With the 2020-21 season underway, it’s time to dig into the latest NBA Vegas odds and find out how all 30 teams stack up in their bids for a championship.
Yes, preseason optimism is something fans of almost any NBA squad can talk themselves into, yet unlike other major sports leagues, the highest level of pro basketball tends to be top-heavy. Superstars drive title hopes, and the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers are clear favorites to repeat.
Bet now on NBA Futures, including who will win the NBA Championship and more, odds courtesy of America's favorite online sportsbook, TopBet. See the best futures bets to make for the rest of the 2021 NBA season in the MVP, Most Improved Player and Conference odds. Data and trends from sportsbooks.
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way, the Lakers could well hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy again. Let’s see the latest betting lines on the Purple and Gold, along with all the other NBA futures odds, courtesy of VegasInsider.com.
NBA Vegas odds: 2020-21 championship futures
NBA Vegas odds: Top 2020-21 championship contenders
Los Angeles Lakers (+230)
These Lakers got better during the offseason, acquiring first- and second-place finishers for Sixth Man of the Year in Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder, not to mention a former Defensive Player of the Year in center Marc Gasol.
Harrell provides a unique big man off the bench with more athleticism and scoring ability than anyone L.A. had in its frontcourt rotation last season. He averaged 18.6 points per game for the Clippers in 2019-20. As for Schroder, he’s another ball-handler who can help LeBron work off the ball, and gives coach Frank Vogel more lineup versatility.
Whatever Gasol can provide is icing on the cake. If he’s anywhere near top form, Gasol and Davis would make one heck of a defensive duo in the paint.
It’s easy to see why the Lakers are so heavily favored. They might be worth betting now while the odds are this long.
Milwaukee Bucks (+550)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is staying, and he has a legitimate two-way guard in Jrue Holiday to play alongside him, something he’s never had before. Milwaukee fans have to be doing backflips.
Between Holiday, Giannis and a third All-Star in Khris Middleton, the Deer may have the best trio of perimeter defenders in the Association. That’s not even to discuss what they each bring to the offense. All three can make plays off the dribble, and Holiday in particular is a true lead guard who can take the pressure off Giannis to have to make every play in crunch time.
Don’t sleep on the firepower Milwaukee boasts off the bench, either. Stretch 4 Bobby Portis and guards Bryn Forbes and D.J. Augustin all provide instant offense.
If Donte DiVincenzo can take another big step forward like he did in Year 2, there’s little reason to bet against the Bucks at least making it to the NBA Finals, if not winning.
Los Angeles Clippers (+550)
Losing Harrell to the Lakers hurts the Clips, who were already undersized and lacking offense off the bench. However, Serge Ibaka bailing from Toronto to reunite with Kawhi Leonard is a big deal.
Ibaka gives this Los Angeles squad rim protection it didn’t have before, not to mention a matchup problem on offense due to his ability to stretch the floor. Harrell does most of his damage around the rim, whereas Ibaka can step out to the 3-point line and knock down clutch shots.
The big wild card here is Tyronn Lue. Having won a championship with LeBron in Cleveland, Lue steps in for fired coach Doc Rivers. Those are big shoes to fill, and King James isn’t around this time.
Although there’s nothing to indicate Kawhi will leave the Clippers, he does have a player option for next season. If things go south, especially early on, L.A. could crumble and make the Lakers’ playoff path in the West easier to navigate.
Brooklyn Nets (+600)
Kyrie Irving toying with and insulting the media. Kevin Durant coming off a torn Achilles. A first-time head coach — and Hall of Fame player at Irving’s position — in Steve Nash.
What could possibly go wrong? A lot actually, but then again, if the Nets figure this thing out, these +600 odds to win the championship will seem overly generous.
Irving and Durant are quite volatile personality types who just so happen to have downright historic skill sets. Perhaps no one in basketball history has better handles than Irving, or can finish around the rim so ambidextrously. Durant may be the biggest matchup nightmare and purest, most versatile scorer there’s ever been.
Combine those elements with returning core pieces like Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris and Caris LeVert, and you’ve got a great-looking Brooklyn squad on paper. It all comes down to how well Nash can manage the locker room.
NBA Vegas odds: Best dark-horse value bets
Denver Nuggets (+2000)
Being slotted eighth after reaching the NBA’s version of the Final Four last postseason is some serious disrespect for Denver.
Beyond the ascent of point guard Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic establishing himself as the prototype for a modern center, Michael Porter Jr. is a real X-factor.
The 22-year-old who fell in the 2018 draft because of a back injury is proving to be a big hit in Denver. Porter’s per 36-minute averages from this past season? 20.4 points and 10.3 rebounds. His shooting splits were 50.9/42.2/83.3. Those are bonkers numbers from an efficiency standpoint.
In a four-game stretch during the Orlando bubble seeding games, Porter saw the biggest minutes of his young pro career, and responded with 29.2 ppg. If he’s who we think he is, look the heck out for the Nuggets.
