Sheridan: 2021 NBA Title Odds Now Up At Top Sportsbooks

Posted By Chris Sheridan on October 9, 2020
NBA Finals odds 2021 Nets Warriors Lakers Celtics

Doc Rivers is the new head coach of the 13th or 14th best team in the NBA.

Says who?

The sportsbooks who post odds on these type of things.

In their minds, the Philadelphia 76ers team built by Elton Brand that prioritized re-signing Tobias Harris over re-signing Jimmy Butler not all that long ago is a middle-of-the-pack commodity – even with the recent hiring of Rivers after he was let go by the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 76ers went on the board at +3000 at DraftKings Sportsbook on Thursday as that book unveiled its 2020-21 NBA championship futures odds. Those odds have been on the board for some time at PointsBet, which has the Sixers at +4000, just behind the Utah Jazz (+3000) and ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans (+6000).

“You put these up and let people get a little taste of it, and it gets a lot of conversations started,” said Johnny Avello of DraftKings. “And then there’s the simple fact that there are a lot of good teams just beneath the four big favorites; the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors and Bucks. So you are going to have good teams with attractive prices. And we have at least three of them with the Sixers, the Jazz (+4000) and the Trail Blazers (+5000).”

Yes, this season’s NBA Finals have not yet concluded, although a lot of folks have come to the conclusion that the Los Angeles Lakers closing out the Miami Heat is an inevitability. The line for Friday night’s Game 5 is Lakers -7, and diehard believers in the Heat can get them at +2200 at DraftKings and +2300 at FanDuel to come back and win the next three games to deny LeBron James a fourth career NBA championship.

Fans of teams other than the Lakers and Heat have nothing left but hopes and dreams, and that is where the 2020-21 futures market comes into play.

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2021 NBA title odds

NBA Championship Winner 2021

LA Lakers
Bet now
+350
Bet now
+360
Bet now
+400
LA Clippers
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+400
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+480
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+500
Milwaukee Bucks
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+500
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+600
Bet now
+500
Brooklyn Nets
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+600
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+1000
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+900
Golden State Warriors
Bet now
+600
Bet now
+950
Bet now
+800
Miami Heat
Bet now
+900
Bet now
+1600
Bet now
+900
Boston Celtics
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+1200
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+1200
Bet now
+1000
Toronto Raptors
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+1600
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+2000
Bet now
+1600
Denver Nuggets
Bet now
+2000
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+2400
Bet now
+2000
Dallas Mavericks
Bet now
+2200
Bet now
+2700
Bet now
+2000
Houston Rockets
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+2200
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+2100
Bet now
+2500
Philadelphia 76ers
Bet now
+3000
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+3200
Bet now
+2500
Utah Jazz
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+4000
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+4200
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+5000
New Orleans Pelicans
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+5000
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+5500
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+6500
Phoenix Suns
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+5000
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+5500
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+10000
Portland Trail Blazers
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+5000
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+5500
Bet now
+4000
Oklahoma City Thunder
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+8000
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+10000
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+8000
Indiana Pacers
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+10000
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+10000
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+10000
Atlanta Hawks
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+15000
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+13000
Bet now
+15000
Chicago Bulls
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+15000
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+13000
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+20000
Memphis Grizzlies
Bet now
+15000
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+10000
Bet now
+20000
Minnesota Timberwolves
Bet now
+20000
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+13000
Bet now
+50000
Orlando Magic
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+20000
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+13000
Bet now
+15000
Washington Wizards
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+20000
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+16000
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+20000
Sacramento Kings
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+25000
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+16000
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+25000
San Antonio Spurs
Bet now
+25000
Bet now
+16000
Bet now
+25000
Charlotte Hornets
Bet now
+50000
Bet now
+25000
Bet now
+50000
Cleveland Cavaliers
Bet now
+50000
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+25000
Bet now
+50000
Detroit Pistons
Bet now
+50000
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+19000
Bet now
+50000
New York Knicks
Bet now
+50000
Bet now
+25000
Bet now
+50000

Warriors and Nets among the fresh favorites

The Lakers, Clippers, Bucks and Golden State Warriors all have odds lower than +900, which makes sense given their current rosters. But it does not take into account whatever changes will take place in the offseason through the draft, trades and free agency.

The Clippers do not have a coach, the Bucks are expected to make roster changes after the disappointment of losing to the Heat 4-1 in the second round, and Golden State may or may not have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft because of the very real possibility that they trade the pick for an established player to play alongside Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins.

PointsBet has taken 10 times more money on Brooklyn than on any other team, making the odds move from +1200 to +1000. A whopping 40% of the bet count is on Brooklyn, with PointsBet’s second biggest liability on the Sixers at +4000.

“The book will be much more balanced as we get closer to next season, but as of now, the Nets winning next year’s title would be a disaster of a result for us,” PointsBet spokesman Patrick Eichner said.

The major sportsbooks in the legalized US sports gambling market all list the Bucks as the Eastern Conference team with the shortest odds, but one exception is SportsBetting.com, which has the Nets at +900 ahead of the Bucks at +1200.

“There are certainly a lot of unknowns with Brooklyn,” said Scott Cooley, odds consultant for the book. “The rookie head coach (Steve Nash), the chemistry, the injuries. But when you put Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a conference without LeBron or Kawhi (Leonard), there is automatically championship potential. These playoffs proved the East is still wide open so we felt quite comfortable making the Nets favorites out there and third in the title odds, especially because we know they’re going to attract a lot of public money.”

Start date for next season still up in the air

Left unsaid is the simple fact that nobody knows for sure when the next NBA season will begin, although Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts is lobbying for Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 18). NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been non-specific about a start date but has seemed to move away from his earlier statements advocating for a startup around Christmas.

The only date set in stone is Nov. 18 for the NBA Draft, and draft night typically brings a flurry of trade activity that will likely alter the odds of a few legitimate championship contenders.

One other striking thing about the 2020-21 odds that are coming out is the odds associated with the Heat, who came into this year’s NBA Finals with a 12-3 playoff record but have had bad injury luck while being outplayed by the Lakers in three of the four games thus far.

Miami is +900 at DraftKings and +500 at PointsBet.

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