2021 NBA Futures Odds – Will the Lakers Repeat?

October 12, 2020

The Los Angeles Lakers ran through the NBA bubble en route to their 2020 NBA Finals victory. And while the Lakers celebrate their 17th title, and LeBron James celebrates his fourth, it is already time to look ahead to the 2020-2021 campaign. With several dangerous teams returning to full health, and multiple contenders emerging in the 2019-2020 season, the Lakers appear to have plenty of competition at the top of the NBA.

2021 NBA Finals Odds

Here is a look at the odds to win the 2021 NBA Finals. As you will see below, there are six teams at 9/1 odds or less to win the title. That implies that there is not as clear a favorite as in other NBA seasons. And while the Lakers are at the top of the list of favorites, their chances to repeat are anything but a sure thing for those making NBA picks.

Los Angeles Lakers+350
LA Clippers+400
Milwaukee Bucks+500
Golden State Warriors+600
Brooklyn Nets+900
Miami Heat+900
Boston Celtics+1200
Toronto Raptors+1600
Denver Nuggets+2000
Dallas Mavericks+2200

The Three Favorites

The top three favorites to win the NBA Finals in 2021 will be largely unchanged from a roster perspective from this season. They are headlined by the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers will be looking to repeat after a run in the Orlando bubble that culminated in an NBA championship. They will be led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, even if the supporting pieces around them are changed.

Los Angeles’ second team, the Clippers, are also among the favorites to win the NBA Finals. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George experienced disappointment by only reaching the second round of the playoffs this season. But Leonard is a multiple-time Finals MVP and the Lakers are likely to benefit from having home games again in the upcoming season.

Rounding out the list of three favorites is the Milwaukee Bucks. Led by two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have been the top seed in the Eastern Conference for two straight seasons. The question for them is whether Antetokounmpo can improve his perimeter scoring enough to make them a legitimate threat to win the East and get to their first Finals as a group.

Teams Returning From Injury

Right below the top three, you will notice two teams with something in common. The Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors both have superstar players set to return from injury this coming season. For the Nets, that means that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be joining a roster that made the playoffs without them last year. If Durant can reach the form he possessed before his injury, that could spell huge trouble for the rest of the league.

The Warriors, meanwhile, will get Steph Curry and Klay Thompson back healthy for the next season. Two of the most lethal outside shooters in the history of the game, Curry and Thompson are capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor. Their return will allow Draymond Green more space to operate, as their roster will resemble their recent championship teams when the Splash Brothers get back to action.

Young, Promising Teams

Below the Nets and Warriors, there are a number of teams with young nuclei that could make some surprising runs through the NBA Playoffs. We just saw the Miami Heat get to the Finals behind a cast of young players, with the veteran Jimmy Butler leading them. The Boston Celtics could claim the East this year as well, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown lead a young roster with virtually endless upside.

Behind them, the Nuggets and Mavericks are two Western Conference teams that showed the world what they could do in the bubble. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic emerged as absolute superstars for Denver while in Orlando. And the combination of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis nearly toppled the mighty Clippers for the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. Both of these teams could be attractive dark horse picks to win the title next year.

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NBA Betting FAQ

What is the key to NBA futures betting?

The key to NBA betting is to look for opportunities where there is value relative to the betting odds in place. Taking a favorite to win the title might feel like the safe bet, but there is never a guarantee that they will make it through the gauntlet that is the NBA Playoffs. Finding chances to take teams at better prices can open the door for hedging in the future while still protecting potential payouts.

Will the Lakers repeat in 2021?

It is certainly possible that the Lakers repeat as champions in 2021. The big question for the Lakers is going to be whether or not they can get consistency from their bench. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis are great, more consistent execution from bench players will be required to absorb the best shots from teams like the Clippers and Warriors.

Who are some other teams who can win the title?

There are a few other teams with decent shots to win the NBA Finals. The Houston Rockets and their explosive offense come to mind as a team that can get it done. The Philadelphia 76ers are another candidate if they can get some more consistent production from their top stars. But in the NBA, it is more likely that a favorite wins the title than a team at 25/1 odds or greater.

Jay Sanin
Jay Sanin is a sports writer and broadcaster from Albany, NY. He has covered sports betting and the gambling industry since 2013.