Just three months after the Milwaukee Bucks were crowned champions, we are getting ready to tip-off on the 2021-22 National Basketball Association regular season.
The NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in the country and as a new season approaches, the action begins to heat up at online sportsbooks across the United States. Futures betting is wildly common among those who gamble on pro basketball and oddsmakers have a full slate of NBA futures to choose from including the NBA champion, conference champions, division winners, and even odds on whether a team will or won’t reach the postseason.
Here at PlayPicks, we’re combing through the options and providing you with our best season-long NBA futures bets for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Keep in mind that any transactions, injuries, or roster moves could shift the odds, so keep checking back for updates before the season begins.
2021-22 NBA Championship Odds
The most common futures market is and always will be centered around the NBA champion, which won’t be crowned until the summertime. If you’re looking to bet on NBA odds for the Finals, check out the lines and sportsbooks listed below.
2021-22 NBA Futures Betting | Picks For NBA Champion including Nets, Lakers
Brooklyn Nets To Win NBA Title (), To Win Eastern Conference (): Kyrie Irving has been a distraction by refusing to disclose his vaccination status and apparently refusing to get the shot so he can become available for the Nets. If Kevin Durant and James Harden are healthy, this team can win the title without Kyrie. The Nets loaded up with excellent role players, including Patty Mills, who could fill in capably at the PG spot. Durant is the best player in the world and the Nets are deserved favorites.
Los Angeles Lakers To Win NBA Title (), To Win Western Conference (): The Lakers were set up for failure last year due to the short layoff following their run in the bubble. Now they’re locked in with a veteran-laden roster that includes 11 new players but also brings a ton of experience to the table. While they open the season with a ridiculously easy schedule, the Lakers may hit some speed bumps on the way. That is when you can find the best opportunity to back LeBron James to make at least one more run at a title.
Milwaukee Bucks To Win NBA Title (): The defending champs have mostly stood pat this offseason and are depending on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s continued growth to pursue another title. Giannis (+700 at FanDuel Sportsbook) is among the favorites to win his third regular-season MVP and he proved that he can dominate the NBA Finals if Milwaukee can get past Brooklyn to get back there.
Denver Nuggets To Win NBA Title (): If you’re looking for a sleeper to win the title this year, the Nuggets could be firing on all cylinders by the time the playoffs roll around. Jamal Murray (ACL) is going to miss the bulk of the regular season, but if he’s back to full speed by the playoffs, he can play an unstoppable two-man game with reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. Denver’s defense has taken a big step forward with Aaron Gordon on the squad and Michael Porter Jr. continues to excel as a third option.
2021-22 Conference Futures Picks | Predictions For Potential East, West Winners
Philadelphia 76ers To Win Eastern Conference (): Outside of Brooklyn, we have Philly. When and if Ben Simmons is traded, the Sixers should receive a morale boost by removing that shroud over their franchise. If Daryl Morey can flip Simmons for a legitimate backcourt star, Philly could definitely be in the mix to knock off the Nets or Bucks in the playoffs.
Los Angeles Clippers To Win Western Conference (): There’s another team in Los Angeles to watch out for, too. Kawhi Leonard is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery from ACL surgery and the Clippers expect to ease him back into action sometime next spring. If Leonard is healthy, Tyronn Lue has proven that he can mastermind a playoff series with the right pieces. The Clippers might be undervalued after choking away a 3-1 lead two years ago in the Bubble when Doc Rivers was their head coach.
NBA Division Winner Best Bets
Pacific Division Winner – Phoenix Suns (): LeBron James has historically focused on keeping his team healthy and rested ahead of the playoffs, rather than selling out for seeding. Chris Paul’s Suns had no let-up last year and they needed home-court advantage in the playoffs as a young team. There is a good chance the Suns have a better regular season than the aging Lakers.
Southwest Division Winner – Dallas Mavericks (): Luka Doncic is the favorite to win MVP this year (+380 at DraftKings) and the Mavericks have added a few complementary pieces in sharpshooter Reggie Bullock and young center Moses Brown. Dallas could trade Kristaps Porzingis for better fits alongside Doncic and could roll through a relatively weak division after their 2020-21 campaign was temporarily derailed by COVID and a weather disaster in Texas.
Southeast Division Winner – Atlanta Hawks (): The Hawks went 21-5 when listed as home favorites last season and 9-3 in division games. The Miami Heat () went 6-6 in the division and 18-10 when listed as home favorites. Miami is favored in part because they added veteran PG Kyle Lowry, but Trae Young is ascending along with his talented supporting cast and the Hawks will be healthy and hungry this season.
2021-22 NBA Futures | Best Bets To Make, Miss Playoffs
Washington Wizards To Make Playoffs (): To clarify, teams that finish in the 7-10 range and make the play-in tournament must qualify for the first round of the playoffs for this bet to cash. The Wizards caught fire over the final months to make and navigate that knock-out tournament last season and are getting great odds to put together a more consistent campaign this season. Russell Westbrook is gone, but Bradley Beal can now work with Spencer Dinwiddie, who is coming off an ACL injury. The Wizards net Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell from the Lakers and have other talented bigs in Daniel Gafford and Thomas Bryant.
Memphis Grizzlies To Make Playoffs (): The new-age grit-and-grind Grizzlies have embraced their identity by adding bruising center Steven Adams and another tough young wing defender in Jarrett Culver. Memphis should get full seasons out of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke, while Dillon Brooks continues to ascend as an elite two-way wing. Memphis averaged 56.5 PPG in the second half last year and found their defensive identity over the final two weeks and in the playoffs, allowing 21.5 PPG in the fourth quarter in that span.
New York Knicks To Miss Playoffs (+125 at DraftKings): Tom Thibodeau did an amazing job with this team last year and the Knicks surprised many by earning the fourth seed in the East. That said, New York is set up for some regression this season due to their relatively ancient and injury-prone backcourt. Kemba Walker hasn’t been the same since knee surgery, Derrick Rose has dealt with multiple complications to his knees, while backup guards Evan Fournier and Alec Burks have also struggled to remain healthy at times. It also doesn’t help that around-the-rim defender Mitchell Robinson (hand) will miss the start of the season.
Golden State Warriors To Miss Playoffs (+425 at DraftKings): It’s no secret that the Western Conference is a gauntlet and the Warriors will likely wind up competing with the Blazers, Grizzlies, Mavericks, and Pelicans for the final two playoff spots in the conference. Steph Curry is a revelation, but there are still holes all over this roster, and Klay Thompson won’t be available until at least January. Only two teams had a lower rebounding rate than the Warriors (47.8%) last season and they allowed the third-most FTA per game. There’s only so much Draymond Green can do to shore up a poor defensive back line.