Basketball fans can tell that the 2021-22 NBA season is right around the corner after players have been dealing with media availability this week. A tradition for a lot of people every season is predicting who’ll win the NBA Championship when all is said and done.
Obviously, it’s tough to predict a championship-winning team before a game has even been played, but that’s what oddsmakers are for. According to BetOnline, the Brooklyn Nets are the early favorites to win the 2021-22 NBA Championship at +225 odds.
When Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signed with the Nets a few years ago, people had a good feeling that they’d be contenders one day. That process got accelerator with the acquisition of James Harden last year and the team even made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Those results were a bit disappointing for Nets fans, but it’s still impressive considering: A) it was Steve Nash’s first year as a head coach and B) Brooklyn’s ‘Big 3’ didn’t have an offseason or preseason to create chemistry early on.
Now, Harden, Durant and Irving have had a year to work together and the Nets have rewarded them with a better surrounding cast to improve their NBA Championship odds. The team picked up a pair of former San Antonio Spurs in point guard Patty Mills — who led Team Australia to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games — and center LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s coming out of a brief retirement for a shot at a championship. The Nets have also brought in guys like Sekou Doumbouya, Jevon Carter and Jahill Okafor to add depth, giving them an overall better squad compared to last year.
Needless to say, expectations are going to be extremely high for Brooklyn this year.
Early 2021-22 NBA Championship Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Wednesday, September 29
- Brooklyn Nets (+225)
- Los Angeles Lakers (+325)
- Milwaukee Bucks (+950)
- Golden State Warriors (+1200)
- Phoenix Suns (+1600)
- Utah Jazz (+1600)
- Denver Nuggets (+1800)
- Los Angeles Clippers (+1800)
- Philadelphia 76ers (+1800)
- Dallas Mavericks (+2400)
The complete odds list is available at BetOnline.ag.
Lakers Looking to Bounce Back After Disappoint
After winning an NBA Championship back in Orlando two seasons ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the favorites to win it again last year. Unfortunately, injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the regular season caused the Lakers to collapsed, ultimately getting eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Suns. However, the team is healthy now and looks a lot different than last year, leading to the Lakers having the second-best (+325) championship odds.
When they were healthy last year, a lot of the offensive load fell on James and Davis. That won’t be the case this year now that the dynamic duo also has former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook on their team. Some have wondered how the Lakers’ ‘Big 3’ will work together but players who are that talented will usually find a way to make things work — especially when they’re putting their egos aside for the betterment of the team.
That’s not even to mention how the Lakers have also added a plethora of veterans to their roster, such as Carmello Anthony, while also bringing back pieces from their 2019-20 championship run in Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. L.A. also managed to entice Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn into taking affordable deals by luring them with a potential NBA Championship run, which is something a lot of teams can’t offer. Yes, this version of the Lakers is older, but, memes aside, certainly has what it takes to finish as the top squad this year.
Bucks NBA Championship Odds
The Milwaukee Bucks shocked a lot of people by winning their first NBA Championship in 50 years. Now, they’re listed at +950 odds to be the league’s first back-to-back champions the Golden State Warriors (+1200) pulled it off a few years ago.
While having the third-best odds is nothing to laugh about, it’s understandable if Bucks fans are unhappy that their team’s odds aren’t better. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that Milwaukee didn’t make as many offseason additions as the Nets and Lakers did. The team brought in guards like Grayson Allen and George Hill (for his second stint) to improve the team’s perimeter play while also adding a few other role players, but nothing as drastic as other contenders. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because Milwaukee clearly knows what worked last season and there’s no point in switching things up too much.
Plus, Giannis Antetokounmpo played like the best player in the world during this past postseason. As long as he keeps up that play, the Bucks will continue being one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams.
Besides, the Bucks have a solid core group who developed a lot of chemistry during their trip to the NBA Finals last year. Money can’t buy that and sometimes that’s all a team needs to overcome the doubters. Only time will tell if that’s the case in Milwaukee this season.