With the 2020-21 NBA regular season coming to a finish on Sunday, May 16, it’s time to look at the latest odds to win the Eastern Conference and Western Conference Championship. Let’s jump right into action so you can plan your bets against their NBA Conference Championship odds.
NBA Betting Predictions for the Eastern and Western Conference Championship
Eastern Conference Championship Odds Betting Predictions & Analysis
Are the ballyhooed Brooklyn Nets going to live up to their status as the odds-on-favorite to win the 2021 Eastern Conference Championship? Can the Philadelphia 76ers ride Joel Embiid’s coattails to a conference crown? Will the much-maligned Milwaukee Bucks beat out both aforementioned title favorites to come out of the east?
Could all three odds on favorites be beaten out by a lesser title contender like reigning conference champ Miami, or a surprising New York Knicks ballclub?
Odds to Win 2021 Eastern Conference Championship
- Brooklyn Nets -140
- Philadelphia 76ers +400
- Milwaukee Bucks +400
- Miami Heat +1200
- Boston Celtics +1300
- New York Knicks +2200
- Atlanta Hawks +2800
- Indiana Pacers +4000
- Toronto Raptors +4000
- Washington Wizards +7000
- Charlotte Hornets +8000
- Chicago Bulls +8000
The Nets might be odds-on-favorites, but I’m not sure they will even reach the conference finals right now and I’m not joking. Both Philly and Milwaukee have not only challenged Brooklyn this season, but beaten them. The Nets lead the league in scoring (118.5 PPG), but have been horrendous defensively in allowing 114.5 points per contest (22nd). No team has ever won a title without playing some sort of competent defense, so…there’s that!
Philly has had a fantastic first season under Doc Rivers. All-star center Joel Embiid has been unstoppable in putting up 29.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and Tobias Harris is a consistent 20-point scorer. Still, I’m always waiting for more from Ben Simmons and Philadelphia’s depth is a question mark for me.
The Bucks are looking good as we finish up the regular season. Milwaukee ranks first in scoring and has a whopping seven players averaging double figures in scoring, led by certifiable superstar in Giannis Antetokounmpo (28.4 points, 11.1 rebounds per game). Three players average at least five assists per game and four starters shoot at least 47.5% from the field. For me, Milwaukee has a different and more competitive feel this season than they have the last two seasons.
Miami hasn’t looked nearly as formidable this season as they did a year ago en route to the conference crown. The Heat have been phenomenal defensively, but have struggled to score this season. Miami ranks 27th in scoring (107.1 PPG) and fourth in points allowed (107.6 PPG). More importantly, Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson have all taken steps backwards from their respective stellar campaigns a year ago.
Boston has underachieved all season long. Jayson Tatum (26.5 PPG) and Jaylen Brown (24.7 PPG) have both been phenomenal, but Kemba walker is shooting 41.5% from the field and just doesn’t look like that dude anymore. The C’s might win one series (might), but they definitely aren’t winning two.
New York Knicks
The Knicks rank 25th in scoring (107.3 PPG) and a league-leading first in points allowed (104.7 PPG). Julius Randle is now a certifiable all-star talent and RJ Barrett is looking better with each passing game. Derrick Rose is great off the bench, but New York’s ability to put the ball in the basket is severely limited.
The Hawks rank 14th in scoring (113.3 PPG) and an identical 14th in points allowed (111.6 PPG) and have the look of a dangerous team heading into the playoffs. Trae Young is a legitimate star and Clint Capela is playing like an all-star that is capable of doing a lot more than what most people think. John Collins is a gifted young player and Bogdan Bogdanovic is an elite sniper. A run to the conference semis isn’t out of the question.
The Pacers rank 12th in scoring (113.9 PPG) and sixth in points allowed (108.3 PPG). Domantas Sabonis is a do-it-all all-star and Caris LeVert is seriously gifted. Still, the Pacers seemingly need a bit more talent to get past the elite teams in the East.
The Wizards rank fourth in scoring (116.3 PPG) and 30th in points allowed (118.5 PPG) and look like a team that no one wants to meet right now with Russell Westbrook putting up triple-doubles like they’re going out of style and Bradley Beal a sure-fire 20-point scorer. Still, the lack of defense will doom the Wiz at some point, although Washington looks like a team that could win at least one series.
The Hornets have a real game-changer in rookie point guard LaMelo Ball, a fearless scorer in Terry Rozier and a versatile small forward in Gordon Hayward. Charlotte looks a bit dangerous and is the most exciting team to watch in the league, thanks to the youngest and most talented of the three Ball brothers. The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors will both be left on the outside looking in come playoff time.