Dallas Mavericks (+2200)
How far can Luka Doncic take the Mavs, and how soon? Already an MVP-caliber superstar at age 21, those questions account for one of the league’s most fascinating storylines.
A compelling argument can be made that if Doncic hadn’t suffered a sprained ankle, and Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t dealing with his own injury problems, Dallas would’ve knocked off the Clippers in the opening round of the bubble playoffs. As it stood, the Mavs still pushed L.A. to six games when they had no business doing so.
Doncic can create open shots for his teammates in ways so few players can. His size, strength and knack for drawing contact to get to the free throw line are bettered by no one besides James Harden. The difference is, Doncic hasn’t shown himself to be a selfish player.
If Dallas’ relatively unheralded supporting cast can do enough around him and Porzingis is healthy, these Mavs may well be ready to contend for a title now.
Portland Trail Blazers (+3500)
This line is rightly moving, going from +5000 before the season started and shrinking already through the first week. It really should, because Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum might be the NBA’s best backcourt right now.
Lillard lifted his game to another level in the bubble, yet the Blazers’ defensive limitations were on full display when the Lakers dominated them in the postseason’s opening round. To be fair, center Jusuf Nurkic was inconsistent, because he was knocking the rust off after returning from a serious leg injury. That was a big part of the equation.
Portland made a huge defensive upgrade in landing dynamic wing Robert Covington in a trade with Houston. While Covington can also knock down treys at a decent clip (35.6% for his career), his real value is on defense thanks to his length, ability to switch and guard about any position on the floor. He may prove to be the most underrated acquisition for any playoff contender of the 2020 offseason.
New Orleans Pelicans (+7000)
Is this the 2021 playoffs’ version of the 2020 Miami Heat? It’d be a bunch of young studs banding together on a rapid ascent, led by second-year phenom Zion Williamson, reigning NBA Most Improved Player Brandon Ingram and a fiery, NBA Finals-experienced coach in Stan Van Gundy.
Ingram was among numerous ex-Lakers who were involved in the Anthony Davis trade. How poetic would it be if this long-shot group were the ones to upend the defending champs?
As far as dark horses go, the Pelicans aren’t a supreme stretch. If Zion plays big minutes and stays healthy, he could well dominate in a way never seen before. His blend of athleticism, strength for his size and playmaking ability, along with defensive upside, make Zion a true 1-of-1 NBA player.
Landing center Steven Adams to start at center will upgrade the Pels’ struggling defense. Adams should also help the locker room as a great mentor to sleeper breakout candidate Jaxson Hayes, and a key veteran leader to pair with ace sharpshooter J.J. Redick. Free casino pokies.
The 2020-21 NBA season is well underway after tipping off the campaign on Dec. 22. There are a little over two months remaining in the regular season, with the playoffs starting in May and the Finals wrapping up in July. Here we look at live NBA Finals odds with the Lakers the favorites to win it all again.
The Brooklyn Nets were neck-and-neck with the Milwaukee Bucks to win the East at most books early in the season and were around +600 to win the title. Immediately following the trade for James Harden, however, the Nets championship odds improved to +270 at FanDuel Sportsbook. Brooklyn is now +300 to win it all, with the second lowest odds – behind the favorite LA Lakers at +280.
2021 NBA title odds
2021 NBA Futures Report (March 9)
NBA 2021 Championship Favorites
Los Angeles Lakers: The defending champs have looked vulnerable throughout the regular season and have struggled lately with Anthony Davis (Achilles) on the shelf. Still, the LeBron James-led Lakers are 13-5 on the road and 17-8 against WCF teams with the potential to hit another gear once Davis is healthy.
Brooklyn Nets: James Harden was the MVP of the league over the last three weeks before the All-Star Break. With Harden playing the best ball of his career, the Nets were able to win 10 of their last 11 while Kevin Durant (hamstring) watched in street clothes. This team will be tough to beat if they can continue to improve defensively.
Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers are 14-3 against losing teams, but 10-11 against winning teams and 7-11 with a league-worst -26.4 net rating in the final five minutes of games within 5 points. They’re completely dependent on Kawhi Leonard to create crunch-time offense.
Milwaukee Bucks: After posting the best regular season numbers in history prior to the shutdown last March, the Bucks have struggled to regain momentum. They’re 8-9 on the road and 7-9 against teams with winning records this year, but could find some cohesion on the other side of the break now that Jrue Holiday is back with the team.
Utah Jazz: With a league-best +8.8 point differential, along with the best 3-point percentage, and best rebounding rate in the NBA, the Jazz are similar to the 2019-2020 Bucks in terms of their regular season dominance. Will that carry over into the playoffs?
Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid is the primary challenger to Harden in our latest MVP rankings and the Sixers are the biggest threat to the Nets in the East. Brooklyn will have no answers for Embiid now that Jarrett Allen has been shipped out of town, but Ben Simmons (+225) – a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year – should be able to slow down Harden or Durant.
Boston Celtics: The Celtics got hot before the break with Kemba Walker (knee) showing signs of life and they should get Marcus Smart (calf) back in the lineup soon. It may take some time for those guards to gel with young superstars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, but this team is just a savvy trade away from becoming a legit title contender.
Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets also caught fire before the break with the top offensive rating in the NBA during a four-game win streak. Nikola Jokic leads the league in PER and is the favorite to win MVP according to stats and projections compiled by Basketball-Reference.com.
Phoenix Suns: There is no reason not to back this Suns team now that Chris Paul has taken over and exerted his competitive control over a talented young roster. They won 11 of 13 with a league-best 14.2 net rating before the break and posted a 25.9 net rating in clutch time with wins over the Bucks, 76ers, and Lakers in that span.
Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler is back and so is Miami’s more subtle leader, Goran Dragic (foot). Bam Adebayo continues to showcase his exponential growth on both ends of the floor, but the real star of the Heat might be head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks came out of a 10-day layoff due to a climate disaster with renewed focus on the defensive end and won five of their last six games heading into the break, including the only victory over Brooklyn since Feb. 9.
Toronto Raptors: Before a COVID outbreak cost them a few games by forcing three starters and four coaches to quarantine, the Raptors were heating up with an elite defensive rating and convincing wins over the Bucks and Sixers.
Portland Trail Blazers: Even without Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, and C.J. McCollum, the Blazers are 5-2 with an absurd 138.7 offensive rating over their last seven close games. Damian Lillard leads the NBA in fourth quarter scoring and can carry his team until those other key players return.
How the 2021 NBA Playoffs will work
The 2020-21 NBA regular season will last 72 games with the top six teams in each conference earning an automatic playoff berth. Teams that finish in the 7-10 spots in each conference will be eligible for a play-in tournament (May 18-21) as long as they’re within four games in the final standings.
The 9th seed in each conference will have a chance to play their way into the playoffs by beating the 8th seed twice in a row. The 8th seed would have to win one of those games to advance. The scenario is the same for the 10th seed and 7th seed in each conference if the 10th seed qualifies.
The NBA still plans to run best-of-seven series formats for the quarterfinal, semifinal and finals in both the Eastern and Western Conference. Those rounds will take place from May 22 to July 6, with the NBA Finals scheduled from July 8 to 22, just one day before the 2021 Summer Olympics are scheduled to open in Japan.
Nba Futures Oddschecker
NBA Finals odds: Futures betting 101
NBA futures bets function like futures bets in other sports. They’re typically based on an end-of-season outcome. Futures bets are usually made available on both the team and player level.
Prior to the start of a season, team-level futures could include a wager on the minimum number of wins a team will capture in that season or whether a team will win its division or conference.
Player-level futures include whether a player will win the MVP, Rookie of the Year or Sixth Man of the Year awards, for example. Other player-level futures are based on whether a player will reach certain benchmarks in common statistical categories such as points, 3-point shots, rebounds or assists for the season.
Where do I find futures bets in an online sportsbook?
In an online sportsbook, available futures wagers are typically found under their own tab as a subcategory of wagers available for a particular sport. Like the odds for other bet types, futures bets are typically labeled with a number that has a “plus” or “minus” sign next to it.
In the case of futures bets, a “minus” sign would be placed next to a team or player that has a higher probability of reaching the statistical goal. Teams or players with a “plus” sign are considered by oddsmakers to have a lesser chance of reaching that goal. The higher the number next to the plus sign signifies the lower the probability the team or player achieves it.
Bovada Nba Futures Odds
For example, the LA Lakers enter the 2020-21 season as the favorites to win it all as they have +270 odds. That signifies that a bettor would have to wager $100 to win $270 if the Lakers do indeed take it again.
Bovada Nba Futures Odds
It’s also important to note that futures odds for both players and teams can certainly fluctuate throughout the course of a season.
Best NBA betting sites
Common questions regarding wagering on the NBA Finals
Where can I bet on the NBA Finals in the US?
Vegas Nba Futures Odds
Bettors can currently bet on the NBA Finals in the US at a regulated sportsbook in one of the following states:
Who is the favorite to win the NBA Championship in 2021?
The Lakers were initially installed as favorites to repeat, with odds of +360 at FanDuel Sportsbook. Those odds lowered to +270 just prior to the start of the season due to LA’s strong off-season. LA is now +280 to win it all at FD.
When does the 2021 NBA season start?
The 2020-21 NBA season started on Dec. 22, 2020.
When do the NBA Finals start?
The 2021 NBA playoffs will start on May 22, 2021 and the NBA Finals are expected to begin in mid-July. Prior to the pandemic, the NBA had traditionally held its championship round in early June.
Where can I get NBA betting tips?
Start with our own 6-part NBA betting series right here:
Westgate Nba Futures Odds
PlayPicks.com is also a valuable resource for bettors of all levels. Throughout the NBA season, PlayPicks.com will feature articles with a sports betting breakdown of select games, including a suggested lean or pick on the game’s point spread, moneyline and/or the projected total. Additionally, new bettors can find rewarding offers and bonuses exclusive to PlayPicks.com readers that are also first-time depositors.