With the All-Star Game right around the corner, we’re marking the midseason of this NBA campaign – although all teams have played slightly more than half of their games. If you snagged an NBA futures ticket early in the year, it likely looks a lot different than it did when you bought it. And if you didn’t get one, it’s not too late. We’re here to give you the lowdown on how all of it looks at the halfway point and what the rest of the way should look like.
(Editor’s note – SGPN NBA writer Munaf Manji also has some advice in this article, which you’ll see below)
NBA Futures Odds for NBA Champions
Brooklyn Nets (+275)
Golden State Warriors (+450)
Phoenix Suns (+500)
Milwaukee Bucks (+650)
Utah Jazz (+1200)
Miami Heat (+1400)
Los Angeles Lakers (+1800)
Chicago Bulls (+2500)
The Case to Go Chalk
The Nets may not have the record of someone you’d peg as a favorite in NBA futures odds for the league championship, as they have dealt with a fair amount of adversity. They had numerous games postponed due to a COVID outbreak. They are currently without scoring leader Kevin Durant. There’s a lot of reason to think that things will get better.
Not only that, the Nets have undoubtedly one of the greatest scoring trios in the league. Three different guys are averaging more than 23 points a game and are firmly in the top 25 in points per game for the league. You have to love a team that can score with the best of them.
The Case to Not Go Chalk
The reason not to go chalk is the giant elephant in the room – Kyrie Irving. If the Nets were to get the number one seed (which may actually be a longshot at this point), it wouldn’t even be a good thing. That would mean they’d be without the guard for four of the seven games in every series. That alone is enough to make you think twice.
All of this is without even mentioning the fact that they currently sit at the number six seed in the East. They’ve lost four in a row at the time of writing this and barely seem like a team you’d be looking at odds like that for.
I’ve actually got two levels of sleepers for these NBA futures odds. The first is the much more obvious of the two – the Phoenix Suns. They have the best record in the NBA and here they are standing at +500. It seems almost criminal that they’d be that underrated in all of this. They’re also the hottest team in the NBA right now with ten straight wins – which is more than the number of losses (nine) they have all year.
My other sleeper here is way down the list – the Chicago Bulls. A lot of people are off the Bulls as of late, but they’re within a half a game of the lead in the East. In addition, while it seems that they lost momentum, a lot of players who had them way out front early in the season will be coming back. Lonzo Ball seems poised to return for the playoffs. Alex Caruso will be back by then. Zach LaVine has already returned to full strength. They shouldn’t be a favorite by any means, but +2500 looks real juicy.
Munaf Manji’s Take:
Miami Heat to win NBA Championship +1400
The Miami Heat are quietly flying under the radar as a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. They are being overshadowed by the Nets, Bucks, and the hot start to the season by the Bulls and Cavaliers. Furthermore, the Heat have dealt with their best players being in and out of the lineup due to injuries, health and safety protocols, and personal reasons. Currently the Heat are the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference led by their star Jimmy Butler and essentially the Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro. Additionally, the front office of the Miami Heat, led by Pat Riley, is not afraid to go all in and make a move at the trade deadline. The Heat have one of the best defenses in the league and are going to be a difficult out in a playoff series. At +1400 there is still value for the Heat to win the championship.
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