After the NBA Draft, offseason trades and a flurry of signings from free agency, sportsbooks have settled on tabbing a betting favorite for 2021-2022 NBA Championship odds with the Brooklyn Nets in the top spot.
The Nets are now +240 favorites (29.4% implied probability) for odds to win the NBA Championship on BetMGM after opening at +300 to win their first title in franchise history. The Nets were thought of as the best team in the league this past season with the All-Star trinity of hoopers in Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving and added more pieces via the draft and free agency. Another season of playing together could see them run through the league like a buzzsaw.
After the Nets are the Los Angeles Lakers (+400), who won the championship in the Orlando bubble in 2020 but fell off the map in this past year’s playoffs due to injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The duo could be argued as the best one-two punch in the league, but with a Big 3 potentially waiting for them from Brooklyn, the Lakers decided to bring Russell Westbrook to the purple and gold and even out the playing field for another championship run.
The reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks (+1000) are the third team on the list for odds to win the NBA Championship. They defied the odds and became the fifth team in league history to come back from 0-2 in the NBA Finals and go on to win the title. With the band coming back again, there’s no reason to doubt the Bucks chances after NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s god-like emergence.
Why are the Brooklyn Nets favored for NBA Championship odds?
Maybe it’s that Kevin Durant may be the best offensive player in NBA history, or that his supporting cast with the Brooklyn Nets are otherworldly scorers in James Harden and Kyrie Irving, but it would be plain wrong to put any team above the Nets for odds to win the NBA Championship. The Nets showed all the doubters that a trio of talented superstars can mesh together on the same court, and had all three been healthy in the playoffs, we may be talking about a completely different outcome for the NBA Finals.
Look, I’ll admit I was skeptical on how all three would share the ball and how cohesive they would be on the court, but it only took a few games together to see how scary they could be. During the regular season, Durant only played 32 games but averaged 26.9 points per game while shooting a ridiculous 45% from three. KD was also a big toe away from sending the Bucks packing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. In the playoffs, KD was unstoppable, averaging 34.3 points and nearly carried the team by himself to the Eastern Conference Final.
To get a better idea of how this team looked in a playoff series or how Brooklyn fares when the games matter, just go back and look at the first round against the Celtics. The Nets torched this squad in five games and the trio of Durant, Harden and Irving combined to average 85.2 points per game in the series. To put that in context, even the threesome of KD, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with the Warriors never managed to combine to that kind of output in one playoff round.
The fact remains that if the Nets are healthy, everyone else is playing for second place. The only reason why I’m not sprinting to make this bet on Brooklyn at +240 is because neither of those three all-stars are the pictures of perfect health with all suffering some sort of ailment this past year. It’s a long NBA season and we’ve seen how injuries can derail title hopes in an instant.
Should the Lakers be considered for odds to win the NBA Championship?
I’m fairly certain as an NBA writer, it’s in my contract to shoehorn a LeBron James reference into any basketball article I do, but frankly, this one is warranted, as the Lakers shouldn’t be counted out for NBA championship odds if he’s healthy. The Lakers got bounced in the first round to the Suns, and it was clear LeBron was laboring from the high-ankle sprain he suffered near the end of the regular season. It also didn’t help that Anthony Davis pulled his groin in Game 4 against the Suns, which led to the early demise of the purple and gold.
The team needed more playmaking and that’s exactly what they set out to do when they went after acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards for spare parts. After trading for a third all-star, the Lakers decided to go dumpster-diving for free agents and managed to come up with Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn and Dwight Howard. What do these seven players have in common? They were all discarded by their previous teams and signed to minimum contracts with Los Angeles to chase a title.
Here’s what I wrote about the Lakers NBA Championship odds back on July 21 before free agency:
“With how public of a team the Lakers are for betting markets and the fact that we’ll likely see some roster moves, grabbing them now at +550 could be a wise move. Once this potential trade/transaction happens, those odds will decrease significantly due to the hype surrounding the Lakers and their winning pedigree.”
With the odds moving to +400 from +550 and being the perennial favorite to come out of the Western Conference, we should see another deep playoff run in 2022 by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Long shot bet to consider for NBA Championship odds
Atlanta Hawks at +3500 for NBA title odds
The Hawks could be a team on the rise for NBA Championship odds and go on to win the championship, but the key to how far they can go will be point guard Trae Young. The third-year guard had a huge coming-out party this postseason with his scoring theatrics vs. the Knicks and Sixers, and the Hawks almost made it to the NBA Finals before falling in six games to the Bucks. With this type of ascension, it’s hard to overlook Atlanta’s NBA title odds at +3500 on BetMGM.
The Hawks showed in these playoffs that they have a roster that can compete with anyone. The wave of talent they have on the wings like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish makes them a nightmare to defend. They also drafted Jalen Johnson with the 20th pick, who was thought of as a top-five talent coming into last year’s college basketball season.
In the frontcourt, they were able to re-sign forward John Collins to pair with Clint Capela, who will continue to man the middle with emerging lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu. Even nabbing a shifty guard like Sharife Cooper in the second round of the NBA Draft should help add depth to the guard rotation if we see another Young injury in the postseason.
Head coach Nate McMillan helped to push this team over the edge and reach its potential after going 28-11 SU in 39 regular season games and getting all the way to the ECF. A full offseason with his defensive principles and the players’ familiarity of the system should only benefit anyone looking to bet the Hawks for NBA futures. At +3500, this is worth grabbing now because once we get to playoff time, these NBA Championship odds will likely be halved.
The time has come for you to bet on the 2022 NBA Championship odds but you don’t know where to start or what the numbers beside the teams mean. No problem because FTNBets will explain it below. The first thing a new bettor needs to do is set up a sportsbook account that is available in your state and then deposit money to bet with. Once that’s complete, you’re ready to bet on odds to win the NBA Championship.
When you go to your sportsbook of choice, you’ll notice the odds for each team are listed like this:
Brooklyn Nets +240 Los Angeles Lakers +400 Milwaukee Bucks +1000 Golden State Warriors +1000
The numbers beside each team represent American odds, which means it’s what your potential payout would be if you were to bet $100 on that option. The team with the lowest number beside them is considered the betting favorite for this market. In this case, that’s the Brooklyn Nets at +240.
If you think the Brooklyn Nets will win the 2021-2022 NBA Championship and you bet $100 on them, you’d win $340 from your sportsbook — your $100 is returned and you’re rewarded with $300 in profit. On the flip side, let’s say you think the Golden State Warriors will return to championship glory and you bet on them for NBA title odds, you’d win $1000 in profit for a $100 bet from your sportsbook.
NBA Futures bets are on events in an upcoming season that have yet to take place. These include markets like NBA MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year, Conference winners and much more. Part of the reason why futures bets such as NBA Championship odds have such high value compared to betting on individual games is you have to make a bet like this far in advance. This, in turn, ties up potential bankroll.
To make an NBA Futures bet on NBA title odds, you would first read the FTNBets article above and compile enough statistics and information to handicap your potential bet. Once you’ve made your decision on which team you think has what it takes to win it all, you’re ready to go.
For more info on how to bet on NBA games, be sure to check out the latest NBA Odds.
Known as the “NFL Touchdown Prop God”, Gilles Gallant brings his years of betting experience and wealth of sports knowledge to the FTN family. Hailing from Canada and known as @GDAWG5000 on Twitter, he is an expert in NFL, NBA, MLB, college hoops and any bet that offers plus money. Bonne Chance!