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NBA Championship Odds: Nets Grab Harden, Lakers Still Favored To Repeat

NBA Championship Odds December 29, 2020 LeBron James dribbling up the court

The Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites in 2021 NBA championship odds but may not be a lock anymore after the Brooklyn Nets pushed all of their chips to the center of the table and acquired all-star James Harden from the Houston Rockets.

According to the best basketball betting sites, the Lakers sit at +240 to win their second title in a row after being the last team standing in the NBA bubble. They opened as the +400 favorites to repeat.

Due to the Lakers’ talent edge and dominance, the Nets decided to form a new Big Three with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Harden, and oddsmakers have now given the Nets +300 odds to win the 2021 title.

Two other legitimate contenders, the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, are considered the next tier of competition to the Lakers and Nets. The Clippers sit at +550 and the Bucks at +650 in NBA championship futures.

A lot can change overnight in the NBA (just ask the Nets and Rockets) so stay up to date with the latest NBA futures to see who has the best odds to win the NBA championship.

For now, here are the full 2021 NBA championship odds for all 30 teams:

Who Is Favored To Win The 2021 NBA Championship?

2021 NBA Championship Futures
Los Angeles Lakers+240
Brooklyn Nets+300
Los Angeles Clippers+550
Milwaukee Bucks+650
Boston Celtics+1500
Philadelphia 76ers+1600
Denver Nuggets+2200
Dallas Mavericks+2200
Miami Heat+2500
Utah Jazz+2500
Phoenix Suns+4000
Golden State Warriors+4000
Indiana Pacers+4500
Portland Trail Blazers+5000
Toronto Raptors+5500
Atlanta Hawks+12500
New Orleans Pelicans+12500
San Antonio Spurs+12500
Houston Rockets+15000
Orlando Magic+17500
Cleveland Cavaliers+20000
Memphis Grizzlies+20000
Washington Wizards+20000
Charlotte Hornets+25000
New York Knicks+25000
Oklahoma City Thunder+25000
Sacramento Kings+25000
Chicago Bulls+40000
Minnesota Timberwolves+40000
Detroit Pistons+50000

Odds as of January 26 at Bovada

Why are the Lakers Favored to Win 2021 NBA Championship?

Having arguably the best 1-2 punch in the NBA in LeBron James and Anthony Davis automatically makes the Los Angeles Lakers a top-three team in the league to win the championship but when you consider their new supporting cast, it’s hard to envision them not lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy again in 2021.

The Lakers are 14-4 through 18 games this season for the best record in the NBA and just got done taking down the Milwaukee Bucks on their home court. Some of their success can be attributed to the shrewd moves of trading for Dennis Schroder from the Thunder while also signing reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell to a very team-friendly deal. Adding those playmakers to Davis and LeBron, the Lakers certainly deserve to be the favorites to win the 2021 NBA championship at this stage.

Similar to last season, the Lakers have a formidable defense that capitalizes on getting stops and then scoring in transition. They currently rank second in opponent points per game (104.5) and are first in point differential (+9.8). 

Some teams in the Western Conference like the Clippers, Suns and Nuggets might have an answer, but for now the Lakers offer the best championship odds value on the board at +240 because of the influx of fresh talent to keep LeBron fresh for the playoffs.

Can The Nets Crash the Lakers’ Party?

At +450 in mid-January and now dropping to +300 following the James Harden trade, these 2021 NBA championship odds for the Brooklyn Nets could be either a steal or a complete bust. The Nets seem to be rounding into form at 4-2 SU in six games since acquiring the Beard.

Say what you will about Harden and how he’ll fit into an offense with multiple all-stars, but the man is a walking bucket who will do a lot of offensive heavy lifting for the Nets in likely the first 44 minutes of the game. In his first six games with his new team, Harden’s scoring has dipped to 23 points per game but his assists have increased to 11.3 per game. 

How Steve Nash has deployed him in the closing minutes has been an interesting talent case study as the Nets have been using Harden more as a playmaker than closer and letting Kevin Durant shoulder that role.

Speaking of Durant, have you seen how dominant he’s looked this season? He’s averaging 30.4 points and shooting 44.6 percent from behind the arc (career high) to lead the Nets (11-8 SU), missing four games due to COVID-19 protocols.

Then there’s the elephant in the room: Kyrie Irving. Look, Irving is a great player and an offensive dynamo driving to the hoop, but his impact on team culture in the NBA is becoming a serious issue for his career.

His exits from Cleveland and Boston were ugly and he’s already missed time on the court this season for personal reasons. He’s becoming more of a liability than an asset at this stage but his talent is so mesmerizing, the Nets have to ride it out with him.

That’s why bettors should be very cautious about banking on the Nets in NBA championship futures. If you had a Nets futures ticket before the Harden trade, you’re sitting pretty. But if you decide to take them now, you’re hoping that this awesome collection of talent can define their roles and figure it out by February before the schedule gets tougher and Brooklyn goes on its West Coast road trip to face the Lakers, Clippers and Suns.

How to Read 2021 NBA Championship Odds

At the sportsbook – a fancy way to say NBA betting site – you’ll notice that the odds are listed like this:

  • LA Lakers +210
  • LA Clippers +600

Milwaukee Bucks +600

Let’s pretend you believe that the Lakers are the team to beat based on the odds listed above. If you were to lay down $100, you’d see a payout of $310 – you get your $100 back, plus your earnings of $210. Or maybe you’re set on the Milwaukee Bucks. If you were to bet $100 on the Bucks to win the 2021 NBA championship and it hits, you’d get $700 – your $100 is returned and you’d get $600 in profit.

Check out our Odds Calculator to see how much you’d win based on the odds and amount wagered.

What are NBA Futures?

Futures bets made on events that have yet to take place. You make a bet like this far off in advance of the event, in this case the team to win the championship. To make a bet like this, you would first use the info contained in this article to handicap your wager. Once you’ve made your decision on which team you think has the chops to win the 2021 NBA championship, you’re ready to go.