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NBA Championship Odds: Lakers’ Slight Edge Over Nets Decreases, Jazz Surging

We’re almost at the all-star break of the NBA season and the Los Angeles Lakers remain the betting favorites in 2021 NBA championship odds.

According to the best basketball betting sites, the Lakers sit at +250 to win their second title in a row after being the last team standing in the NBA bubble. They opened as the +400 favorites to repeat but teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz may have something to say about the Lakers going back to back.

Due to the Lakers’ talent edge and dominance, the Nets have tried to one-up the Lake Show by forming a new Big Three with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Despite losing their most recent game, they beat the Lakers, Clippers and Suns during an eight-game win streak that has forced oddsmakers to lower the juice to Nets +275 to win the 2021 title.

The Los Angeles Clippers have been quietly lurking in the shadows and are sitting third in the Western Conference standings at 24-12 SU through 36 games. At +550, they still trail the Lakers and Nets 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
Los Angeles Lakers+250
Brooklyn Nets+275
Los Angeles Clippers+550
Utah Jazz+750
Milwaukee Bucks+900
Philadelphia 76ers+1500
Boston Celtics+3500
Denver Nuggets+3500
Phoenix Suns+4000
Miami Heat+4000
Dallas Mavericks+6000
Portland Trail Blazers+6600
Toronto Raptors+6600
Indiana Pacers+8000
Golden State Warriors+8000
Atlanta Hawks+20000
San Antonio Spurs+20000
New Orleans Pelicans+20000
Charlotte Hornets+25000
Memphis Grizzlies+25000
New York Knicks+25000
Houston Rockets+40000
Orlando Magic+40000
Chicago Bulls+40000
Washington Wizards+40000
Cleveland Cavaliers+50000
Sacramento Kings+50000
Detroit Pistons+50000
Oklahoma City Thunder+75000
Minnesota Timberwolves+100000

Odds as of March 1 at Bovada

Why Are The Lakers Favored To Win The 2021 NBA Championship?

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

Those two along with the strong supporting cast make the Lakers a top-three team in the league and if Davis is healthy for the playoffs, it’s hard to envision them not lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy again in 2021. 

The Lakers are 24-11 through 35 games for the second-best record in the NBA and are 7-5 SU in 12 games without Davis in the lineup. The Lakers can likely stay the course without him as he recovers from an Achilles strain, since the return of Dennis Schroder has reignited LA’s offense. The Lake Show dropped all four games with the German point guard out due to COVID-19 protocols and proceeded to win the next two over Portland and Golden State once he returned.

Similar to last season, 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 (105.6) and are fourth in point differential (+7.1). With the Davis injury, +250 may not be the best value for the purple and gold but recent reports suggest he should be back after the all-star break, which is good news for Lakers backers.

Can The Nets Crash the Lakers’ Party?

At +450 in mid-January and now dropping to +275, the 2021 NBA championship odds for the Brooklyn Nets could be either a steal or a complete bust. The Nets are an impressive 15-7 SU in 22 games since acquiring James Harden, including a stretch during which they won eight in a row – without Kevin Durant in the lineup for portions of it – and took down the likes of the Lakers, Clippers and Suns.

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 10.9. 

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 lately but there’s no denying he’s the best offensive player in the game when he plays. KD is averaging 29.0 points and shooting 43.4 percent from behind the arc, which is a career high.

Even 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 27.4 points per game while shooting 52.5 percent from the floor and 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 80.4 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 if you wait until deeper into the playoffs, you may not get better odds than +275.

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 third in scoring defense (106.5) 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 now have a comfortable lead in the NBA standings at 27-7 SU through 34 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.

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.