As the NBA season approaches the All-Star break, its betting markets are drawing more action every night, including on NBA championship odds.
The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers remain the favorites, holding it together with a 24-11 SU record while Anthony Davis continues to heal from an calf injury. The Brooklyn Nets, weathering an extended Kevin Durant absence, are still the No. 2 choice in the NBA championship odds chase.
But there's a new No. 3 in town. Join us for a dive into the futures, as we break down some of the NBA Finals betting odds favorites.
Favorites to win the NBA Championship
The NBA's pecking order has shifted a bit this season, but one thing remains unchanged: the Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites. As of March 1, William Hill US has the Lakers a short +180 to repeat as NBA champions. Next up are the Brooklyn Nets at +275.
However, the Los Angeles Clippers dropped from their longtime perch of No. 3 choice, displaced by the scalding-hot Utah Jazz. Utah leads the NBA with a 27-7 SU record and is now the +450 third choice at William Hill US, followed by the Clippers (24-12) at +600.
Let's check out the current odds for NBA championship winners:
2021 NBA Championship odds
|Team||Odds to win 2021 NBA Championship (as of March 1)|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+175|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+600|
|Golden State Warriors||+4,000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+5,000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50,000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+50,000|
|New York Knicks||+75,000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+250,000|
Odds courtesy of William Hill US
NBA Championship futures action report
Biggest climb: Utah Jazz
It's pretty much impossible to keep the Utah Jazz out of this slot on a weekly basis over the past month or so, such is the magnitude of their level of play. The Jazz are a scorching 23-3 SU in their last 26 games, and they've gone a torrid 22-4 ATS over that same stretch, killing it for bettors who backed Utah. When the season opened Dec. 22, the Jazz were +4,000 at William Hill US, and they've steadily trimmed those odds on a weekly and now seemingly daily basis, thanks to the hot streak.
"Money is pouring in on the Jazz, game after game,” WillHill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said. "We were probably slow to move them down. We’re a small loser with them. Utah has impressed so far, but the playoffs are a different animal. They still have to win four playoff series, and they have to go through a lot of good teams in the West.”
Furthest fall: Boston Celtics
Much as with the Jazz in the Biggest Climb category, this is kind of an ongoing situation at William Hill US. The Boston Celtics began the year at +1,600, and this past Friday, Feb. 26, they hit their low point of +3,000. As of March 1, the Celts are up a notch to +2,800, but with a 17-17 SU record, Boston is now fourth in the Atlantic Division, even trailing the semi-resurgent New York Knicks (18-17).
Team to watch: Phoenix Suns
OK, let's be realistic: the Phoenix Suns are unlikely to get anywhere near the NBA Finals. But as of March 1 at William Hill US, only seven other teams in the league have better odds to win the championship than the Suns. Phoenix could have been in the Biggest Climb category this week, but it seems best to reserve such status for teams with arguably a more legitmate shot to win the NBA title.
Still, there's no denying that the Suns are playing very good basketball of late, prompting William Hill US to move them from +5,000 to +3,000 over the past week or so. Since Jan. 28, Phoenix is on a 14-3 SU run, improving to 22-11 SU overall, good for fourth in the Western Conference behind only the Jazz, Lakers and Clippers.
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. The West has long been considered the better of the two conferences, but the East's depth of elite teams hasn't been this great in decades.
Also, consider how an injury may affect a futures bet. Let's say 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 Antetokounmpo gets hurt? In that case, a futures bet on another East contender has tremendous value.
Other things to consider are 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.
Check out more insight into how to bet on basketball.
Where can I bet on NBA Championship odds?
You can bet on NBA Championship odds at every online and casino sportsbook. Find ratings and reviews for the best sportsbooks for betting on NBA futures your area.