The NBA landscape may look very different following Thursday’s trade deadline but, as of Wednesday, the Nets at +400 odds remain the SI Sportsbook title favorites.
The Suns are a close second (+450) and present some value given their position as defending Western Conference champions with the best record in basketball. Brooklyn—or rather, the idea of a healthy Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving suiting up together—does seem enticing, but the Nets are falling fast in the standings with Durant and Harden out and Irving playing in just half of the team’s games.
Falling in line behind those two teams are the Warriors (+500(, who are still without Draymond Green and James Wiseman, and the defending champion Bucks (+600).
Over the last two weeks, our writers picked which teams would come out of the Eastern and Western Conferences to meet in the NBA Finals. Now, it’s time to predict the eventual NBA Champion as we near the All-Star Break.
Here are the latest futures odds at SI Sportsbook:
Trail Blazers +50000
SI.com's Robin Lundberg:
At this moment in time I think the best bets on the board are the Suns and the Bucks at +450 and +600, respectively. That is very good value for the two teams that met in the NBA Finals a season ago. However, call me crazy, but I might still consider going with the Nets...I would just need to wait until after the deadline to place a bet and see where that number is and what their roster looks like.
BET: Nets (+425)
SI Fantasy’s Craig Ellenport:
It’s all going to come down to the health of Kevin Durant. As long as he’s close to 100% come playoff time, Durant will remind us that he can carry the Nets to a championship. Brooklyn’s current struggles really don’t hurt, since Kyrie Irving’s status means home court is not an advantage they need to fight for. So as long as the Nets’ big three is healthy when it counts, KD will carry them to a title.
BET: Nets (+425)
SI Betting’s Matt Ehalt:
I took the Suns in our Western futures series, and I'll stick with them at +500. I'm comfortable with 5-1 odds, and perhaps the second time in the Finals will be the difference. The Bucks at +600 are appealing, but back-to-back title runs is tough. I also am fearful in the East if the Nets get healthy, so I'd rather avoid that conference. The Warriors' health concerns could make them more vulnerable, opening the door for the Suns. The Heat also seemed like good value, but the East may be harder to navigate. Let's double down on the Suns.
BET: Suns (+450)
SI Betting and Fantasy’s Kyle Wood:
I picked Milwaukee to represent the East a week ago and the Bucks are my pick to win it in June. They just obliterated the Lakers on their home court behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 44 points and their offense has hammered defenses on their current four-game winning streak, scoring 130-plus points in three straight games. Milwaukee has the league’s No. 4 scoring offense and a middle-of-the-pack scoring defense that has players like Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday who can cause havoc on that side of the ball over the course of the series. The Bucks also have the possible Brook Lopez card in their back pocket if their big man is healthy come playoff time. Even without Lopez, folk hero Bobby Portis has emerged as a legitimate starter for Milwaukee, rebounding and shooting at a torrid rate. The Bucks made it through the East last season in large part due to injuries and dysfunction on the part of the Nets—that seems to be the case this year once again, and I like Milwaukee to vanquish the Western Conference Champion and capture its second title in two years. Get the Bucks at this value while you can.
BET: Bucks (+600)
SI Fantasy's Matt De Lima:
I like the Miami Heat in the crowded Eastern Conference standings. However, I have a soft spot for the Boston Celtics at +4000. They don't have much depth and may be stuck with their roster as-is with no obvious trade moves on the horizon. A small bet while the odds are long provides a ton of value.
BET: Celtics (+4000)
SI Betting & Fantasy's Frank Taddeo:
As I always stress, the NBA is not my forte and my focus remains on the collegiate hardwood. However, I picked the Suns to win the West and although the 76ers emerging in the East at odds of +1300 is enticing, I will stick with Mikal Bridges to not only get back to the NBA Finals but earn the hardware this year. Give me the Suns as the winning Villanova pedigree of two National Championships from Bridges rubs off on Devin Booker and Chris Paul!
BET: Suns (+450)
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