The current NBA Finals are still in progress but could be ending with Game Five Friday night in Orlando. Fans of the Lakers (or Heat) will be focused on celebrating the big win for the immediate future. But the rest of the league will be looking towards one thing and one thing only— making sure they are the ones hoisting that trophy next year.

Since these NBA Finals are almost wrapped up, it is time to start looking at next year. already has odds up. It should come as no surprise who the teams at the top are:

  • Los Angeles Lakers +375
  • Los Angeles Clippers +425
  • Milwaukee Bucks +650
  • Golden State Warriors +750
  • Brooklyn Nets +1000
  • Boston Celtics       +1200
  • Miami Heat +1300
  • Toronto Raptors +1700
  • Denver Nuggets +2000
  • Houston Rockets +2200
  • Dallas Mavericks +2500
  • Philadelphia 76ers +3000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +3500
  • Utah Jazz +4000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +5000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns +6600
  • Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies +10000
  • Washington Wizards +15000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic +20000
  • Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs +25000
  • Charlotte Hornets +30000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks +35000

The hard part to betting on next year’s NBA Finals, of course, is we do not really know how every team is going to look. Milwaukee can say they are not going to trade Giannis Antetokounmpo, but if they have reason to believe he does not plan on resigning, they could pull the trigger. Whoever gets him will undoubtedly become one of the favorites.

Some teams still do not have a head coach. We do not know how well the Brooklyn Nets are going to work out with their plans. There have been rumors that the Rockets could trade James Harden; it is hard to see it happening, but you cannot put anything past Daryl Morey.

Several free agents are hitting the market that could make a fringe contender one of the favorites.

There are a ton of unknowns to consider when figuring out who to bet on. So, it may be worth considering what we do know:

  • The Lakers are going to be a great team once again. If they make any changes, they will only be to complement LeBron James and Anthony Davis better.
  • The Clippers will be good no matter who coaches the team. The big question mark, though, will be whether Paul George is still there and what they may get in trade if he is not.
  • Is Houston going to stick with the small ball routine? If not, are they going to be looking to add anyone?
  • Will Mark Cuban look to add a third star to the mix?
  • Are the Boston Celtics going to stay together?
  • Will the Miami Heat add anyone or lose anyone?
  • What do the Denver Nuggets have planned?
  • Will the Golden State Warriors be as dominant as before?

So— how should you bet?

At this point, the safe bet will be the Lakers, of course. But this may be the time to look at teams with longer odds. They all know they will need to do something to close the gap. We just don’t know what they will do, if anything.

So, go with the Lakers if you want to be safe. But consider putting something down on the Bucks, Celtics, the Raptors, and of course, the Warriors.


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