I’m going with a final four of Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Miami or New York. In the end though, I’m going with Milwaukee and Brooklyn to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
Western Conference Championship Odds Betting Predictions & Analysis
The biggest question in the Western Conference as we get set for the playoffs is simple. Are the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers capable of getting past the gauntlet of challengers in the loaded the Western Conference? Can Chris Paul and the remade Phoenix Suns make the leap from good to great by winning the conference crown?
Will Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the loaded Los Angeles Clippers live up to their championship caliber roster after coming up well short a year ago? Can the Utah Jazz get Donovan Mitchell back on the floor in time to challeneg for the conference championship after being the best in the west for the vast majority of the season?
Could another title hopeful like Dallas, Portland or Denver get past the aforementioned conference title favorites or will Steph Curry shoot the Golden State Warriors to a conference crown? With the 2020-21 NBA regular season coming to a finish on Sunday, May 16, it’s time to look at the latest odds to win the Western Conference Championship.
Odds to Win 2021 Western Conference Championship
- LA Lakers +180
- LA Clippers +200
- Utah Jazz +350
- Phoenx Suns +550
- Denver Nuggets +1000
- Dallas Mavericks +1800
- Portland Trail Blazers +3300
- Golden State Warriors +5000
- Memphis Grizzlies +8000
- San Antonio Spurs +10000
- New Orleans Pelicans +12500
- Sacramento Kings +60000
The Los Angeles Lakers might be prohibitive favorites to win the Western Conference crown, but right now, they certainly don’t look the part. LA is 3-7 over its last 10 games and just doesn’t look very formidable without LeBron James. More importantly, the aging James and oft-injured Anthony Davis don’t look like they’re going to be fully healthy any time soon.
I saw the Clippers destroy the Lakers on Thursday night and now, I firmly believe Paul George and company are going to be very difficult to dispatch this postseason. LA has at least two quality players at every position on the floor and the Clippers have a completely different – and more serious – feel this season.
I’m a huge believer in the Utah Jazz, but that was before superstar shooting guard Donovan Mitchell went down with an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago. Depending on how healthy Mitchell is when he returns, the Jazz could really contend for the conference crown or come up well short after being the top team in the league all season long.
Similarly, I’m extremely high on Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns. At this point, the Suns are clearly no longer a novelty or feel-good story. Phoenix is deep at every position and had made a habit out of winning lose games down the stretch.
I like the Denver Nuggets a lot and I love Michael Porter Jr. to be more specific. Still, there’s something about the Nuggets that screams ‘We can’t beat the Lakers’. Maybe it’s the fact that Nikola Jokic gets abused every time he goes up against Anthony Davis. Sorry, not sorry.
I think it’s quite possible that Mavs forward Luka Doncic is the best all-around player in the league, but Dallas doesn’t have a true star to pair with the perennial all-star and at this point, I think everyone knows that Kristapps Porzingis is never going to be that guy.
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard is my favorite player in the NBA, but every time I watch Portland play, i’m left wanting more. The Blazers have plenty of talent, but can’t seem to put it all together for more than a couple of consecutive games and that tells me Portland needs to move on from head coach Terry Stotts, like now.
Golden State Warriors
I have no doubt in my mind that Steph Curry is the greatest shooter we’ve ever seen in NBA history, but the fact of the matter is that Golden State is still too young and too inconsistent to get past the elite teams in the conference. Plus, I’m often left wondering why Andrew Wiggins is determined to not play with any aggressions whatsoever.
Memphis has Ja Morant and a bnch of mediore role players surrounding him. San Antonio plays the right way, but the Spurs are a far, far cry from being the dominant team of the Timmy, Manu, Tony Parker glory days. New Orleans made a foolish move by firing Alvin Gentry in favor of Stan Van Gundy and will be on the outside lookingin come playoff time for the second straight season of the Zion Williamson era.
The Sacramento Kings have an offense that can put points on the board with any team in the league. Unfortunately, the word ‘defense’ is not in their vocabulary and that’s a problem, even if they do manage to sneak into the play-in tournament.
In the end, I’m going with a final four of Utah, Phoenix, the LA Clippers and Nuggets, with the Suns and Clippers my top two picks to meet in the conference finals.
Conference Finals Prediction: Phoenix Suns Vs LA Clippers
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