NBA championship odds, predictions: Betting favorites to win the NBA Finals in 2020
The NBA season is upon us, so let’s jump in and take a look at who the favorites to win the title are and what to expect this season.
There is some great value on the NBA odds with this being the most wide open NBA championship race in the last six years.
NBA championship odds 2020
For the full list of futures odds for all 30 teams, head over to Sportsbook Review.
The Clippers are the favorite NBA pick to win the title. They signed the reigning Finals MVP and traded for another top-10 player. We’re talking about Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who are elite players on both sides of the floor. This Clippers core group was good defensively without those two, and their addition to this team gives them the flexibility to shut down the other team’s best player with multiple guys.
Head coach Doc Rivers has championship experience, so really all of the pieces are there for this team to make a legit run at a title. The Clippers have no choice since they gutted most of their team to acquire George. It’s championship or bust for the Clippers.
The Lakers finally got their man this summer when they traded for Anthony Davis. Much like the George situation, they gave up a ton of assets in order for the chance to win now. When LeBron James says he wants Davis to win MVP, that’s not hyperbole. A healthy Davis is one of the best players in the NBA, and with LeBron feeding him the ball, a run at MVP is possible.
One concern might be the roster depth. If either Davis or James go down with an injury, the Lakers don’t have a ton of options. Losing DeMarcus Cousins for the season was a big blow. They will need Kyle Kuzma to reach his potential so that they can indeed challenge for a title.
Last season, the Bucks won 60 games, a 16-win improvement over the previous year. Head coach Mike Budenholzer completely changed this team’s style of play, and Giannis Antetokounmpo was the biggest beneficiary. He won league MVP at only 24 years old and will be one of the leading candidates again this year. The Bucks led the league in margin of victory, rebounds and points per game. They were also No. 2 in the league in 3-pointers attempted and made.
They did lose a few pieces from last year’s team, but the core group of Giannis, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe remain. The latter two have a lot to prove this year. Middleton did not have a great summer with Team USA. He also wasn’t good against the Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals, a 4-2 series loss for Milwaukee.
As for Bledsoe, he was solid in the regular season but a disaster in the playoffs. Both will need to brush off postseason failures and come back strong for the Bucks to have a chance to compete.
One of the most intriguing stories of the season is the relationship between James Harden and Russell Westbrook. These are two of the highest-usage players in the history of the NBA. Now one if not both will have to sacrifice possessions for the greater good of the team. That somebody is likely to be Westbrook because this is clearly Harden’s team.
How will that work? Westbrook can’t be a spot-up shooter because, well, he can’t shoot. Harden is so ball dominant that Westbrook will have to do a better job than he’s shown so far in his career playing off the ball. And it’s not like Harden is any better in that department.
All of this is Mike D’Antoni’s job to figure out, and if he can’t, you can expect him to be fired after the way things went down with him and management this past offseason.
It could be argued that the Sixers have the best starting five in the league (Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid). They certainly have the biggest group, and the defensive potential that this five has is scary. The Sixers should be really good on offense, too, although outside shooting could be an issue.
Richardson should really benefit from his new role. He can be a solid perimeter stopper and secondary playmaker. As for Horford, his basketball IQ and defense automatically make this team better. He is also a great passer who will help encourage better ball movement. The Sixers should be able to get Embiid more rest now that they have another capable big man in Horford.
The Nuggets (+2000) offer great value as a dark horse NBA pick, finishing second in the Western Conference last season after winning 54 games. They aren’t getting as much buzz this year because of the improvements the two Los Angeles teams made. As for their chances at winning an NBA title, the main problem is the consistency of the pieces outside of Nikola Jokic. Starting guard Jamal Murray will be worth watching, as he just signed a massive $170 million extension this past summer.
The Jazz (+1300) are another team with a ton of buzz after a busy offseason. In comes Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdonavic to strengthen a very good group of players. The Jazz are still a longshot to win the NBA title, but they have the type of defense to make noise. If they maintain that defensive identity, this team has an outside shot at making a deep playoff run.