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NBA Championship Odds: NBA Finals Odds Favor Nets

We’re in the final stages of the 2020-21 NBA season with most teams having 12 to 15 games left to play. The Brooklyn Nets have one of the best records in the league and are the favorites in 2021 NBA championship odds.

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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 NBA champions after being the last team standing in the NBA bubble. The Lakers opened as the +400 favorites to repeat but injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis stalled their momentum and gave 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 43-22 SU in 65 games this season.

After those two teams, it’s the Los Angeles Clippers who have been quietly lurking in the shadows and were 11-5 in 16 games in April. They sit fourth in the Western Conference standings at 43-22 SU through 65 games. At +600, they trail the Nets and Lakers in NBA championship futures.

The Phoenix Suns currently have the best record in the NBA at 46-18 SU in 64 games and have moved all the way up to +1500 in 2021 NBA championship odds after opening at +3300 to win it all. 

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 the 25 teams remaining in playoff contention:

Who Is Favored To Win The 2021 NBA Championship?

2021 NBA Championship Futures
Brooklyn Nets+250
Los Angeles Lakers+350
Los Angeles Clippers+600
Utah Jazz+750
Milwaukee Bucks+800
Philadelphia 76ers+1200
Phoenix Suns+1500
Denver Nuggets+2800
Miami Heat+3500
Dallas Mavericks+4000
Boston Celtics+5000
Portland Trail Blazers+6600
Atlanta Hawks+10000
New York Knicks+10000
Golden State Warriors+15000
Indiana Pacers+25000
Memphis Grizzlies+25000
Toronto Raptors+30000
Washington Wizards+30000
Charlotte Hornets+40000
Chicago Bulls+40000
San Antonio Spurs+40000
New Orleans Pelicans+50000
Sacramento Kings+250000
Cleveland Cavaliers+250000

Odds as of May 3 at Bovada

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

At +450 in mid-January and now at +250, the 2021 NBA championship odds for the Brooklyn Nets could be either a steal or a complete bust. The Nets are an impressive 34-17 SU in 51 games since acquiring James Harden, even with Kevin Durant – and now Harden – out of the lineup for a portion of those games.

Although he’s missed some games recently, Harden looks transformed in Brooklyn and has adapted his game to fit into Steve Nash’s offense. He 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. However, he’s missed 16 of the last 17 games with a hamstring injury and there’s no timetable currently for his return to the court.

How Nash deployed him in the closing minutes when Durant was out of the lineup was fascinating to watch because we saw 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 much 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 47.8 percent from behind the arc, which is a career high. 

The absence of Durant or Harden hasn’t seemed to matter much to the Nets lately and even Irving is coming around. The offensive dynamo has shaken off his early-season drama to be a certified bucket for the Nets. He is putting up 26.8 points per game while shooting 49.9 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 78.9 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 Eastern Conference and also signed PF Blake Griffin 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’ 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 36-28 through 64 games for the sixth-best record in the Western Conference and are dangerously close to having to participate in the play-in tournament for the Western Conference. The good news for the purple and gold is LeBron has now returned to the court, although they’ve lost both games with him back in the lineup. The Lakers were basically treading water as best they could while their two superstars were on the mend and with only eight games remaining, they will essentially need to win out to avoid the play-in.

Los Angeles should be OK going forward because when Davis and LeBron 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 (106.7) but have dropped to eighth in point differential (+2.9) with their offense sputtering.

The odds of +350 may not be the best value for the Lakers but bettors may want to wait to see how the Lakers finish the season and whether they’ll have to participate in the play-in tourney 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. They’re also the first NBA team to clinch their spot in the playoffs.

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 (107.3) 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 44-16 SU through 60 games.

The Jazz opened at +4500 in NBA championship odds and have now dropped all the way to +750. 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.

Phoenix Suns Are For Real In Odds To Win NBA Championship

Coming into the 2020-21 NBA season, the Phoenix Suns were one of the better stories to root for. They had just missed the playoffs in the previous season after going 8-0 SU in the bubble and were looking to be a team on the rise. When they got serious and acquired point guard Chris Paul from the Thunder, that’s when Phoenix had to be taken seriously as a contender in NBA championship odds. 

Look, not everyone expected Paul’s arrival to be a perfect marriage. The all-star guard was entering his 16th campaign and while he showed last season he still had some chops by leading OKC to a playoff spot, it was still uncertain how impactful he would be for a team that was a perennial basement-dweller. Well, through 64 games, the Suns have the best record in the NBA and most of the credit has to go to Paul and his ability to lead/elevate a team.

CP3 is averaging his best assist numbers since his last year with the Clippers and has two young studs in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to carry the scoring load. On the other side of the ball, the Suns have been on lockdown as one of the best defensive teams in the league. Phoenix ranks sixth in the NBA in points allowed per game (108.4) after ranking 20th in the category last season. The Chris Paul effect is real and this may be the squad that can get him to the first NBA championship of his outstanding career. At +1500, the Suns are legit.

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. For further information on how to bet on NBA games, be sure to check out Odds Shark's guide to basketball betting.