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2019-20 NBA Championship Odds: When Season Resumes, Lakers Are The Faves

NBA Championship Odds March 17, 2020

The ongoing developments of the COVID-19 outbreak have left most major sports in an indefinite hiatus and the NBA likely not resuming its season until mid-June, at the earliest.

Still, bettors and basketball fans are holding out hope the season will return soon as sportsbooks are still offering NBA futures for the 2019-20 championship and have the Los Angeles Lakers as the betting favorite.

The Lakers (+200) hold the slight odds edge over the Milwaukee Bucks, who sit at +225 and dropped a very tough game at Staples Center to the Lake Show before the season was suspended. Right behind the Lakers and Bucks are the Clippers (+300), who were also licking their wounds from a loss to the purple and gold that had the intensity of an NBA Western Conference Final matchup.

Although the regular season could be canceled, the NBA still seems intent on having the playoffs and NBA Finals, with commissioner Adam Silver confirming as much in interviews over the last week. Time will tell if that mindset from Silver changes as news continues to pour out from health officials.

In the meantime, if bettors are looking for any NBA action to bet on while being self-quarantined or social distancing, the Phoenix Suns are doing their part to keep “live” sports active as part of our daily lives and playing their regular-season games with NBA2K20 on Twitch

Could We Get a Lakers-Bucks NBA Finals?

It’s quite possible the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks could meet in the NBA Finals (when that eventually happens) because both teams should be in line to have home-court advantage through their conference playoffs. Before the season suspension, the Lakers led the Western Conference standings and were in line to get the top seed in the Western Conference. The Bucks, in the meantime, led the NBA at 53-12 SU and had a 7.5-game lead on the Toronto Raptors in the East.

Both teams were using defense to dictate the tempo as they ranked third and sixth in points allowed per game and each has a star player on offense to draw in the defense. For Milwaukee, it has Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 29.6 points per game and outside of blocks has upped his stats across the board year over year even coming off an NBA MVP season. 

Meanwhile, LeBron James just ages like a fine wine and at 35, he may do something that he has yet to do in his illustrious career and that’s lead the NBA in assists per game for a season. He’s easily playing with the most talented NBA teammate he’s ever had in Anthony Davis (sorry, D-Wade) and there isn’t really a duo in the league that can match up with them, especially on the pick-and-roll.

Why These Teams Won’t Make The Finals

As much as I would love to see these teams in the NBA Finals in an epic showdown, the fact remains that both have some fatal flaws. For the Lakers, all you need to do is look at the roster and realize they’re very top-heavy in talent.

Sure, LeBron and AD will play crunch time and be their dominant selves but after those two, Kyle Kuzma is the only other Laker averaging double-digit points and he was being openly shopped at the trade deadline. Maybe other players like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Danny Green will raise their level of play in the postseason but it’s not encouraging.

Then there’s the Bucks and the obvious elephant in the room: Antetokounmpo’s jump shot. Yes, he improved it slightly this season but the Toronto Raptors showed the blueprint in last year’s Eastern Conference final that if you stop Giannis, you stop Milwaukee. They packed the paint, dared him to shoot and he finished the series only shooting 44.5 percent from the floor with the Bucks losing in six games.

Does he fix this issue and will the rest of the Bucks, specifically Eric Bledsoe, pick up the slack? Perhaps but at +225, bettors may be justifiably uneasy about banking on Milwaukee when a likely seven-game series vs the Raptors, Heat or 76ers is on the horizon.

Teams That Stand To Benefit By Season Delay

It’s hard to take a glass-half-full approach with the NBA season being suspended and mostly everyone partaking in social distancing but don’t tell that to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. These two teams have had their share of injuries throughout the season (or prior) and could be sneaky teams to make some noise in the playoffs, if they do happen.

The Sixers were battling injuries, with all-star Ben Simmons sidelined by a back issue while center Joel Embiid has had his share of bumps, bruises and dislocated fingers that could use some healing time. Simmons was expected to be out until just before the playoffs so the break is likely welcomed news for Philly.

Then there’s the Nets, who all of a sudden could have the best player in the Eastern Conference for a potential playoff run in Kevin Durant. KD has been seen doing workouts and five-on-five drills in the past month and he looked just as good as when he was with the Warriors. Would it be enough to bank on Brooklyn to make a run to the NBA Finals? Hard to say but the longer the NBA season suspension plays out, the more enticing a Nets futures ticket looks at +6600.

This isn’t just exclusive to the Sixers and Nets either. Every NBA team has one or more players that were feeling the rigors/grind of the regular season so a break to heal and recover could make the playoffs as exciting as they’ve ever been.

Check our up-to-the-minute NBA Futures page to stay on top of the odds.

Odds to Win the 2019-20 NBA Championship
TeamOdds
Los Angeles Lakers+200
Milwaukee Bucks+225
Los Angeles Clippers+300
Boston Celtics+1500
Houston Rockets+1500
Toronto Raptors+1600
Denver Nuggets +2200
Philadelphia 76ers+2500
Miami Heat+3300
Dallas Mavericks+3500
Brooklyn Nets+6600
Indiana Pacers+8000
New Orleans Pelicans+10000
Oklahoma City Thunder+12500
Portland Trail Blazers+25000
Memphis Grizzlies+50000
Orlando Magic+50000
San Antonio Spurs+75000
Phoenix Suns+100000
Sacramento Kings+100000
Chicago Bulls+250000
Washington Wizards+250000
Atlanta Hawks+500000
Charlotte Hornets+500000
Cleveland Cavaliers+500000
Detroit Pistons+500000
Golden State Warriors+500000
Minnesota Timberwolves+500000
New York Knicks+500000

Odds as of March 17 at Bovada


How to Read NBA Finals Odds

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

  • LA Lakers +300
  • LA Clippers +350
  • Milwaukee Bucks +600
  • Philadelphia 76ers +700
  • Houston Rockets +850

For a moneyline bet, you would see the minus sign (-) to denote the favorite, and a plus sign (+) to denote the underdog. In this scenario, you would be making a futures bet where teams with the highest odds are underdogs (like the Rockets) and teams with the lowest odds are favorites (like the Lakers).

What are NBA Futures?

Futures are 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 NBA Finals, you’re ready to go.

Let’s pretend you believe that the Clippers are the team to beat based on the odds listed above. If you were to lay down $50, you’d see a payout of $225 – you get your $50 back, plus your earnings of $175. Or, maybe you’re set on the 76ers. That same $50 on a winning Sixers bet would get you $400 – your original $50 is returned along with your prize of $350.

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

With bets on NBA futures odds, or any futures wager for that matter, it’s important to remember that your money will be tied up until the championship is won in June. Make sure your bankroll can handle that, and that you have enough left over to make regular-season NBA bets on point spreads or whatever else your basketball-loving heart desires.