2021 NBA Finals Possible Matchups: Odds and Picks

  • Bovada has posted new odds that allow you to bet on possible matchups for the 2021 NBA Finals
  • The Nets and Lakers are still the favorites to advance out of the Eastern and Western Conferences
  • The Play-In Tournament starts on May 18 followed by the NBA Playoffs on May 22

While LeBron James and Anthony Davis are finally back in the lineup, both appear far from healthy on a struggling Lakers team that is in real danger of falling to the seventh seed and having to win a play-in tournament just to advance to the NBA playoffs.

Still, oddsmakers do not seem overly worried, favoring Lakers-Nets (+450) as the likeliest NBA Finals matchup. Let’s review the odds on what teams will advance out of the Eastern and Western Conferences and tip off for the title. You can also find tips for betting on basketball here.

2021 NBA Finals Possible Matchups

LA Lakers - Brooklyn Nets+450
LA Clippers - Brooklyn Nets+550
Utah Jazz - Brooklyn Nets+650
LA Lakers - Milwaukee Bucks+900
Utah Jazz - Milwaukee Bucks+1200
Phoenix Suns - MIlwaukee Bucks+6600
LA Lakers - Philadelphia 76ers+1400
LA Clippers - Milwaukee Bucks+1400
LA Clippers - Philadelphia 76ers+1800
Utah Jazz - Philadelphia 76ers+2000

Are the Suns and Jazz real contenders?

While basketball is usually the most predictable of sports, no one thought the Suns and Jazz would be battling down the stretch for the West’s top seed. Playing at an MVP level, Chris Paul has led Phoenix to a 22–7 record since the All-Star break, including completing a season-series sweep of a banged-up Utah team without both Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.

There’s also the Clippers, who have lost three straight after putting together a torrid 17-3 stretch, and the Nuggets, who thanks to the MVP play of Nikola Jokic are somehow 9-1 since Jamaal Murray went down with a season-ending injury.

Depending on which of these teams you think are for real, there are a lot of juicy NBA Finals matchup odds available at Bovada, including Suns-Nets (+1200), Clippers-Bucks (+1400), Jazz-76ers (+2000) and Nuggets-Nets (+2900). With tons of options available you’re only limited by your imagination and your potential belief that the Lakers will be able to hit the ‘ON’ switch at any moment.

LeBron is already lashing out at the NBA play-in tournament and making preemptive playoff excuses, saying he doesn’t think he’ll ever get back to ‘100 percent’ healthy in his career. Still, for anyone who saw James and Davis dominate in the bubble last fall, it’s difficult to believe any of the welter-weight West contenders will be able to knock them off in a seven-game playoff series.

Lakers-NetsNBA Finals matchup
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Clippers-76ersNBA Finals matchup
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Can Brooklyn be beat?

In one of the games of the year, Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 49 points for the Bucks on Sunday, outdueling Kevin Durant (42 points) in a 117-114 victory over the Nets. Milwaukee still has an outside chance of acquiring the No. 2 seed currently held by Brooklyn, who is also trying to chase down the 76ers for the top seed in the East. However, only one of Philadelphia’s final eight games (at Miami) comes against a team in the top eight of either conference.

Home-court advantage could be just what Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and company need to knockoff the Nets. While the Sixers don’t have the firepower to go basket-to-basket with Brooklyn’s super team, they have morphed into a defensive juggernaut under Doc Rivers and will likely end the season as the No. 1 defense in the league.

Best Bets

Given the collective star power on the Nets and Lakers, there’s still plenty of value in going chalk at +450 and taking a leap of faith that both clubs can stay healthy throughout the postseason.

Lakers-76ers (+1400) is another nice option if you believe one of Brooklyn’s big three will go down or AWOL (ahem, Kyrie Irving) in the playoffs, as is Suns-Nets (+1200) if you think The King will be slain this summer.

Suns-NetsNBA Finals matchup
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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