We’re at the midway point of the NBA Season, and NBA futures odds still provide many betting opportunities and value. Given the higher payout possibility, there is extra benefit to betting on an eventual champion before the list of possible candidates gets narrowed in the playoffs.
You might even want to bet on two different teams in order to maximize your chance of winning, although I will only recommend one team who I really like. So strap in and join me for a breakdown of these latest odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook plus some analysis and my betting advice.
Odds to Win the NBA Championship
|Los Angeles Lakers +250|
|Brooklyn Nets +300|
|L.A. Clippers +550|
|Utah Jazz +700|
|Milwaukee Bucks +900|
|Philadelphia 76ers +1500|
|Phoenix Suns +3300|
|Boston Celtics +3500|
|Denver Nuggets +3500|
|Miami Heat +4000|
|Dallas Mavericks +5500|
|Portland Trail Blazers +6600|
|Toronto Raptors +6600|
|Golden State Warriors +8000|
But be sure to shop around at different top betting sites in order to get the most value for your investment. Below you’ll find my favorite picks to win it all.
With the trio of stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, the Nets have the most talented, the most loaded, and simply the best offense in the NBA. Currently, they lead the NBA with 121.1 points per game. They likewise lead in team offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and other statistics.
What is impressive about these stats is that the star trio has rarely been healthy at the same time. All it takes is for two of the “big three” to be healthy. Since Harden arrived, Brooklyn has lost to only two teams with a record above .500. Those two teams, Philadelphia and Dallas, beat Brookyln when the Nets missed two of their stars.
Regarding the defensive side of the ball, there’s a misconception about the Nets that stems from some of their bad losses. In a sense, it seems absurd to bet on a team that allowed 125 in a loss to Cleveland or 149 in a loss to the Wizards. But Brooklyn can play good defense, which is all we need to know to be confident in them for one of our Best Bets.
For example, Brooklyn also beat the Lakers on their home court, holding the defending champs to 98 points. There are plenty of other examples that support my claim that Brooklyn plays good defense against good teams.
The Nets’ defensive statistics are bad because, especially soon after Harden’s arrival, they were lackadaisical in their defensive effort against bad teams. But they play good defense when they care to do so, which is when they play teams that they are excited to play against, the teams that they may encounter in the playoffs.
Utah Jazz & Why Not The Lakers
Despite enjoying a 27-9 record, I feel like there is comparatively little buzz about the Utah Jazz. I suspect that the lack of interest in Utah stems from the fact that they lack a high-profile superstar like LeBron or Kevin Durant.
But Utah does things differently. It wins without relying on a superstar to carry them, which makes the Jazz one of the more balanced teams in the NBA. It also has made them one of the best picks ATS as far as sports betting goes. To see what I mean, compare their individual player scoring averages with those of the Lakers.
Utah has six different players who are averaging double digits. One of those players is averaging over 20 points per game. Los Angeles has two different players who are averaging over 20 points per game, but only five who are averaging double digits.
More tellingly, the disparity between top Laker scoring averages — the averages of LeBron and Anthony Davis — with those of their teammates is more sizable. So the Lakers are hurting right now with one of their superstars out.
But the Jazz have had individuals — like Mike Conley — endure injury issues. They would have gladly had Conley’s 16.1 points per game on the court. But they are way more likely to keep winning games without one of their more important players.
The way that Jazz players like to play for each other the most is by setting screens. Center Rudy Gobert ranks second in screen assists. As a team, the Jazz own the highest frequency of pick-and-roll actions for the ball-handler. They will also set screens for players moving without the ball, for players trying to get an open shot. With a host of strong shooters, they lead the NBA in three-pointers made per game.
Unlike the Lakers, who have awful three-point shooting stats, the Jazz are versatile on offense. Donovan Mitchell, with his 15.4 drives per game, helps give Utah an inside game.
Defensively, the Jazz excel at guarding behind the arc, limiting the frequency of open and wide open three-point attempts from opponents. They also own one of the top interior defenses with Gobert, who has won Defensive Player of the Year twice in a row. By being strong on both ends of the court especially inside and from behind the arc, the Jazz make the most out of advanced analytics.
With its historically elite offense and its more than adequate defense, Brooklyn is my pick to win it all. But it wouldn’t be unwise to invest in a second team because the NBA lines are so attractive.
I think Utah, given its balance and multi-dimensionality, is the top candidate in the West. So with your NBA picks, at least invest in Brooklyn.