With the play-in tournament right around the corner and the majority of the first-round playoff series set, let’s take look at the favorites and the longshots to win the NBA Championship. Of course, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are going to be among the teams to beat but who else genuinely has a shot?
Favorites to Win the NBA Title
The Brooklyn Nets (+210) have been listed as the favorite to take home the championship for the majority of this NBA season. The have a superstar trio of players on their roster with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, and all are playing at a high level right now. Not to mention the fact that they picked up Blake Griffin halfway through the season. The only issue for this team is their own health as they haven’t played together much this year.
The Los Angeles Lakers (+375) are right behind them in the rankings – even though they have to engage in a play-in game. They are currently be the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference but they have been playing without both LeBron James and Anthony Davis for quite some time. Now that both players are back, they could get back into form and win their second straight championship.
Another favorite to take home the hardware is the Los Angeles Clippers (+600). The Clippers were bounced earlier than they had hoped in last years playoffs but have retooled and seem to be a better team overall. The combination of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard is more than enough to give them an edge against most opponents in the West. This organization just hasn’t had that much playoff success in recent memory.
Longshots to Win the NBA Title
Believe it or not the Utah Jazz (+700) are more of a longshot for the trophy this year. They may have finished with the best record in the league and the No. 1 seed out west but they don’t have great odds to win it all right now. They are looking at a very tough road ahead of them in the Western Conference, potentially meeting the Lakers in the first round. They just haven’t had enough playoff success yet to bank on them. This team could still be fantastic in the playoffs, but we will just have to wait and see.
The Miami Heat (+3500) are another longshot this season. Yes, they were able to march their way into the NBA Finals last season and take the Lakers to six games, but they haven’t looked the same this season. Throughout the first half of the year, they struggled to stay above .500. Now they seem to have put the pieces together and avoided the play-in tournament. They finished 12-4 in their last 16 games.
Lastly, we have the Denver Nuggets (+2800). A few months ago, they may have been considered a favorite given how they have the potential MVP of the league in Nikola Jokic. Now their hopes are far slimmer as their starting point guard Jamal Murray tore his ACL a few weeks ago, severely damaging their chances of making a deep run. This Denver team still has a tremendous amount of depth to pair with Jokic, but the loss could prove too much for them in the long run.