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NBA Championship Odds: Lakers Favored To Repeat in 2021

After 172 basketball games in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, including 84 playoff games, the Los Angeles Lakers were the last team left standing, besting the Miami Heat to win the 2020 NBA championship. Based on newly released odds, the Lakers are favorites to repeat and win the 2021 NBA championship ... whenever that happens.

The best basketball betting sites have listed the Lakers at +400 odds to win back-to-back crowns and their 18th title in franchise history. The last time the purple and gold lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy in consecutive years was back in 2009 and 2010.

Following the Lakers on the oddsboard are the Los Angeles Clippers (+450), Milwaukee Bucks (+800), Golden State Warriors (+900), Boston Celtics (+1200), Brooklyn Nets (+1200), Miami Heat (+1400), Toronto Raptors (+1600) and Denver Nuggets (+2000) to round out the top 10 teams to win the 2021 NBA championship.

There are so many offseason questions to answer for NBA futures. Can the Lakers repeat? Will the Warriors return to dominance? How will the Nets look with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant? Not to mention of course the most important question: When will the 2021 NBA season start? We’ll do our best to try to cover as much as we can below for basketball bettors.

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 Odds
Los Angeles Lakers+400
Los Angeles Clippers+450
Milwaukee Bucks+800
Golden State Warriors+900
Boston Celtics+1200
Brooklyn Nets+1200
Miami Heat+1400
Toronto Raptors+1600
Denver Nuggets+2000
Houston Rockets+2200
Philadelphia 76ers+2500
Dallas Mavericks+2500
Portland Trail Blazers+4000
New Orleans Pelicans+5000
Utah Jazz+5000
Phoenix Suns+6000
Oklahoma City Thunder+7500
Atlanta Hawks+12500
Chicago Bulls+12500
Indiana Pacers+12500
Memphis Grizzlies+12500
Washington Wizards+12500
Minnesota Timberwolves+25000
Orlando Magic+25000
Sacramento Kings+25000
San Antonio Spurs+25000
Cleveland Cavaliers+35000
Detroit Pistons+35000
New York Knicks+35000
Charlotte Hornets+50000

Odds as of October 12 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, in addition to some more roster flexibility next year to change up the supporting cast, the Los Angeles Lakers certainly deserve to be the favorites to win the 2021 NBA championship at this stage.

All season, in the bubble or not, the Lakers had a formidable defense that capitalized on getting stops and then scoring in transition. Outside of the Raptors, the Lakers were the best in the NBA in transition points per game and that ability to use defense to springboard your offense cannot be overlooked.

There are some who may believe that LA got an easy road to the title because they didn’t have to face either the LA Clippers or Milwaukee Bucks to win the championship. While the purple and gold will need to do some retooling to keep LeBron fresh, talent wins titles and if you’ve got two of the top three players in basketball on your team, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, the Lakers will be the betting favorite.

Will We See More of the Miami Heat in 2021?

Arguably the best story of the NBA bubble (outside of the Phoenix Suns) was the improbable run of the Miami Heat to win the Eastern Conference and make it to the NBA Finals. Prior to the bubble, the Heat had the fourth-best odds to win the East championship behind the Bucks, Raptors and Celtics and had odds as high as +4000 to win it all. Based on Miami’s roster, it’s not going anywhere.

The Heat showed the basketball world that a collection of hard-working defensive specialists can exploit weaknesses in teams with more talent, evident in their five- and six-game series upsets of the Bucks and Celtics respectively. Had Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic not suffered injuries, there’s a great chance we could be talking about Miami as the 2020 NBA champion.

If you ever doubt Pat Riley and the Miami Heat to not be in the mix for any high-end free agent, you clearly haven’t been paying attention. At +1400 in NBA championship odds, the Heat are worth the gamble because you know they’ll work for your money and are one signing/trade away from improvement.

The Warriors and Nets Could Crash the Lakers Party

The two teams that have to be discussed to win the 2021 NBA championship because of their potential ceiling and the damage they can do to opposing teams are the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors almost seem like yesterday’s news because of how horribly the 2019-20 season went due to injuries and they weren’t even invited to the bubble because they had the worst record in the NBA.

The return of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to the Dubs makes them a guaranteed 50-win team. They could likely be a 60-win team if they are able to get a resurgent season out of Andrew Wiggins and/or use their second overall pick in the draft for more roster help or via trade.

I don’t need to go on about the Warriors’ greatness and potential but at +900, those odds could drop dramatically if they come out hot to start next season.

Brooklyn Nets

At +1200, these 2021 NBA championship odds for the Brooklyn Nets could either be a steal or a complete bust. That’s because you can argue they have the best duo in the NBA in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and, when healthy, KD is the best player in the league. His recovery seems to be on track and he should feast on the East in his return but it’s his running mate who could throw a wrench into his plans and those of potential Nets bettors.

Look, Kyrie Irving is a great player and an offensive dynamo driving to the hoop. While his impact on team culture is up for debate, what isn’t is his propensity for injury. Irving missed almost all of last season because of a shoulder injury and missed chunks of time when he was with the Celtics, including the entire 2018 playoffs, which makes him more of a liability than an asset at this stage of his career.

This may be the year when he stays healthy the whole season and makes another postseason impact like he did with the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. But betting on that to happen at +1200 might be a tough pill to swallow for some bettors. However, the counter to that argument, if Irving were to go down, is the Nets also have backcourt studs like Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert to shoulder the load, so Brooklyn may be a sleeping giant ready to take over the NBA.

When Will the 2021 NBA Season Start?

Even though the confetti has fallen, the champagne has been popped and the NBA has deemed the bubble experiment in Orlando an overwhelming success, when the 2021 NBA season would start is still a moving target. Initial reports had the season starting on Christmas Day but with many offseason checkpoints to hit like the NBA draft, free agency and training camps, the league likely can’t start a season until January 2021 at the earliest.

A betting prop from Bovada suggests January 2021 at -300 for an NBA season to begin (75 percent implied probability) while the prop also has December 2020 (+650) and February 2021 (+350) as options. The last one, February 2021, seems most plausible given the current circumstances.

That’s because NBA owners remain steadfast in being able to start a shortened season in 2021 WITH fans in attendance to be able to recoup some operating costs. The elephants in the room are spikes in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. and recent positive tests among NFL players that have disrupted the league’s schedule. NBA commissioner Adam Silver will want to make sure the safety of its players and personnel is a top priority.

If that’s the case, a bubble environment can’t be dismissed and NBA bettors should be prepared for the possibility of a startup when the all-star game would normally be played in mid-February or later.

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 +400
  • LA Clippers +450

Milwaukee Bucks +800

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 $500 – you get your $100 back, plus your earnings of $400. 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 $900 – your $100 is returned and you’d get $800 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.