The NBA regular season concluded last night and the Brooklyn Nets are the consensus favorites to win the 2021 championship. You can back the Nets right now at +250 odds to win the NBA championship on the futures board over at DraftKings.
The Los Angeles Lakers (+400 odds) and LA Clippers (+500 odds) are also among the top-three title favorites, despite the fact that neither team is among the top-three seeds in the Western Conference playoffs.
The NBA Playoffs commence this weekend with the play-in tournament tipping off on Tuesday.
|2021 NBA Championship Odds|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+6000||+6000||+3000|
|New York Knicks||+10000||+25000||+30000|
|Golden State Warriors||+10000||+8000||+8000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000||+15000||+20000|
With the play-in tournament, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers could actually bubble the playoffs. If the Lakers lose the Seven-Eight Game, and then lose the second play-in game against the Nine-Ten Game winner.
Favorites: Nets, Lakers, Clippers
Brooklyn Nets (+250)… The Nets and 76ers were jockeying for the #1 seed in the East over the last month of the season, but the Nets settled on the #2 seed. The Big Three only appeared in eight games together, yet the collection of superheroes known as the Brooklyn Nets are still the big favorite to win the championship at +250 odds. Kyrie Irving (mental health), James Harden (hamstring), and Kevin Durant (calf/hamstring) all missed chunks of time this season with numerous injuries, PTO, and load management. But will their lack of chemistry and bad defense bite them in the arse in the postseason?
LA Lakers (+400)… The Lakers were at the top of the futures board all season, trailing only the Brooklyn Nets after LeBron James missed significant time with a severely sprained ankle. Even though the Lakers slipped to the #7 spot in the Western Conference and headed to the play-in tournament, they’re the second-highest team on the NBA futures board behind the Nets at +400 odds to pull off a repeat. Even with a banged-up LeBron and Anthony Davis, there’s still significant money pouring in on the Lakers to win back-to-back titles.
LA Clippers (+500)… The Clippers have the #4 seed in the West. Head coach Ty Lue won a title with the Cleveland Cavs, so he’s used to managing a lot of big egos while making a deep playoff run. The team ditched the Kawhi-haters (e.g. Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams). Paul George (23.3 ppg, 6.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists) is playing his best hoops since joining the Clippers. PG-13 is in a much better headspace compared to last season when he struggled with mental health issues and played a terrible postseason inside the NBA Playoff Bubble in Orlando.
Hopefuls: Jazz, 76ers, Bucks
Utah Jazz (+700)… The Utah Jazz are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA this season. They don’t get any respect! The Jazz (52-20) posted the best record in the NBA and snatched the #1 seed in the Western Conference, yet are only +700 odds to win the championship. Donovan ‘Spida’ Mitchell unleashed a couple of monstrous games last postseason and he’s ready to unleash another 50-point barrage.
Philadelphia 76ers (+700)… Joel Embiid and the 76ers secured the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, where the Nets are getting all the love and attention. Ben Simmons disappeared in the postseason over the past couple of years, but he’s ready to redeem himself. The 76ers (25-7) had the second-best home record in the NBA this season, and the top home record in the East, so the #1 seed will be crucial for an inevitable showdown against the #2 seed Brooklyn Nets. The 76ers are +700 odds to win the NBA championship as the #1 seed in the East.
Milwaukee Bucks (+800)… The Bucks secured the #3 seed in the East. They had the NBA’s best record in the previous two seasons, but never made it to the NBA Finals. Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo had an unimpressive run in the postseason over the past two years. He’s determined to prove his worth. Head coach Mike Budenholzer also knows his job is on the line. He’ll most likely get fired if the Bucks fail to win the Eastern Conference and reach the NBA Finals. The Bucks are flying under the radar, which is why they offer tremendous value at +800 odds to win the NBA championship.
Extreme Valuetown: Suns, Nuggets, Heat, Blazers
Phoenix Suns (+1800)… The Suns locked up the #2 seed in the West. Adding Chris Paul to the Suns propelled them to elite status in the tough Western Conference. This could be the long-awaited superstar debut for Devin Booker, who gets more attention for dating Kendall Jenner than for becoming one of the elite scorers in the NBA. The Suns are a great value pick at +1800 odds to win the championship, but they lack postseason experience.
Denver Nuggets (+3000)… Nikola Jokic proved he’s worthy of the MVP after the Nuggets didn’t skip a beat when they lost second-leading scorer Jamal Murray to a season-ending knee injury. The rise of Michael Porter, Jr also helped the Nugs secure the #3 seed in the West. The Nugs went all the way to the Western Conference finals last season before the Lakers ended their magical postseason run. The Nuggets are worthy of a flier at +3000 odds to win the championship because when you have the league MVP on your team, you have a shot at winning a title.
Miami Heat (+3000)… The Miami Heat avoided the play-in tournament and locked up the #6 seed in the East. Jimmy Butler will have to carry the Heat on his back once again after they lost Victor Oladipo to a season-ending injury.
Portland Trail Blazers (+6000)… The healthy Blazers are the #6 seed in the West and ready for another showdown against the Nuggets. Damian Lillard (28.8 ppg) finished third in scoring this season. CJ McCollum shook off the rust after returning from a fractured foot injury. Carmelo Anthony still has gas left in the tank.
Dreamers: Mavs, Celtics, Knicks, Warriors, Wiz, Hawks
Dallas Mavericks (+5000)… Luka Doncic and the Mavs hold the #5 seed in the West. They have a tough matchup against the LA Clippers in the first round.
Boston Celtics (+5000)… The banged-up Celtics lost Jaylen Brown for the season with a gnarly wrist injury. Unless Jayson Tatum can score 60 points every night, the Celtics won’t last long. They’re headed to the play-in tournament as the #7 team in the Eastern Conference. They’ll square off against the hot Washington Wizards in the Seven-Eight Game.
New York Knicks (+10000)… The Knicks won 41 games and secured the #4 seed thanks to NBA MIP Julius Randle and a deep bench spearheaded by Derrick Rose. No one expected that, not even if you believe in the multi-universe theory. The Knicks finally snapped a 10-year playoff drought. Can they win a series?
Atlanta Hawks (+10000)… Trae Young and the Hawks have the #5 seed in the East and are headed to MSG to play the Knicks in the first round.
Golden State Warriors (+10000)… Steph Curry and the Warriors are the #8 team in the West and face LeBron and the Lakers in the Seven-Eight Game in the play-in tournament.
Washington Wizards (+25000)… The Wizards were dead in the water a couple of weeks ago, or so we thought. Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook guided the Wiz to the #8 spot and a berth in the play-in tournament. The Wiz are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now and I wouldn’t want to face them in the playoffs, even with Beal nursing a hamstring injury.
Moonshots: Grizzlies, Pacers, Hornets, Spurs
Memphis Grizzlies (+25000)… Ja Morant and the Grizzlies are the #9 team in the West and are headed to the Nine-Ten Game against the slumping San Antonio Spurs.
San Antonio Spurs (+50000)… The Spurs dropped five games in a row and are lucky that Zion Williamson fractured his finger in the last week of the season because the Pelicans would’ve caught the Spurs and the #10 spot in the West.
Indiana Pacers (+50000)… The Pacers are the #9 team in the East and will meet the Charlotte Hornets in the Nine-Ten Game. The Pacers hate their rookie head coach Nate Bjorksen, who already updated his resume and knows he’ll be looking for a job as soon as Indiana is eliminated from the postseason.
Charlotte Hornets (+50000)… LaMelo Ball will win Rookie of the Year, but can he help the Hornets pull off a sick upset in the postseason by winning the Play-in Tournament in the East to snag the #8 seed?