnett, and they came close two seasons ago when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Although Minnesota may still be in the lower half of the betting odds when the season starts, there will be reasons that underdog gamblers may take a chance on the T-Wolves. Ricky Rubio, the teams number one pick two seasons ago, has decided to leave Barcelona and head to the NBA. The guard is considered to be the best thing to arrive in Minnesota since Garnett.

In addition to Rubio, the Timberwolves have Kevin Love, perhaps the most dominant force on the boards in the NBA. With the combination of Love and Rubio, Minnesota fans can start getting excited enough to believe the team may be able to make a run for the playoffs as early as next season.

Minnesota will not vault to the top of the odds makers' list, with the Miami Heat, the Celtics, and the Lakers still holding down those positions. Defending champion Dallas is also considered a high choice to win back-to-back titles. That is, if there even is an NBA season this year. A lockout looms, and an abbreviated season could put a damper on gambling in 2012.

Sports books are facing their worst nightmare already this summer. If the NFL and its players cannot get together on a new collective bargaining agreement, the NFL lockout could force the elimination of games, causing sports books in Las Vegas to lose millions of dollars every week. The NBA faces a similar work stoppage, but NBA betting does not provide but a small fraction of wagering in Sin City compared to the NFL.

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