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NBA Championship Future Odds: Suns Lead Field Entering Postseason

The Suns (+275) have the best odds at SI Sportsbook to win the NBA championship, while the Bucks (+500) have the best odds among Eastern Conference teams.

The NBA playoffs are less than a week away and the postseason field is full of contenders.

The Suns have separated themselves from the rest of the pack and for good reason. Still, there’s value to be found in some mid-tier tiers and potentially with a few sleepers. Here are the latest odds for the 20 remaining teams at SI Sportsbook:

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley fouls Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Phoenix. The Suns won 121-110.

Suns +275
Bucks +500
Nets +700
Heat +900
Warriors +900
Celtics +1100
76ers +1400
Grizzlies +1400
Jazz +2200
Mavericks +2200

Nuggets +2200
Clippers +3500
Timberwolves +7000
Raptors +7000
Bulls +10000
Cavaliers +15000
Hawks +175000
Pelicans +40000
Hornets +40000
Spurs +50000

When considering NBA championship futures bets at this point of the year, keep in mind that no team lower than a three-seed has won the NBA title in the last 10 years. And the Bucks, who were a three-seed last season, were the only team to win it all in the last decade that wasn’t a one- or two-seed in its conference.

If we follow that trend, only the Suns (+275), Bucks (+500), Warriors (+900), Heat (+900), Celtics (+1100) and Grizzlies (+1400) meet that criteria. There are several lower-seeded teams with better odds than some of those teams.

The seventh-seeded Nets (+700), who are participating in the play-in tournament Tuesday, certainly stand out.

Due to injuries and vaccination restrictions that affected the team, Brooklyn fell into the tournament and will have to defeat Cleveland to earn the seven seed. If the Nets lose, they risk a win-or-go-home game against either the Hawks or Hornets.

Brooklyn is simultaneously on the brink of missing the playoffs altogether and still positioned with the third-best odds to win the NBA title.

Phoenix is a heavy favorite to win the Finals after running away with the best record in the league this season. The Suns came up just short of winning the championship in the summer as a two-seed. They earned the one-seed in the West this time around and were the only team in the NBA to win 60 games.

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Milwaukee only recently passed the Nets for the second-best title odds in the NBA. The defending champions are once again the three-seed in the East after two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led his team to another 50-win campaign.

The Suns and Bucks are both undoubtedly good bets to win the title but—in terms of value—a few mid-tier teams offer more enticing odds if you don’t want to go chalk.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies guard Ziaire Williams in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn.

Boston is a good bet after securing the East’s two-seed Sunday. The C’s have the best defense in the NBA and an All-NBA talent in Jayson Tatum. First-year coach Ime Udoka turned Boston’s season around after a lackluster start, and even though Udoka is new, the primary rotation players all have valuable postseason experience.

Similarly, Miami is being undervalued despite finishing with the best record in the conference. The Heat haven’t been healthy all season but still managed to lock up the top seed in the East with coach Eric Spoelstra orchestrating a masterful defense.

Memphis also presents some value given how its record doesn’t match up with their title odds. It’s understandable to have some doubt in such a young team, but the Grizzlies’ proficiency on defense and proven ability to win games without Ja Morant cannot be ignored. This team got its taste of the playoffs a season ago and made a serious leap over the offseason. And they’ve shown they’re not scared of anyone.

The Mavericks (+2200) and Nuggets (+2200) are both intriguing wagers as well. With Luka Doncic for Dallas and Nikola Jokic for Denver, each team has a claim to the best-player-in-a-series argument, which is usually what it takes to win a best-of-seven series. Of course, the Mavericks haven’t been out of the first round with Doncic and the Nuggets are missing their second- and third-best players.

The biggest sleeper is the Clippers (+3500). Their postseason hopes improved mightily when Paul George returned a few weeks ago from a lengthy injury absence. And there’s the looming possibility of a Kawhi Leonard comeback. Even without its two stars for much of the year, L.A. managed to win 42 games with Ty Lue coaching up a host of role players who all stepped up this season.

The field will narrow to 16 teams when the playoffs begin Saturday. The value for teams like the Nets and Clippers, should they make it, will likely be reduced if or when their playoff tickets are officially punched. And similarly, if a team the oddsmakers already aren’t high on, like the Heat or Grizzlies, were to draw a tough team like Brooklyn or L.A. in the first round, they may become even more of a long shot.

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