No sooner does one season end, NBA futures shift focus to what's next.
Such is the case with NBA championship odds, especially in this unusually-brief offseason. As the Lakers still wipe up champagne from their victory over the Heat, sportsbooks are already taking action on 2021 NBA title odds.
We'll jump ahead for a quick sneak-peek at the early odds board, and break down some of the NBA betting finals odds favorites:
Who is the Favorite to Win the NBA Championship?
The NBA's pecking order will definitely shift a bit next season, but one thing remains: the Los Angeles Lakers are favorites. The Lakers, newly-minted NBA champs, are +350 favorites to hoist next year's Larry O'Brien Trophy. LeBron James continues to be the most consistent Finals ticket since Michael Jordan, while Anthony Davis has been worth every bit of the king's ransom (pun intended) that L.A. paid to acquire him.
Surging into a tie for the runner-up spot are the Brooklyn Nets at +500. Last season's Nets proved to be a feisty core of overachievers, and in 2021 they'll return a healthy Kyrie Irving in addition to the debut of former MVP Kevin Durant. If also-former MVP James Harden has his way, he'll be joining the Nets, who seem intent on making a power move in this brief offseason.
Despite their embarrassing second-round collapse, the Lakers' cross-town rival Los Angeles Clippers are tied for second at +500. The Clippers quickly canned head coach Doc Rivers, but lost reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers in free agency.
Speaking of embarrassing second-round collapses, the Milwaukee Bucks are third at +600. After a lackluster playoff showing, the Bucks will be feeling immense urgency next season with Giannis Antetokounmpo's impending free agency, and have already consolidated their immense depth to add two-way stud PG Jrue Holiday.
Rounding out the Top 5 are the Golden State Warriors (remember them?), back in the mix at +750 after injuries torpedoed their 2019-20 season. They'll have a healthy Steph Curry returning, as well as adding No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman, though Klay Thompson's season-ending Achilles tear deals them a crushing blow.
2021 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||Odds to win 2021 NBA Championship (as of Nov 21)|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+350|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+500|
|Golden State Warriors||+750|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+5,000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+5,000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+10,000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+10,000|
|New York Knicks||+30,000|
Understanding NBA Championship Odds
Sportsbooks will post NBA finals odds as early as the summer before the season starts. These NBA futures are constantly adjusted throughout the offseason as players get hurt, suspended or are traded. Once the regular season begins, NBA finals odds will change daily as teams win and lose games and as more players get hurt, suspended or traded. Sportsbooks will also adjust the NBA title odds based on handle and liability to certain teams.
NBA Championship odds will usually look like this:
- Milwaukee Bucks +240
This means that on a $100 bet, you'll stand to win $240 if the Bucks win the NBA title. If it's close to the end of the regular season or even during the playoffs and the NBA has a very dominant team, you might see that a team is has a minus sign (-) ahead of its odds.
- Golden State Warriors -150
This means that if you bet on the Golden State Warriors during the 2018-2019 NBA season you would have needed to bet $150 to profit $100 if the Warriors won the championship.
Above we have posted the American odds for the NBA championship. However, these are easy to convert to decimal odds or fractional odds with our odds converter tool.
How to Bet NBA Finals Odds
There are many strategies to consider when making an NBA futures bet on which team will win the championship. Obviously, you're looking to bet on who you think can navigate through the NBA playoffs and come out on top. So just because a team is in first place at the NBA All-Star break, it doesn't mean that's the best roster to win in the postseason.
One thing to consider is the conference the teams play in because a team needs to win its conference before it can win the NBA title. Looking at the 2019-20 odds above, it is clear that oddsmakers believe the Western Conference is the more difficult conference to win.
Also, consider how an injury may affect a futures bet. The Milwaukee Bucks are a heavy favorite to win the Eastern Conference and a short favorite to win the NBA title. But what happens if Giannis gets hurt? If that happens, a futures bet on teams like the Raptors, Heat or Celtics all have tremendous value.
Another thing to consider is strength of schedule and even load management. Maybe a team is undervalued in the futures market because it has played the more difficult portion of its schedule early on. Or perhaps a team has more losses than it should because it has been sitting its best player on the second half of back-to-back games all season.
Where Can I Bet on NBA Championship Odds?
With the 2019-2020 season back in action, most sportsbooks and casinos will have NBA Title odds posted. Check out the top sportsbooks in your region and see what they are offering for NBA futures odds.