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NBA Title Odds: Lakers Are The Faves When Season Resumes

NBA Championship Odds March 17, 2020

The NBA seems intent on crowning a champion in 2020, whether it be in the summer or potentially stretching out until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the time comes for games to resume, the Los Angeles Lakers will be the betting favorite to win the 2020 NBA championship.

The best basketball betting sites have the Lakers at +200 to win the title and the purple and gold have held firm as the favorite at Bovada since the league suspended its season back on March 12.

While the Lakers have the best odds out of the Western Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks (+250) can’t be dismissed as they had the best regular-season record at 53-12 and lead the Eastern Conference by 6.5 games. Then there’s the Los Angeles Clippers, who may be the biggest test for either of those teams and are +300 to win it all.

If you’re new to betting and want to know how to bet on basketball, what NBA Futures are, or even how betting works without fans in attendance, click on any of these links to get you up to speed.

For now, here are the full NBA championship odds for the 2019-20 season:

Odds to Win the 2019-20 NBA Championship
Los Angeles Lakers+200
Milwaukee Bucks+250
Los Angeles Clippers+300
Boston Celtics+1100
Toronto Raptors+1500
Houston Rockets+1600
Denver Nuggets+2500
Philadelphia 76ers+2500
Utah Jazz+3300
Miami Heat+3500
Dallas Mavericks+4000
Brooklyn Nets+6000
Indiana Pacers+8000
New Orleans Pelicans+10000
Oklahoma City Thunder+10000
Memphis Grizzlies+25000
Portland Trail Blazers+25000
Orlando Magic+50000
Phoenix Suns+75000
San Antonio Spurs+75000
Sacramento Kings+100000
Chicago Bulls+250000
Washington Wizards+250000
Atlanta Hawks+500000
Charlotte Hornets+500000
Cleveland Cavaliers+500000
Detroit Pistons+500000
Minnesota Timberwolves+500000
New York Knicks+500000

Odds as of May 19 at Bovada

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) but there are some questions that pose serious issues for handicapping matchups. Off the top, here’s what would need to be answered to feel comfortable betting on this futures prop:

  • Will the NBA finish the season or go right to the postseason?
  • Will the NBA playoffs be conducted in “bubble” cities?
  • What is the playing schedule for each team?
  • Will they allow eight teams from each conference to compete in the playoffs?
  • Will each playoff series still be a best-of-seven?
  • What happens if a player tests positive for COVID-19?

Unfortunately, these answers won’t be available to the general betting public until at least mid-June and even then, more questions could come out of it. The best way to look at it for NBA bettors is to just use the stats and trends we have to predict a winner. By that logic, the Lakers and Bucks are a cut above the rest.

Before the season’s 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 6.5-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 in LeBron James and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. These are the best two teams in the NBA but upsets happen and we’re in a different climate than we were two or three months ago.

Why These Teams Won’t Make The Finals

Even if teams like the Lakers and Bucks are put at a disadvantage as a result of new protocols that may be put in place by the NBA, the fact remains that they both had 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 was 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.

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 +200
  • Milwaukee Bucks +250
  • LA Clippers +300
  • Boston Celtics +1100
  • Houston Rockets +1600

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 $100, you’d see a payout of $400 – you get your $100 back, plus your earnings of $300. Or, maybe you’re set on the Houston Rockets. That same $100 on a winning Rockets bet would get you $1,700 – your original $100 is returned along with your prize of $1,600.

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 NBA Finals, you’re ready to go.