The trade deadline is behind us, we can smell All Star break, that means it’s getting awfully close to crunch time in NBA betting. With that in mind, we break down the NBA Championship odds that you need to care about. Before considering a bet on any of the favorites below, this site is a useful place to start which features a list of top five sites to browse though.
The East matters. That’s what you’ve got to think about when looking at any strategy if you are putting money down on who will win the NBA Championship. Even if you are convinced that the Los Angeles Lakes, Los Angeles Clippers, or the Houston Rockets are destined to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy, never forget that the East matters.
The Eastern Conference is one of two things. It’s either where you see a winner emerging or it is where you can play around with the odds as the playoff race shakes out. The Milwaukee Bucks are typically around 3/1 when you are looking for the best value NBA odds. I would however argue against just rolling the dice on one outright contender. Have your top pick, for sure, but keep something smart in your back pocket. It’ll help you later.
For me, that smart play is the Philadelphia 76ers, who you should be able to find at 16/1. There are issues, no doubt, and they may end up with a rough seed in the postseason but so long as they can find a path to the Eastern Conference Finals that avoids Milwaukee, they can be laid off right there and then with it freeing up an option to go with both an Eastern and Western contender. This championship is ripe for arbitrage.
Outside of the Sixer, I love the ceiling of the Miami Heat. At 33/1 on some markets, they are even better value than Philly and the right seed slot in the postseason makes them the perfect side to lay as the playoffs progress.
As for outright winners, I like the Bucks but I really like the LA Lakers. The story is already there to be written, in the months after the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna the purple and gold do it for the Mamba. At 3/1 on most markets, they are a good price and sports fans love narratives.
Sports bettors however love winning. I really like the Lakers but I love the LA Clippers. The load management deployed by the other LA team this year has been criticised but I’m believe in the board man. Kawhi Leonard in the playoffs is not to be trifled with and he’ll have Paul George right there alongside him. That’s a dangerous combo in front of a deep collection of alternate options for the Clippers. They’re only slightly longer than the Lakers and the Bucks, at 7/2, but I see a rugged fight in this side to go with serious talent that makes for confetti endings. Just be sure to insure it.