Ahead of the NBA Playoffs, the last year’s champions Los Angeles Lakers were the #1 favorite for another title. But, they’re out of the picture! They got knocked out by the Phoenix Suns in Round 1, which made Brooklyn Nets the strongest trophy candidate.
Before the Lakers exit, the Nets were the second-favorite with odds somewhere around +300. Since then, the NBA Championship odds have moved in their favor and are now +110.
It seems likely that they’re going move even further in the Nets direction if they get past the Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Semifinals. At the moment, such a scenario seems likely as the Nets lead the series 2-0.
Brooklyn Nets New NBA Title Favorites
Odds Suggest NBA Will Get a New York-Based Champ for the First Time Since 1973
Almost half a century has passed since a team from the New York State has last won the NBA Championship. The year was 1973 when the New York Knicks won the title, after beating the LA Lakers 4-1 in series.
Fast-forward to 2021, and another New York franchise is favored to win the Championship. This time, it’s the Brooklyn Nets, a team that’s never won the title previously. They did come close, however, on two occasions – in 2002 and 2003, they lost in the Final.
This time, online sportsbooks from around the world suggest the Brooklyn Nets are going to win. Odds are currently somewhere around +110, but they could’ve been even shorter. Knowing that betting odds are reflective of bettors’ behavior, it means that they’ve been putting their money on the team from Brooklyn.
However, the Nets fans based in the Empire State cannot back their favorite at internet sportsbooks. It’s because online betting in New York is not yet legal, although that’s about to change in the next few months according to NY Betting Ninja.
Giants Keep Falling in the 2021 NBA Playoffs
At the moment of writing, there are eight teams left in the NBA Playoffs. What’s interesting is that only one of those teams has won an NBA Championship in the last 50 years.
The team in question is the Philadelphia 76ers, who won it back in 1983. Oddsmakers think of them as the #4 title favorite, with odds of +800. They do have a decent squad, led by the Most Valuable Player finalist Joel Embiid. The trouble is that he might be struggling with fitness after picking up an injury a few weeks ago.
Another reason why the 76ers aren’t top favorites is that they’re squaring off with the Atlanta Hawks, who have been really impressive so far. Instead of the 76ers, the Nets’ main title rivals seem to be Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.
However, only one of those can face the Nets in the Final (assuming Brooklyn actually gets there), as the two meet in the Conference Semifinal. What this means is that another giant will finish their Playoffs campaign early.
A team that looks like the dark horse of this tournament is the Phoenix Suns. The fact that they knocked out the last season’s champions, the LA Lakers, tells a lot about the Suns’ quality. They’re taking on the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Semifinal, a team that has the NBA MVP Nikola Jokic on the roster. As the Suns lead the series 2-0, they’re likely to get to the next round.
What all of this means is that the road to the Final seems easy for the Brooklyn Nets. Of course, don’t forget that this is the NBA where anything can happen!