The new NBA season tips off in a month and training camps open this week. And, before a single player takes the court, the betting public is making its presence known, backing the Brooklyn Nets at +200 odds and Los Angeles Lakers at +400 odds as favorites to win the 2022 NBA Championship.

LA Lakers Russell Westbrook 2022 NBA Futures Championship Odds Bucks Nets
Russell Westbrook joined the Los Angeles Lakers in an offseason trade to create an elite All-Star squad in Tinseltown alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. (Image: LA Lakers)

The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, the third-highest team on the futures board according to DraftKings, are +900 odds to win back-to-back NBA titles.

The Knicks were the surprise team last season, but Julius Randle and the Knicks failed to show up in the playoffs. They upgraded their backcourt with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, but remain a championship long shot at +10000

Alphas: Nets, Lakers, Bucks

The Nets have a headache brewing due to the anti-vaccination stance from Kyrie Irving, who might have to sit out home games according to New York City’s COVID-19 health codes regarding indoor venues. Yet, despite that thorny situation, the Nets are still the consensus favorite to win the 2022 NBA championship at +200 odds.

The Lakers added Russell Westbrook in the offseason to create a Super Big 3 with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers also added Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony, but if both LeBron and Davis can remain healthy throughout the playoffs, we like the Lakers to win their second title in the last three seasons.

2022 NBA Championship Odds – Top 10
  • Brooklyn Nets +200
  • LA Lakers +400
  • Milwaukee Bucks +900
  • Golden State Warriors +1100
  • Utah Jazz +1500
  • LA Clippers +1700
  • Phoenix Suns +1700
  • Philadelphia 76ers +2000
  • Denver Nuggets +2000
  • Miami Heat +2500

The Golden State Warriors expect Klay Thompson to join the team eventually. He missed time with ACL and Achilles injuries, and it’s been a while since the Splash Brothers were on the court at the same time. The Warriors are +1100 odds to win the title, but that feels more like a sentimental wager from fans hoping Steph Curry and the Warriors can win their fourth title since 2015.

Rising stars: Luka, Trae, Zion

The Dallas Mavericks overhauled their front office and added a new head coach with Jason Kidd. The Mavs even ditched their analytics department spearheaded by Haralabos Voulgaris. With Luka Doncic at the helm, there are strong expectations for the Mavericks to go deep into the playoffs. You can back the Mavs at +2800 odds to win the title, but their future hinges on the health status of the Unicorn, aka Kristaps Porzingis. If the Mavs can trade Porzingis, we’d like their title chances even more.

2022 NBA Championship Odds – Hopefuls
  • Dallas Mavericks +2800
  • Atlanta Hawks +3500
  • Boston Celtics +4000
  • Chicago Bulls +8000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +8000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +10000
  • New York Knicks +10000
  • Indiana Pacers +10000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +11000
  • Charlotte Hornets +18000

Trae Young emerged as New York City’s newest villain when he led the Atlanta Hawks to a series victory over the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. The young Hawks are +3500 odds to win the title this season.

Zion Williamson started his first season late due to a knee injury. He ended his second season prematurely with a broken finger. The Pelicans hoped to have a healthy Zion for a full season, but the team disclosed he fractured his foot in the offseason. Zion expects to be ready at the start of the season, but the rash of injuries is a concern. The Pelicans added a new head coach with Willie Green after Stan Van Gundy lasted just one season in the Big Easy, but the Pels are still a long shot on the board at +11000 odds.

Bottom Feeders

Bradley Beal is back to being a one-man show in DC after the Washington Wizards traded Westbrook to the Lakers. The Wizards are the best of a sorry bunch, but save your money and don’t fire away at any championships wagers on the worst 10 teams in the league.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have yet to put together a juicy enough package to acquire Ben Simmons in a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, but even if they add him to the roster, you’d be foolish to consider a championship bet on them at +25000 odds.

2022 NBA Championship Odds – Bottom 10
  • Washington Wizards +25000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +25000
  • Toronto Raptors +25000
  • Sacramento Kings +25000
  • San Antonio Spurs +35000
  • Detroit Pistons +100000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +100000
  • Houston Rockets +100000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +100000
  • Orlando Magic +100000

Five teams have odds that are +100000. Bookies have zero faith in the Pistons, Cavs, Rockets, Thunder, and Magic making a title run, let alone securing a playoff bid.

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