Home > All > Lakers, Nets Early Championship Favorites at the Best NBA Betting Sites

Lakers, Nets Early Championship Favorites at the Best NBA Betting Sites

The Las Vegas Summer League is underway and the dust has settled on the big names in this year’s free agency period. Now it’s time to start looking at which teams will give the Milwaukee Bucks a run for their money when it comes to the NBA championship is concerned.

Last season, the Bucks ended their half-a-century drought by winning the 2021 NBA championship. Milwaukee started as the 3rd seed in the East, then they ousted last season’s betting favorite Brooklyn Nets in a thrilling series that went down to the final possession of an overtime period in Game 7 to be settled.

After disposing of the upstart Atlanta Hawks in the East Finals, the Bucks bucked an 0-2 Finals deficit by winning Games 3 to 6 against the Phoenix Suns to be crowned as the NBA’s new kings. But as the Los Angeles Lakers learned last year, it’s always easier to get to the top than to stay there.

The best NBA betting sites first released the 2022 NBA championship odds in late July, after the 2021 NBA Finals. But these were updated to reflect the 2021 NBA Draft, and now the voluminous player movements that have taken place since the start of the free agency period earlier this month.

Here are the latest complete odds as of August 11, 2021, at BetOnline:

  • Brooklyn Nets +300
  • Los Angeles Lakers +325
  • Milwaukee Bucks +900
  • Golden State Warriors +1100
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1600
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1600
  • Phoenix Suns +1600
  • Utah Jazz +1800
  • Denver Nuggets +2000
  • Dallas Mavericks +2200
  • Miami Heat +2200
  • Atlanta Hawks +4000
  • Boston Celtics +4000
  • Chicago Bulls +4000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +5000
  • New York Knicks +5000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +6600
  • Indiana Pacers +8000
  • Toronto Raptors +8000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +10000
  • Charlotte Hornets +10000
  • Washington Wizards +12500
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +15000
  • San Antonio Spurs +20000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +25000
  • Orlando Magic +25000
  • Sacramento Kings +25000
  • Detroit Pistons +30000
  • Houston Rockets +30000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +30000

Who Are The Favorites?

Brooklyn Nets ( +300)

The Nets opened as the 2022 title favorites and are still on top of the odds boards despite not making any significant changes to their 2021 roster. But then again, the Nets didn’t have to make any changes since they have the best superstar trio in the league in Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.

Perhaps the only reason why Brooklyn didn’t win last season was that they couldn’t get all three to play for most of the year, especially during the playoffs. But with all three expected to be 100% next season and Brooklyn re-signing Blake Griffin while adding veteran guard Patty Mills via free agency, the Nets are no doubt the favorites to win it all next season.

Los Angeles Lakers (+325)

The Purple and Gold saw their title defense go down the drain with injuries as well. LeBron James and Anthony Davis missed a big chunk of the regular season and Los Angeles struggled to make the playoffs. When they got there, Davis got hurt again and the Lakers ended up losing to the Phoenix Suns in round one.

Los Angeles overhauled its roster in free agency. First, they traded Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell for Russell Westbrook. Then the lakers singed Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, and Carmelo Anthony. With an old but gold lineup, the Lakers are definitely in a win-now mode, and the oddsmakers like their chances.

Milwaukee Bucks (+900)

The defending NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks are third and are the only other team to have below +1000 odds. The Bucks lost key players P.J. Tucker and Bryn Forbes in free agency but Milwaukee was quick to add George Hill, Grayson Allen, Semi Ojeleye while re-signing Bobby Portis.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo already proving he can win in the postseason despite his limitations, the Bucks are going to be a tough nut to crack. Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez will also be returning for the defending champions. However, with the Nets in their conference, the Bucks will have to go through both Brooklyn and Los Angeles in order to repeat as champions. That is always easier said than done.

Other Best Bets

Los Angeles Clippers (+1600)

The Clippers were favored to win in 2020 but their rival Lakers won the chip that year. Last season, the Nets lorded it over in the odds boards after acquiring James Harden while the Clippers didn’t really have an impressive regular season. As with the other teams, the Clippers also dealt with their own share of key injuries. But after a mediocre regular season, the Clippers had a breakthrough during the playoffs.

Heartbreaks have been the theme of this franchise but after losing Kawhi Leonard to a season-ending injury in the second round, they dug deep and were able to make it to the Western Conference Finals for the first time ever. Paul George finally showed his playoff mettle while the Clippers found a new star in Reggie Jackson. Leonard is expected to miss the start of the 2021-22 season but if he can return and be 100% in the postseason, the Clippers could be a sleeper this season.

Phoenix Suns (+1600)

The Valley looked like they were headed to their first-ever NBA championship after taking a 2-0 lead in the 2021 NBA Finals. But then the Bucks won two in a row at home and the Suns started to crumble under pressure. It wasn’t that they were badly outplayed in the last four games of the series. Except Game 3 which was a blowout loss, the last three games of the Finals were decided by seven or fewer points.

Chris Paul agreed to return on a four-year $120M deal. With Devin Booker hungrier and Deandre Ayton expected to be even better this year, it’s easy to pick the Suns to be one of the favorites to win the 2022 NBA championship. Mikal Bridges and Cameron Payne also had terrific playoff runs. If they can continue to improve, the Suns should be right up there with the best teams in the league.

Miami Heat (+2200)

Miami was the biggest riser in the championship odds boards after the free agency period. The Heat opened as a +4000 to win the 2022 NBA championship but after acquiring Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors, Miami shot up the odds boards. Getting Lowry was an impressive move but being able to add him without losing either Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson was smooth.

They also added P.J. Tucker and Markeiff Morris as free agents while re-signing both Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson. The Heat are just two seasons removed from a Finals appearance where they lost to the Lakers. The core of that team is still in South Beach and if Herro can have a bounce-back year and Butler gets the support he needs, don’t sleep on the Heat.

Atlanta Hawks (+4000)

Whoever said that the trade between Luka Doncic and Trae Young is one-sided? After making the All-Star team, Young just exploded to new heights during the 2021 playoffs. First, he became the newest villain in Madison Square Garden then he led the Hawks to a 4-2 series win against the East’s top seed Philadelphia 76ers. Sure, they came up short against the Bucks but remember that Young got hurt late in that series, and who knows what could’ve happened if he were not injured.

Atlanta secured John Collins in free agency and also agreed to bring back Lou Williams. Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish also had terrific playoff runs while veteran big man Clint Capela proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with. With De’Andre Hunter expected to return from injury, the Hawks have one of the deepest lineups in the entire league. If Nate McMillan gets them back in 2021 shape, look out for the Hawks next season.

Who Wins the Larry O’Brien Trophy?

The betting odds to win the Conferences were recently released and it wasn’t a surprise to see the Nets and Lakers on top of the East and West, respectively. Both teams are loaded with superstars and they also have very capable benches. However, between the two, I would pick the Nets simply because they are a proven commodity and the Lakers have not played one game as a team with their new signings.

However, I won’t count out the Bucks because Milwaukee has kept its core and has replaced the pieces they lost. The question however is if they can beat the Nets if their paths cross again in the playoffs and if Brooklyn has a 100% healthy lineup.

If there were a world without injuries, I would bet on the Brooklyn Nets to win the 2022 NBA championship. However, we have to see KD, Beard, and Kyrie play together next season. Critics used to worry that one team may not be enough to accommodate the egos of those three players. But Steve Nash did a good job last year and there’s no reason why they can’t do it again this year.

Prediction: If they can stay healthy, it’s the year of the Nets

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