The Los Angeles Lakers added a 17th Larry O’Brien trophy to the franchise awards cabinet after defeating the Miami Heat for the 2020 NBA championship. While the Lakers bask in their win, it’s on to the next one for bettors.
The race for the 2021 championship will likely begin around Christmas of 2020 or sometime in January 2021. There is also the possibility that the season will be shortened, but that has not been confirmed.
The Lakers, trophy in hand, are one of the favorites to win it again in 2021. There is some unique value to be found in this futures betting market.
L.A. is the early favorite to win it all again in 2021. The Lakers are listed at +350 and rightfully so. LeBron James is still the game’s best player until someone proves otherwise. Anthony Davis will only get better and the Lakers will re-sign any of their role players that helped them win the title this year.
Don’t forget, the Lakers were one of the best defensive teams in the league in 2020. The only thing that is a concern is simply the fatigue from the 2020 season carrying over into the new season.
Did everyone forget the Golden State Warriors? The Warriors were written off after a series of injuries depleted their roster. Kevin Durant left for Brooklyn, Klay Thompson sat out 2020 with a knee injury, and then Stephen Curry got hurt early in the year.
Make no mistake though – this is a talented roster. It will be even more talented once the draft is held. Golden State will likely draft 7-footer James Wiseman who will give the Warriors some size to compete with the Lakers.
Thompson and Curry return and Eric Paschall returns after a solid rookie season in 2020. At +1200, the Warriors offer some strong value. Remember, this is a franchise that, prior to last season, played in five straight NBA Finals.
With Durant in Brooklyn, the Nets make for an interesting prospect. Point guard Kyrie Irving will also return from an injury giving the Nets an extremely talented lineup. Caris LeVert averaged 18.7 points a game during the regular season and over 20 in the postseason.
Spencer Dinwiddie averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists a game during the regular season. The roster includes big men like Jarrett Allen (11.1 PPG, 9.6 RPG) and DeAndre Jordan (8.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG).
The Nets are listed at +1400 despite playing a one of the toughest divisions in the NBA. It’s interesting to note that of the last 12 NBA championships eight have been won by Western Conference teams.
Of those 12 championships, it’s also worth noting that six have been won by teams from the Pacific Division. That means bettors should take a look at the Clippers (+400).
Yes, they choked this year, but Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the foundation of a team that is prepared to win a title.
Another candidate is Denver (+2000) which was eliminated in the Western Conference finals by the Lakers. Nikola Jokic – 24.4 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 5.7 APG in the postseason – is a bonafide superstar and Jamal Murray (26.5 PPG, 6.6 APG) give the Nuggets the pieces necessary for a title run.
2021 NBA Championship Odds
Here are the odds for every team to win the 2021 NBA Championship:
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.