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NBA Championship Odds: Nets the Faves in Final Leg of Regular Season

We’re well into the second half of the NBA season with the all-star break and trade deadline wrapped up. After injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers are no longer favorites in 2021 NBA championship odds, conceding to the new favorite, the Brooklyn Nets.

According to the best basketball betting sites, the Nets sit at +250 odds to win the NBA championship, with the Lakers right behind them at +350 trying to repeat as champions after being the last team standing in the NBA bubble. The Lakers opened as the +400 favorites to repeat but their injuries and lack of movement at the trade deadline have given the Nets the inside track according to oddsmakers.

The Nets acquired James Harden early in the season to team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, giving Brooklyn a talent edge that hasn’t been seen since the big three with the Miami Heat. The Nets present the biggest challenge to the Lakers’ attempts to go back to back. Brooklyn is 36-17 SU in 53 games this season and 28-11 SU in 39 games since acquiring Harden.

After those two teams, it’s the Los Angeles Clippers who have been quietly lurking in the shadows but are still showing some inconsistencies from game to game. They sit third in the Western Conference standings at 37-18 SU through 55 games. At +650, they trail the Nets and Lakers 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
Brooklyn Nets+250
Los Angeles Lakers+350
Los Angeles Clippers+650
Utah Jazz+950
Milwaukee Bucks+1000
Denver Nuggets+1200
Philadelphia 76ers+1400
Phoenix Suns+2200
Miami Heat+3000
Dallas Mavericks+5000
Boston Celtics+6000
Portland Trail Blazers+6000
Golden State Warriors+12500
Indiana Pacers+12500
Toronto Raptors+15000
Atlanta Hawks+20000
Chicago Bulls+25000
San Antonio Spurs+25000
New Orleans Pelicans+25000
New York Knicks+30000
Charlotte Hornets+30000
Memphis Grizzlies+30000
Washington Wizards+30000
Sacramento Kings+75000
Cleveland Cavaliers+100000
Oklahoma City Thunder+100000
Detroit Pistons+200000
Houston Rockets+200000
Orlando Magic+200000
Minnesota Timberwolves+250000

Odds as of April 12 at Bovada

Why are the Nets Favored to Win the 2021 NBA Championship?

At +450 in mid-January and now dropping to +250, the 2021 NBA championship odds for the Brooklyn Nets could be either a steal or a complete bust. The Nets are an impressive 28-11 SU in 39 games since acquiring James Harden, even with Kevin Durant out of the lineup for nearly all of those games.

Say what you will about Harden but he looks transformed in Brooklyn and has adapted his game to fit into Steve Nash’s offense. Harden is acting in the playmaker role when given the keys to the offense and he leads the NBA in assists per game at 11.1. 

How Steve Nash has deployed him in the closing minutes with Durant out of the lineup has been fascinating to watch because we’re seeing glimpses of how Harden played in Houston, while he has been less ball-dominant with both Kyrie Irving and Durant in the lineup. Basically, it’s been a perfect honeymoon during the regular season.

Speaking of Durant, COVID-19 tracing and a pulled hamstring have limited him to street clothes for most of the season but he’s finally returned to the lineup after an extended cautionary absence. Despite limited action this season, there’s no denying he’s the best offensive player in the game when he plays. KD is averaging 28.1 points and shooting 43.7 percent from behind the arc, which is a career high. 

Durant’s absence hasn’t seemed to matter much to the Nets lately and even Kyrie Irving is coming around. The offensive dynamo has shaken off his early-season drama to be a certified bucket for the Nets. Irving is putting up 27.6 points per game while shooting 51.4 percent from the floor. When he, Durant and Harden are all hitting threes and getting to the basket, there’s really no stopping the Nets offense. The trio combine to average 80.9 points per game, which is insane.

If you had a Nets futures ticket before the Harden trade, you’re sitting pretty but time might be slipping away to get true value on them. Brooklyn is already the favorite to come out of the East and just signed PF Blake Griffin AND LaMarcus Aldridge for peanuts in the buyout market. If you plan to grab the Nets deeper into the season or the playoffs, you may not get better odds than +250.

Why Happened to the Lakers in 2021 NBA Championship Odds?

Anthony Davis’ leg injury and LeBron James’ recent high-ankle sprain may have put a slight damper on the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA championship odds but when they’re on the floor, it’s arguably the best 1-2 punch in the NBA.

The superstar duo and a strong supporting cast make the Lakers a top-three team in the league and if Davis and LeBron are healthy for the playoffs, it’s hard to envision them not lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy again in 2021 – even with all of the Nets’ offensive firepower.

The Lakers are 33-20 through 53 games for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference and are basically treading water as best they can while LeBron is on the mend. Recent reports suggest he’ll be back by the end of April and just in time for the stretch run into the postseason. The Lakers will likely be cautious with their superstars to prevent further injury as playoff seeding may not matter much to the purple and gold.

That’s because when those two are on the floor, 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 (105.9) but have dropped to eighth in point differential (+4.1).

Due to the injuries, +350 may not be the best value for the Lakers but bettors may want to wait until they know the return timetables for the all-stars before locking in a bet on LA in NBA championship odds.

How About the Utah Jazz in NBA Championship Odds?

Most NBA talking heads and analysts (including myself) have been reluctant to give the Utah Jazz credit for their early success but now it’s time to give credit where credit is due. The Jazz are for real when it comes to 2021 NBA championship odds.

Let’s start on defense, where the Jazz have been known for excelling in recent seasons. This phase of the game is still running on all cylinders as the Jazz rank fourth in scoring defense (107.2) and have ranked in the top five in that category in each of the last five years. This is nothing new. Head coach Quin Snyder’s system is predicated on forcing dribbles into the paint where Rudy Gobert, the favorite in NBA Defensive Player of the Year odds, is waiting for them.

But it’s the Jazz offense that has really turned the corner. Utah isn’t just locking teams up but is also running them out of the gym, ranking third in points scored per game while taking the most three-point attempts per game. Players like Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley look reinvigorated in this offense and that’s why they lead the NBA standings at 40-13 SU through 53 games.

The Jazz opened at +4500 in NBA championship odds and have now dropped all the way to +950. Anyone who has a Jazz futures ticket right now should be feeling vindicated for getting such early value on a team that’s likely to at least play in the Western Conference final.

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.