- Championship odds for all 16 NBA playoff teams are available below
- The Clippers (+250) have usurped the Lakers (+300) as title favorites heading into the postseason
- Giannis’ Bucks (+300) will have a hard time getting by the Celtics (+1100) and Raptors (+1100) in the Eastern Conference
From season tip-off to today, most NBA fans have assumed that either the Lakers or Clippers will win the championship. With both LA clubs flip-flopping as favorites over the course of the season, oddsmakers have now given the edge to Kawhi and Co. heading into the playoffs.
Let’s examine the title odds for all 16 playoff teams and place our bets on who will take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
2020 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
|Los Angeles Clippers||+250|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+300|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+2000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+5000|
LAKERS NO LONGER THE FAVORITE
Before the NBA closed its doors for COVID, LeBron James was gaining serious ground on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the MVP race and the Lakers (+300) were unanimous favorites to win the NBA championship, picking up statement wins against the Bucks and Clippers.
Fast forward five months later and suddenly things don’t look so hot for the Purple & Gold. After subtracting Avery Bradley (opt-out) and Rajon Rondo (fractured thumb) from their roster, and adding other bench depth (Dion Waiters, Markieff Morris and JR Smith) into the mix, Los Angeles’ team chemistry looked off in their eight seeding games.
One more chapter 🔜 🍿 pic.twitter.com/xYowsELCP5
— ESPN (@espn) August 15, 2020
More troubling than their 3-5 record, however, is the fact that the Trail Blazers (+2000) upended the Grizzlies and Suns for the eighth seed in the West. With Bubble MVP Damian Lillard at the top of his game, and other key pieces such as CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and a rejuvenated Carmelo Anthony, Portland will be a tough out for a thin Lakers squad with little else behind LeBron and Anthony Davis.
If the Lakers get by Portland, they could then have another non-ideal Round 2 matchup in the small-ball Rockets (+1500) before locking horns with the Clippers in the Western Conference Finals.
CLIPPERS PICKING UP STEAM
Prior to the NBA season restart, we recommended a +300 title bet on the Clippers, citing the superior depth that Doc Rivers’ club enjoys over the Lakers, and it looks like the rich have gotten richer after center Ivica Zubac averaged 11.3 points, 11.1 rebounds in his bubble games.
Rested and on top of their games, Kawhi and Paul George were two of only three players to average 25 points per game while shooting at least 48% from 3-point range since the restart. With Los Angeles unlikely to have too much trouble with Luka Doncic’s Mavericks (+4000) in the first round, it’s still advisable to place a +250 bet on the Clip.
Daily News | Sixers could have several options in dealing with the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker https://t.co/fC0lA4xkyp
— Philly Daily News (@PhillyDailyNews) August 15, 2020
Over in the East, Milwaukee (+300) looked nothing like the team that was once on pace to win 70 games, going 3-5 in the bubble thus far. While Giannis Antetokounmpo was as impressive as ever, the Bucks look vulnerable heading into what will likely be a second-round matchup with a tenacious Heat (+3300) defense.
In the Eastern Conference, we’d rather roll the dice on a young Boston Celtics (+1100) team that has a healthy Kemba Walker and a still ascending star in Jayson Tatum. Or the defending champion Toronto Raptors (+1200), who went 7-1 in the seeding games, defeating strong squads such as the Lakers, Heat, Nuggets, 76ers and Bucks.