Updated NBA Finals Futures Odds
Compelling and exhilarating adequately sum up the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs through the first two rounds. Top chalk, prior to the start of the postseason, the Brooklyn Nets (+220) lost in the Conference semifinal round. The second favorite, defending champion Los Angeles Lakers (+460), were bounced in the quarterfinals. The teams in the Final Four opened as third, fifth, seventh and 12th favorites to win the NBA title.
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do. That line, written by Harry Nilsson and made famous by Three Dog Night, applies to the four teams still in the hunt for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Since the NBA moved to an Eastern and Western Conference format, back in 1971, Milwaukee is the only team in the Final Four with an NBA title. The Bucks made it back to the Finals in 1974 but lost 4-3 to the Boston Celtics.
The Atlanta Hawks, who went 1-3 in the NBA Finals as the St. Louis Hawks, have earned one Conference Finals appearance (2015) since 1971. Phoenix has had two cracks at the NBA title, but they are still looking to win a franchise first championship. The Suns lost 4–2 to Boston in 1976, and 4–2 to the Chicago Bulls in 1993. The Los Angeles Clippers are looking to advance to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history.
It all adds up to a lot of juggling by bookmakers at top ranked U.S. Sportsbooks like FanDuel. Milwaukee is now top chalk as the Bucks moneyline dipped from +800 to +105. After Phoenix won Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Suns price has dropped from +2500 on May 22 to +150 second favorite. The Clippers went from +600 up to +800 and the Hawks +10000 price has plummeted to +1100 as fourth favorite.
Sitting in a nice spot, we have two teams still in the race. We bought Milwaukee (+800) prior to the playoffs and Phoenix (+900) before the Conference Semifinal series. Our lone loss so far is Utah (+600) who were up 2–0 on the Clippers before losing four straight. If the Bucks cut down the net, we earn a six-unit profit. If the Suns rise over everyone, our return is seven units. This is a favorable situation for a hedge bet.
Since we have the top two favorites, the two underdogs allow us to hedge and set up a guaranteed NBA Finals cash out. Dropping the profit on the Bucks to four-units, and the Suns return to five-units, we are betting one-unit on Los Angeles and Atlanta. If the Clippers win, our overall return is four-units. If the Hawks win, our profit will be seven units. Hedge betting is personal, but bettors should always be aware of their options.
NBA Finals Champion Add: Los Angeles Clippers (+800) and Atlanta Hawks (+1100)
Previous Picks: Utah Jazz (+600) Milwaukee Bucks (+800) and Phoenix Suns (+900)
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NBA Eastern Conference Finals Futures Odds
After the Bucks lost 4–2 to Toronto in 2019, Milwaukee advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three years. Prior to that, the Bucks lost to Philadelphia (1983) and twice to Boston (1984 and 1986) in their other three East Final appearances. Following a 4–0 quarterfinal sweep of the Miami Heat; Milwaukee defeated the Brooklyn Nets 4–3 in the Eastern Conference semifinal playoff round.
Led by Trae Young and Clint Capela, Atlanta is the lone “Cinderella” still at the dance. The Hawks soared to a 4–1 quarterfinal win over the New York Knicks. That was followed by a grueling 4–3 series win in the semifinals over the Philadelphia 76ers. Yes, Joel Embiid was playing on one leg, and Ben Simmons tossed up a ton of bricks, but give the Hawks their due. Atlanta deserves to be here. The Bucks price has no value.
Series Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 Series Win – No Bet
NBA Western Conference Finals Futures Odds
Phoenix is playing in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since losing 4–2 to the Lakers in 2010. Prior to that, the Suns lost in the West Final to San Antonio Spurs in 2005 and the Dallas Mavericks in 2006. Phoenix eliminated the Lakers 4–2 in the quarterfinals, and then swept the Denver Nuggets 4–0 in semifinal round. Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton are a feared triple threat-scoring machine.
Dragging along a wobbly bandwagon, fans keep hoping off and on it, the Clippers are playing in a franchise first West Final series. Los Angeles fell behind Dallas 0–2 before defeating the Mavericks 4–3 in the quarterfinals. They lost the first two against Utah as well, but eliminated the Jazz 4–2 in the semifinal round. After Phoenix won 120–114, in Game 1 of this series, the Suns value has taken a hit and this is a no bet for me.
Series Prediction: Phoenix Suns 4-3 Series Win – No Bet
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