NBA Playoff Futures & Props
The NBA regular season came to a close on Sunday, May. 16. The Philadelphia 76ers earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with the Brooklyn Nets one game back as the No. 2 seed. The Utah Jazz posted the best record in the league at 52-20 to earn the top seed in the Western Conference standings. The Los Angles Lakers slipped all the way to seventh place in the standings, even with a five-game winning streak to close out play in the regular season.
As far as Bovada’s NBA futures odds to win each conference championship, the Nets are +110 favorites in the East, and the Lakers top the list in the West as +250 favorites. Going one step further, this popular online book posted betting odds for a Nets vs. Lakers showdown in this year’s best-of-seven NBA Finals. The betting odds they do face each other are rather long at +625. The betting odds against a Nets vs. Lakers’ matchup for the 2021 NBA title are set at -1400.
Eastern Conference Futures
Brooklyn’s biggest competition in the East is expected to come from the Milwaukee Bucks as +300 second-favorites to win this conference title. The Bucks will start the playoffs as the No. 3 seed. This sets up a likely showdown against the Nets in the conference semifinals.
As the No. 1 seed, there is quite a bit of value in Philadelphia at +333 odds to win the East. The 76ers went 49-23 overall with the best record in the East at home (29-7). Having the home-court advantage through the conference finals is a huge edge for this team.
Outside the top three teams in the East, the Miami Heat had the next-best odds to win this conference at +1000. They are the No. 6 seed after going 40-32.
The Nets are the best team on paper, with the trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden leading the way. However, the best betting value still lies in Philly as the No. 1 seed.
Western Conference Futures
Even with the Lakers buried in the standings at No. 7, they remain the team to beat in the West as defending NBA Champions. The Los Angeles Clippers are a close +260 second-favorites to take their place in this season’s NBA Finals. This LA team went 47-25 to finish fourth in the final standings. This presents a slightly more challenging road to the conference finals. The value team to win the West is Utah at +300 odds. The Jazz has played like the best team in the NBA all season long. They also have the ability to beat either of the LA teams in a best-of-seven series. The Phoenix Suns have +550 odds to win the West as the second seed after going an impressive 51-21. They will be a tough out in these playoffs somewhere down the road. Everyone expects LeBron James & Co. to flip the light switch for another long run to an NBA title coming off a very pedestrian 42-30 record in the regular season. I am not so sure about that, given the caliber of competition the Lakers will have to get by in that run. The current five-game winning streak helps. Yet, the fact that the reigning NBA champs still have to earn a berth in the formal playoffs through the Play-In Round is hard to ignore.