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2020-21 NBA Championship betting update, top odds & predictions

NBA odds and tips

The field of teams vying for the NBA Championship has been cut from 16 down to eight as the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs wrapped up over the weekend. The biggest casualty of the first round was the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, who were dumped out by the Phoenix Suns. With the Lakers out of the way, the Brooklyn Nets have emerged as the clear favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2021, but will they get the job done? Here’s an update on their odds and those of the other seven teams still in the mix.

Brooklyn Nets (+140)

The Nets have the most talented team remaining in the field by a comfortable margin when Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden are all healthy. But Harden’s hamstring injury in Brooklyn’s 115-107 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 makes the Nets a lot more vulnerable. Durant and Irving are still good enough to win without Harden, but the former Houston star’s 23.2 points, 8.8 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game so far this postseason will be sorely missed when he is out of the lineup.

Brooklyn Nets outright win


Utah Jazz (+350)

The Jazz have the best record in the NBA at 56-21 straight up and 45-31-1 against the spread. They also have one of the league’s most potent home-court advantages with a 33-6 (25-13-1 ATS) record at home. Utah is the team to beat in the NBA West, but a tough second-round matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers will test the mettle of this group. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 28.5 points per game this postseason and might need to be even better for the Jazz to defeat the Clippers.

Utah Jazz outright win


Los Angeles Clippers (+500)

Kawhi Leonard led the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA Championship in 2019 and is hoping to do the same for the Clippers this year. Leonard averaged 32.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in the first round to fend off the Dallas Mavericks over seven meetings. The winner of LA’s series against the Jazz will be the favorite to advance in the Western Conference finals.

Los Angeles Clippers outright win


Milwaukee Bucks (+650)

Milwaukee flew under the radar this season thanks to the strong play of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the NBA MVP award in both 2019 and 2020 and was dominant again with 28.1 points, 11 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game during the regular season. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks must take advantage of James Harden’s absence in Game 2 to put some pressure on the Nets in this series.

Milwaukee Bucks outright win


Phoenix Suns (+800)

The Suns overcame a 2-1 series deficit with three straight wins to knock off the Lakers in six games. Phoenix had some luck go their way with the injury to Anthony Davis in the first round, but this Suns team is no fluke; they earned the no.2 seed in the Western Conference with a 51-21 record (42-28-2 ATS). This group is a clear favorite in its second-round matchup against the Denver Nuggets.

Phoenix Suns outright win


Philadelphia 76ers (+1400)

The Philadelphia 76ers finished the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference at 49-23 (38-30-4 ATS). If Joel Embiid can play through his torn meniscus for the rest of the postseason, the 76ers might offer some nice value at this price. But that’s a big if; Embiid is at his best when he can use his physicality to impose his will, and that will be difficult playing at less than 100%.

Philadelphia 76ers outright win


Atlanta Hawks (+2000)

The Atlanta Hawks are 9-1 over their last 10 games and 7-1 against the spread over their last eight, including a 128-124 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1. Trae Young is averaging 30.2 points and 9.8 assists per game through Atlanta’s six postseason games so far. The future is clearly bright in Atlanta with the 22-year-old Young to build around, but the path to a championship in 2021 is a tumultuous one.

Atlanta Hawks outright win


Denver Nuggets (+2200)

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets to a first-round victory over the Portland Trail Blazers with 33 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Jokic will in all likelihood win the NBA MVP award, having averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game during the regular season, and he will make the Nuggets a tough out in the playoffs. But with Jamal Murray out for the postseason with a torn ACL, the Nuggets don’t have the depth behind Jokic to survive all of the heavy-hitters left in the field.

Denver Nuggets outright win

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