Another NBA campaign reached its conclusion Tuesday, with the Milwaukee Bucks emerging victorious to win their first NBA Championship since 1971. Should they be favored to repeat for 2022 NBA Championship odds at places like BetMGM? According to the latest NBA futures from oddsmakers, that’s not the case, with another team in the Eastern Conference tabbed to have the inside track.
The Brooklyn Nets are back at the oddsboard mountaintop (for now) with NBA Championship odds and open at +300 (25% implied probability) to win their first championship in team 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. Another season of playing together could see them run through the league like a buzzsaw.
After the Nets are the Los Angeles Lakers (+550), who won the championship in the Orlando Bubble in 2020 but fell off the map in this 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 the Lakers will likely be doing some retooling for more talent and depth and gunning for another championship run.
The Bucks (+900) 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 Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s god-like emergence.
As for the Phoenix Suns and their odds to win the NBA title, they’re listed at +1500 and are behind the Golden State Warriors (+1200) on the oddsboard. There’s a lot of unanswered questions about the Suns and whether they’ll be bringing Chris Paul back into the fold, with many skeptics wondering if this was a one-off NBA Finals run by Phoenix.
Let’s break down why the Nets should be the betting favorites and try to identify a team that could make a Finals push like Phoenix just did and Miami did the year before.
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 +300 is because we still need to see what other teams do this offseason and how they retool their rosters. The ugly truth as well is neither of those three all-stars are the pictures of perfect health with all suffering some sort of ailment this past year.
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 title 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.
That said, the Lakers could still somehow pull off some offseason acquisitions to boost their roster and complement LeBron’s skillset. Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell were supposed to be those pieces, but neither was effective enough to push the Lake Show over the top. That’s why I think there’s a big possibility we see Schroder shipped off in a sign-and-trade deal for the Lakers to get more playmakers. Chris Paul or Kyle Lowry come to mind.
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.
Long shot bet to consider for NBA Championship odds
Atlanta Hawks at +3500
The Hawks could be a team on the rise for NBA Finals 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 chances at +3500.
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.
Understanding 2022 NBA Championship Odds
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 +300 Los Angeles Lakers +550 Milwaukee Bucks +900 Golden State Warriors +1200
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 +300.
If you think the Brooklyn Nets will win the 2021-2022 NBA Championship and you bet $100 on them, you’d win $400 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 $1200 in profit for a $100 bet from your sportsbook.
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!