Follow the money. With the first quarter of the NBA season in the books, the money is flowing heavily in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets (+240 odds) and Golden State Warriors (+600), as the top two betting favorites to win the 2022 NBA championship.

Brooklyn Nets James Harden NBA 2022 Championship Odds Warriors Lakers Bucks Suns
A happy James Harden is thrilled about the Brooklyn Nets defeating the New York Knicks at Barclay’s Center. (Image: Getty)

The unstoppable Phoenix Suns won 17 games in a row, including a hyped-up matchup against the Warriors last night, yet they’re only +1100 odds to win the title over at DraftKings.

2022 NBA Championship Odds
12/1/21 10/19/21
Brooklyn Nets +240 +200
Golden State Warriors +600 +1100
Milwaukee Bucks +800 +900
LA Lakers +850 +400
Phoenix Suns +1100 +1700
Utah Jazz +1200 +1500
Miami Heat +1500 +2500
LA Clippers +1900 +1700
Philadelphia 76ers +2000 +2000
Denver Nuggets +2500 +2000
Dallas Mavericks +3500 +2800
Chicago Bulls +3500 +8000
Atlanta Hawks +4500 +4500
Boston Celtics +6000 +4000
Memphis Grizzlies +8000 +10000
New York Knicks +8000 +10000
Portland Trail Blazers +9000 +8000

Don’t overlook the Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks who won seven in a row and saw their odds bump to +800 while they attempt to defend their championship.

Top 5: Nets, Warriors, Bucks, Lakers, Suns

The Brooklyn Nets (15-6) have been the consensus favorite to win the title since the Bucks defeated the Suns in the NBA Finals last July. The Nets entered the season at +200 odds to win the championship, but dipped slightly to +240. Even without the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving, the Nets boast the top record in the Eastern Conference.

The Golden State Warriors (18-3) jumped out of the gate with a tremendous start without Klay Thompson, who is making rehab starts with their G League squad. His return is imminent. The Warriors saw their championship odds improve from +600 to +1100.

The Milwaukee Bucks (13-8) played like a team that suffered from a championship hangover in the first couple of weeks of the season. They finally found their groove, however, rattling off seven-straight wins and counting. The Bucks were +900 odds in the preseason, but you can back them at +800 odds right now.

The LA Lakers (12-11) will ride or die based on the health of LeBron James. He missed more than half the season due to ankle and ab strain injuries. To complicate matters, LeBron recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is sidelined for 10 days. The Lakers were a popular preseason pick, but their odds slipped from +400 to +850.

The Phoenix Suns (18-3) are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA once again, getting no respect from bettors. It took a 17-game winning streak to boost their odds from +1700 to +1100. The Suns won the first of two games against the Warriors this week and yet, the Warriors are still favorites to win the Pacific Division.

Baker’s dozen of futility

We’ve reached the end of the first quarter of the NBA season and the bottom 13 teams are already thinking about next season. Sure, maybe the Washington Wizards (13-8) or Charlotte Hornets (13-10) can become this year’s version of the New York Knicks and lock up the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference, but their championship aspirations are a pipe dream.

2022 NBA Championship Odds
12/1/21 10/19/21
Orlando Magic +10000 +100000
Charlotte Hornets +18000 +18000
Washington Wizards +18000 +25000
Toronto Raptors +20000 +250000
Indiana Pacers +20000 +10000
Minnesota Timberwolves +25000 +25000
Sacramento Kings +25000 +25000
New Orleans Pelicans +30000 +11000
San Antonio Spurs +40000 +35000
Cleveland Cavaliers +50000 +100000
Houston Rockets +100000 +100000
Oklahoma City Thunder +100000 +100000
Detroit Pistons +100000 +100000

The Wizards definitely turned some heads as the surprise team in the first quarter of the season. Bradley Beal has a strong supporting cast around him even though he doesn’t have another big dog to run with like John Wall or Russell Westbrook. The revamped Wiz occupy the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference and sit just two games out of first overall.