Back to back bucks? Not enough.
Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered an otherworldly performance in the NBA Finals in the 2021 Championship round against the Phoenix Suns, officially ascending to the throne of one of the world’s best players and leaving no doubt in it that the Bucks are a mainstay of the Eastern Conference.
That said, the Bucks aren’t opening up as repeat favorites in 2022: The first chances are with the Brooklyn Nets, who are a healthy favorite to emerge from the East and represent the conference in the 2022 NBA Finals.
The Nets have, arguably, the best Big 3s in the NBA with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, and were a big toe Durant on changing the playoff timeline. That won’t change when all three players return to good health next year.
In the West, punters are counting on a return to health for LeBron James and Anthony Davis and on a revised list to go to the big ball. Surprisingly, the Golden State Warriors have the second best chance of winning it all in the West, for a potential final hurray for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson (if and when he’s healthy) and Draymond Green.
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Here’s how the title odds for 2022 form early on:
NBA 2022 Championship odds
The Brooklyn Nets are the favorites to win the 2022 NBA Finals, which isn’t much of a surprise. 2021 NBA Finals champion Bucks opens at +900, behind the Nets and Lakers.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings:
|the Los Angeles Lakers||+525|
|Golden State Warriors||+1200|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+2000|
|The Dallas Mavericks||+2800|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+5000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+8000|
|New York Knicks||+10000|
|Wizards of Washington||+15000|
|Minnesota Timber Wolves||+25000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+25000|
|Kings of Sacramento||+25000|
|The Cleveland Cavaliers||+50000|
|Thunder of Oklahoma City||+50000|
|Magic of Orlando||+50000|
– The Phoenix Suns, Western Conference champions, have the fifth best odds heading into the 2021-22 season: three of those teams are not surprising (the Nets, Lakers and Bucks). But sitting in front of them are the Warriors. This is indicative of one of two things: Vegas is banking on a big, big comeback for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson; or they try to trick bettors into thinking exactly that.
– After the Nets and the Bucks, the 76ers have the best chance of coming out of the Eastern Conference and winning it all at +1600. There are a few questions about what the 76ers will look like in the 21-22 season, with Ben Simmons supposedly bought out, and the team’s interest in Damian Lillard.
– If you’re feeling risky (bet responsibly, my friends), there are a few enticing options coming from the East: The Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, and Boston Celtics all have longer odds, but like us. ‘ve seen in the playoffs, super teams are only an injury or two away from being fair… teams. The Hawks took the Bucks to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and they’re just going up from here. Another fact to keep in mind in the Eastern Conference: Only twice in the past 13 years has the team with the No.1 seed reached the final.
Whatever you do, however, don’t put any money on the Knicks. Bet with your head, not on it.