Somehow, someway, we have already reached the final week of the 2020-21 NBA regular season. Of course, this means that the best basketball is just around the corner. In a regular season that has featured a condensed schedule and more back-to-backs than usual, the apathy of the players towards the nightly grind has been even more apparent. That all will change come the NBA postseason. While matchups are still yet to be made official, it’s not too early to get in on the NBA betting fun for this year’s playoffs thanks to the NBA championship futures market.
This article outlines three NBA championship futures bets worthy of a look. The three picks span different price points, including betting favorites, worthy challengers and longshots. Aim to place them now before the odds inevitably grow shorter in the coming weeks!
🏀 Check out three must-see NBA games for the final week of the regular season!
3 Best NBA Futures Bets to Win the 2021 NBA Finals
Brooklyn Nets (+210)
The Nets were a popular sharp pick before the season even began. There certainly was a case to be made for Brooklyn in what can only be described as a “mediocre” Eastern Conference. Kevin Durant returned from a year-long absence due to an Achilles injury and picked up right where he left off. Alongside Kyrie Irving, the Nets had arguably the top duo in the East. Then the front office pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade to bring James Harden to New York. The Nets’ NBA betting futures market got absolutely pounded. Brooklyn has been the favorite to win the 2020-21 NBA championship ever since.
Even as both Durant and more recently Harden have been forced to miss stretches of games, the Nets have kept right on winning games. While it appears they won’t be able to track down the Philadelphia 76ers for the top seed in the conference, Brooklyn doesn’t really seem to care. Their path to the NBA Finals will like run through both the Milwaukee Bucks and Sixers. However, so long as Durant, Harden and Irving are all healthy, Brooklyn will be favored in each of those series. Of course, that health is a big question mark. The Nets’ frontcourt also leaves a bit to be desired. Nonetheless, a healthy Nets squad is easily the class of the East. They would likely be favored in the Finals no matter who comes out of the West too.
Utah Jazz (+600)
Owners of the best record in the NBA entering the season’s final week, the Utah Jazz are a legitimate contender to win the NBA championship. Something special has been building in Salt Lake City for some time now. The accumulation of both young talent and qualified veterans has produced a Jazz team that is sound in almost all facets of the game. The Jazz will likely have homecourt advantage for as long as they stay alive. But that is just one reason why there’s NBA betting value on this team heading into the postseason.
Even as both Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley have been sidelined in recent weeks, the Jazz are still winning games. Once those two rejoin the fold, it will be impossible to count this team out in the postseason. Sharpshooters Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic are a big reason why Utah ranks third in the NBA in 3-point shooting (39.1%) this season. Meanwhile, Royce O’Neale is a tremendous utility man and center Rudy Gobert is a nightmare for opponents who try to drive the ball to the rim. Plus, Quin Snyder is one of the most underrated coaches in the NBA. He looks the part of a mad scientist and he knows how to prepare a winning game plan too. Superior strategy will be necessary if the Jazz are to get past the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference bracket.
Miami Heat (+4200)
If you’re looking for an NBA betting futures longshot with value, the reigning Eastern Conference Champions are appealing. The Miami Heat got off to an awful start this season and currently are just sixth in the East standings. It’s very similar to last season when the Heat went all the way to the NBA Finals as the 4-seed. It’s hard to bet against Jimmy Butler in the postseason. This year, the Heat are hoping he will have another star alongside him in trade deadline acquisition Victor Oladipo.
Although Oladipo has been sidelined for far more games than he’s played since coming to Miami, it’s hard to envision he won’t be available for the playoffs. Assuming Oladipo returns to round out the roster, the Heat could once again prove to be a very tough out in the Eastern Conference bracket. At 42-1, it’s worth a look among the NBA betting futures longshots.