The best part of the NBA’s return to action next month will be that we will actually see a champion crowned this year. With so many teams having breakthrough seasons, it is truly special that we’ll get a champ. The teams with the best odds are listed below.
1. Los Angeles Lakers (+240)
It is no surprise that this Lakers team is the league favorite to win it all. They have one of the greatest stars ever in LeBron James, plus another superstar in Anthony Davis. When the two of them lock in, they are as dynamic as any other duo we have in the entire league. The issue with this team, though, is that they don’t have much else.
There are plenty of other guys on this team that can make shots like Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma. But none of them can consistently be relied upon to give them offense. They get production from JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, but that too is inconsistent.
They will need a third guy to step up for them to win.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (-260)
Right behind the Lakers, we have the best team in the East. The Bucks were the best team in the NBA at the time of the stoppage and had been consistently dominating other teams throughout the year. Giannis Antetokounmpo is on track to win another MVP, while Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe continue to score and stifle their matchups.
With several veterans on their bench, giving them production as needed, there is not a single area in which they are lacking. There is no true weakness on the Bucks, and it makes them the most lethal team in the league.
Watch out for them. They’re also very well-coached.
3. LA Clippers (+320)
The biggest threat to the Lakers in the West, the LA Clippers have depth like no other team in the West. They also have a fantastic lineup that won’t be easily slowed. With Paul George and Kawhi Leonard leading the way and Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams dominating off the bench, they’re deep.
All four of these guys were averaging 19-plus points when play stopped, giving them a bit of history in that regard. They have several fantastic defenders in Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet who can also bury the three-pointer effectively. The additions of Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris, who have a lot of playoff experience, only serve to help.
4. Boston Celtics (+1600)
The Celtics are surprisingly listed ahead of the Raptors here, but they did boast multiple All-Stars this year. Jayson Tatum came into his own, while Kemba Walker has had a remarkable first year in Boston. Add in the improvement of Jaylen Brown and stellar defensive play of Daniel Theis, and you’ve got a squad.
Gordon Hayward has also proved how much value he still carries, as someone who can step on the floor and give you 20-plus points any night. Marcus Smart is playing some fantastic basketball on both ends, picking up all of the team’s slack.
5. Houston Rockets (+1800)
The only thing stopping the Rockets from winning is the lack of size. They play Robert Covington and PJ Tucker at center, as they play small ball 100% of the time now. They have two MVP-level guards in Russell Westbrook and James Harden leading the way with shooters at every position.
They can easily score 125 points a night, and if their defense can control the other team’s bigs, they can beat any team. The Rockets are in experiment mode with this lineup but are also brimming with potential. This is a team that you can’t help but watch.