5 Teams With The Best Odds To Win 2021 NBA Championship
Despite the craziness and unpredictability of the past year, the NBA season has found a way to progress, albeit a small outbreak of COVID-19 sidelining players and, in some cases, teams for weeks at a time.
Fans enjoyed the All-Star break this past weekend, officially kicking off the second half of the NBA season. Almost 40 games in, while it is never cut and dry which single team will win it all, it is clear which teams are playing at a championship level thus far.
The following is a chart showing the current favorites to win the 2021 NBA Championship.
Let's breakdown each team individually and see if the current odds reflect their play this season and their postseason potential.
Philadelphia Sixers (+1400):
The Sixers have been one of the most surprising teams this season. With a 25-12 record, they currently hold the one seed in the Eastern Conference. A combination of Joel Embiid playing at an MVP level, the addition of sharpshooter Seth Curry, and the hiring of Hall of Fame coach Doc Rivers have all contributed to the Sixers' newfound success.
Also, Tobias Harris has had a bounce back season, scoring 20ppg on over 50% shooting from the field. The Sixers finally have a complete team, and they're clicking on both sides of the ball, boasting a top 10 offense and defense.
The main reason they are being offered at +1400, despite such a promising season thus far, is that they don't have a lot of post-season success. While proving himself to be a star and one of the best defenders in the league, Ben Simmons still has no perimeter scoring ability, which is crucial when the paint tightens up in playoff games. They also have one dominant scorer in Embiid, and their role players are unproven in postseason play.
Nevertheless, +1400 still appears to have some value considering how smooth they've looked this season, and they are capable of making a push come playoffs.
Milwaukee Bucks (+900)
The Bucks have been a somewhat disappointing team this year, despite currently sitting at 23-14, only two games out of the East's top spot. After dominating the regular season the past two years with 2x MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo putting up video-game-like numbers, they currently hold the three seed and have regressed a bit this year.
The main reason for this is a decline in their defensive prowess, as they currently give up just over 112 ppg, which ranks 19th in the league. However, their offense has been stellar, scoring 119ppg, which ranks 2nd in the NBA.
Besides, this year's roster is far more suited to make a deep playoff run, primarily due to the addition of Jrue Holiday. Holiday has flown entirely under the radar this year but is casually putting up 15/5/5 on 50% shooting while averaging 1.8 steals per game, ranking 4th among qualified players.
His experience in big moments is a significant factor. With him, Middleton, and Giannis, they have a legitimate big 3, with many solid role players surrounding them. After getting embarrassed by Miami last year in the second round, it is tough to have faith in the Bucks to get through an improved Eastern Conference.
Therefore, I feel +900 is an accurate line for the Bucks, but I am leaning towards +750/+800 as I only see them improving in the second half and will have revenge on their minds.
Utah Jazz (+750)
The Jazz has been the most surprising team this NBA season, sitting atop the Western Conference with a 27-9 record, the best in the league. While Utah has been in the playoff picture for the past few years, this is the first time they are a serious contender. This is no fluke, as they currently have a top 5 offense and defense and have proven to be an offensive and defensive juggernaut through the first half of the season.
People fail to realize this team can shoot the lights out, ranking first in 3 pointers made and third in 3 point percentage. The main reason for their success is having a mix of inside and outside scoring, fueled by star guard Donovan Mitchell, and surrounding him with sharpshooters.
Also, they have received a massive boost by Jordan Clarkson, the front runner for 6th man of the year, who is averaging over 18ppg off the bench. The Jazz are legit, but can they win it all? It's tough to say, but +750 is not a price I'm willing to pay to take them. While they have, without a doubt, been the best team so far this season, they are too reliant on the three balls, and their lack of star power will hurt them in the playoffs.
They're playing great, but without any prior playoff success - I'd put them closer to +1000 odds.
Los Angeles Clippers (+550)
The Clippers have one of the most dangerous rosters in the NBA and are currently the fourth seed in the West with a 25-14 record. While they haven't played particularly well as of late, with just four wins in their last ten games, they are among the most dynamic NBA teams.
Kawhi Leonard is sneakily playing at an MVP level, averaging 27/6/5 on almost 52% from the field while also bringing in 1.5 steals per game. Also, Paul George has completely rebounded from his poor playoff performance last season, averaging 24/6/5 on 50% shooting with 3.5 3s made per game.
With an elite combination of inside and outside scoring, a top 5 offense, and the 6th overall defense, we likely see the Clippers make a deep playoff run. They have a complete team, and solid role player additions like Serge Ibaka and Nicholas Batum have given their defense a boost while also supplying a high percentage offense.
With all this taken into account, I think +550 is a great bet. The Clippers have a legitimate chance of taking home the ring this year and are my personal favorite to win the Western Conference.
Brooklyn Nets (+270)
Coming into the season as a contender fueled by superstar duo Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets now boast maybe the most star-studded lineup in NBA history with James Harden's addition. In their recent signings of Blake Griffin and potentially Andre Drummond, this almost feels like an All-Star Star pick-up game lineup.
Even with Kevin Durant missing the past few weeks due to injury, the Nets are playing their best basketball season, winning 9 of their last ten games. James Harden has settled into his role in Brooklyn as a dynamic playmaker while still scoring with ease. The Nets supporting cast has proven to be effective throughout the season, mainly due to sharpshooter Joe Harris averaging 15ppg on 53% shooting from the field.
The one concern about the Nets is their poor defense, ranking 27th in the league right now. While this is a rightful critique of their team, their impressive record versus other top teams this year shows their ability to outscore their opponents and win tight games.
The Nets sit at +270 right now to win the Championship, but I feel like they should be the favorite. With three of the most talented players in the league, a great system, and the most dominant offensive the league has seen since the '17 Warriors; the Nets will be extremely tough to beat in a 7 game series. Therefore I feel their odds to win should sit around +175, and +270 is a great price to get in at.
Los Angeles Lakers (+260)
Oddsmakers currently have the Lakers as the slight favorite to win it all this year, just slightly edging out the Nets. The Lakers have flown a bit under the radar this year, despite sitting in the three seed in the Western Conference. Superstar Anthony Davis has been plagued by injuries for a portion of the season, and the Lakers seem a bit out of rhythm right now, losing 6 of their last 10.
Nevertheless, LeBron has been his usual self, showing that he is still the best player in the league. The Lakers roster has also improved since last year, adding big man Montezl Harell and guard Dennis Shroeder. They are deeper and more talented than last year, and there is a reason Vegas has them as the favorite to defend their title.
However, I do not think they have the firepower to beat the Nets and realistically see them losing to the Clippers in a blockbuster conference finals series.
Where to Bet on the NBA
Now that you have a breakdown of the contenders for this year's NBA championship, here are the best online sportsbooks to place your wagers.
Choosing the best site to bet on NBA games is a vital factor for potential betting profits. I recommend Bovada, MyBookie, and SportsBetting.ag. These are three quality books with effortless credit cards or bitcoin deposits, which also offer deposit bonuses of up to $500 or more.
After you've chosen one of the reputable sportsbooks listed above, you are ready to place your future bets on this year's NBA championship.