The NBA preseason starts on Sunday, with the 2021-2022 regular season tipping off on October 19.
Even before we see the first preseason game, sports betting apps already have odds out for which team is expected to win the Finals this year and it isn’t one of the two teams who were in the Finals last year. It is the Brooklyn Nets.
Top 5 Teams To Win The Finals
- Brooklyn Nets +240
- Los Angeles Lakers +400
- Golden State Warriors +900
- Milwaukee Bucks +900
- Phoenix Suns +1500
BetMGM has the Nets as the favorites to win the Finals with the Lakers not far behind. However, DraftKings has the Nets at +200 and the Bucks at +900 with the Warriors at +1100. As for the Suns, DraftKings has them at +1700.
The Brooklyn Nets
It isn’t a surprise the Nets are on top with an all-star roster complete with James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving. On top of the trio, the Nets are bringing back Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown while also adding Paul Millsap, Jevon Carter, and rookie Cam Thomas to the roster. Steve Nash will be back to coach the team, which is at -125 to win the Eastern Conference and -225 to win the Atlantic Division.
The Nets will be taking on the 2020-2021 NBA Champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, for their first game on October 19.
The Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are another team with a stacked roster. In addition to Lebron James, Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, and Dwight Howard, Los Angeles added Russell Westbrook. The Lakers lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns last season, but they were also without Anthony Davis due to an injury.
The Lakers are at +170 to win the Western Conference and +110 to win the Pacific Division. They will take on the Golden State Warriors on October 19 in their first game of the season.
Golden State Warriors
Steve Kerr will be leading the Warriors complete with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Thompson suffered an early-season injury last year, sidelining him for the season. With him back, the Warriors are looking to earn a trip to the Finals.
Golden State is at +425 to win the Western Conference and +475 to win the Pacific Division. The Warriors travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in their first game of the season.
The Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks won it all last year in game 6 against the Suns. It was the team’s first championship since 1971. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middelton, Bobby Portis, and Jrue Holiday are all on the roster this season. So, it is no surprise that the Bucks are at an outstanding -1000 to win the Central Division. The next team in line? The Chicago Bulls at +1100. As for the odds to win the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee is at +425.
The Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets on October 19 to start off their season.
The Phoenix Suns
The Suns have appeared in three championships and have lost all three. But with Monty Williams back to coach returning players Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, and Cameron Payne, the Suns have a good chance of making it back to the Finals for the fourth time. Phoenix is at +200 to win the Pacific Division and +700 to win the Western Conference.
The Suns take on the Denver Nuggets in their first game of the season on October 19, making it a Western Conference Finals rematch.
NBA MVP Odds
Sportsbooks also have current NBA MVP odds ahead of the preseason.
Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) +380
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) +700
Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) +700
As for last season’s MVP, the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, he is currently at +1500 to win it again this year.
But that doesn’t mean Lebron James, Devin Booker, Stephen Curry, or Chris Paul are out of the MVP talks.
Caesars has James at +1000, Booker at +2000, Curry at +750, and Paul at +10000. After all of these players put on stellar performances last season, anyone is game for winning the MVP this year.
The NBA And Vaccination Status
The NBA actually doesn’t have an official vaccine mandate. Why? Because the players’ union rejected it. However, certain cities around the country have their own regulations, banning non-vaccinated players from playing inside arenas.
What does this mean for those players who are not vaccinated? It is assumed that some players will simply just not play in these games. However, the NBA has announced that players will not be paid for games they miss due to the required vaccine ordinances. So, not only will players miss out on helping their team win, but they will also miss out on a hefty payday.
As the season inches closer, it is anticipated that more players will end up getting vaccinated instead of risking losing thousands of dollars while sitting on the bench.