Lakers Favored to Repeat as Champions

The Los Angeles Lakers captured the 2020 NBA Championship on Sunday night, by defeating the Miami Heat in six games. It was the 17th championship in Lakers franchise history, putting them in a tie with the Boston Celtics for the most all-time.

At this point, it is unclear when the 2021 season will tip-off, but most experts believe it will start sometime around January 1. That leaves a long time for sports bettors to get their NBA Futures wagers in, but sportsbooks have already released the odds for 2021 champion.

It should come as no surprise to bettors that the Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites to win the champion next season, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. L.A. will have a different roster in 2021, but Anthony Davis and LeBron James will likely remain.

The Lakers currently have odds set at +360 to win the 2021 NBA Championship, making them the clear leaders. The rival Los Angeles Clippers are next on the list at +450, after having a disappointing exit in 2020.

Third on the list is the Milwaukee Bucks at +600, but they too had a quick playoff exit, falling in five games to the Heat. These three teams appear to be the cream of the crop in next year’s NBA season, and should all battle for the top overall seed heading into next year’s playoffs.

Here is a look at the rest of the current betting odds to win the 2021 NBA Championship:

Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors +1000
Boston Celtics +1200
Miami Heat +1600
Toronto Raptors +2000
Houston Rockets +2100
Denver Nuggets +2400
Dallas Mavericks +2700
Philadelphia 76ers +3200
Utah Jazz +4200
New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers +5500

Every other team not in this list is currently at +10000 or higher odds to win the NBA Championship next season.

Eyes on 2020 NBA Draft

The 2020 NBA Draft should have already happened, but it has been pushed back like everything else in this upside-down season. The postponement will give teams more time to meet with potential draft picks, and it will give bettors time to study the best NBA Draft wagering options.

Every year, sportsbooks see a large number of bets placed on which player will be the number one overall pick. That should be the case once again this fall, and FanDuel has released those odds as well.

Anthony Edwards is currently the overwhelming favorite to be the number 1 selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, with odds set at -330. LaMelo Ball (+260) and James Wiseman (+500) are next on the list of potential top picks.

Deni Avidja (+2000) and Killian Hayes (+2500) round out the list of the top-five players with the best odds.

NBA Sees Low Finals Ratings

The National Basketball Association drew a ton of interest from casual sports fans and bettors in August, when the league made its return. There were games taking place all throughout the day, and fans had missed watching live sporting events.

The interest continued throughout the first few rounds of the 2020 postseason, but the NBA was unable to keep that momentum going. Eventually, fans and bettors started turning their attention to other sports, most notably the National Football League.

Game 6 of the NBA Finals went head to head with a Sunday Night Football game featuring the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. Neither team plays in a huge market, but the football game still drew plenty of attention.

The NFL broadcast had a 2-to-1 edge in TV ratings, and sportsbooks also saw ta similar ratio of bets placed on each event. Football will seemingly always be king in the United States, but the NBA has to be concerned with those numbers, especially for a title game and with one of the league’s most popular franchises, the Lakers, in action.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.