As the 2020-21 season edges closer to the playoffs, with the regular season ending May 16, NBA championship odds are getting more attention. And some teams are shaking things up a bit, as bookmakers hone their odds to win the NBA Finals.
Utah has been a bit of a surprise, and Phoenix even more so. But through May 6, there's no real change at the top, where the Brooklyn Nets remain the favorite and the Los Angeles Lakers are No. 2, hoping to have a fully healthy lineup come postseason.
Let's check out current NBA Finals odds:
2021 NBA Championship odds
Odds above are up-to-date and reflect the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Compare NBA futures odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
NBA Championship futures action report
Biggest climb: Philadephia 76ers
This is the time of year in the NBA when you want to be running hot, and the Philadelphia 76ers are doing just that. Through May 6, the Sixers are on a six-game winning streak, with five of those wins by double digits, including four by 20 or more points.
"The 76ers are definitely hitting a nice stride at the right time," PointsBet sports analyst Mike Korn told Covers. "We currently have their odds at the lowest they have been all season, +900 to win the NBA title. They came into the month at +1,400."
Furthest fall: Milwaukee Bucks
Granted, the Milwaukee Bucks saw only a nominal dip this past week at PointsBet USA, and they're still in the top five on the NBA championship odds board. But at this stage of the season, the slippage was enough for Korn to point to Giannis Antetounmpo and Co. for this category.
"With the 76ers moving up in the odds, the Bucks' odds slipped out to +750 from +700," Korn said, while noting the Bucks' were +650 in mid-April. The adjustment comes despite Milwaukee going 5-1 in its last six games, including back-to-back wins over Brooklyn.
Team to watch: Phoenix Suns
Arguably the most surprising story this year is the Phoenix Suns having the NBA's second-best record with just 10 days left in the regular season. At 47-19 (.712), the Suns trail only Utah (48-18, .727), and just barely at that. Through May 6, the Suns are 5-1 in their last six outings.
"The Suns started off April at +2,500 to win the title. We moved them into +2,000 on April 18, +1,800 on May 2 and moved them into +1,600 today (May 6)," Korn said.
Favorites to win the NBA Championship
The Brooklyn Nets continue to stay atop the NBA championship odds board, with PointsBet USA pegging James Harden & Co. +240 to win the title. The Los Angeles Lakers have Anthony Davis back in the lineup and had LeBron James back for two games, but he's now out again with ankle issues. Yet the Lakers remain the +350 second choice.
"We are still confident in the Lakers, regardless of their current injuries/issues," PointsBet sports analyst Mike Korn said on May 6. "We believe they will be healthy come playoff time and therefore haven’t moved our price/position on them. That being said, we actually slid the Nets out a touch to +240 from +225 and slid the Clippers in from +550 to +500."
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.