Sportsbooks Favor Los Angeles Lakers to be Repeat NBA Champions
The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA championship on Sunday night, tying the Boston Celtics for the most in league history.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) hugs general manager Rob Pelinka after beating the Miami Heat to win the NBA championship on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Image: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
After dispatching the Miami Heat, as expected, in this season’s NBA Finals, the Lakers are the favorite to make it No. 18 whenever next season tips off.
At Westgate SuperBook, the Lakers are 7/2 to win the 2020-21 championship, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers at 9/2. The Milwaukee Bucks, who had the best record in the NBA but failed to bring their A-game once the league schedule resumed in the Florida bubble, are next at 6/1.
Next year’s NBA futures have some intrigue with the public,” Ed Salmons, the vice president of risk management and oddsmaking at SuperBook, told Casino.org. “The public wants to believe in stuff they have seen before. We took a $20,000 bet on the Brooklyn Nets to win the championship at 14-1. The public also believes in the Golden State Warriors. Those two teams have seen a decent amount of money so far.”
Golden State, which finished with the worst record in the NBA without injured stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, is fourth at 10/1.
On Hold at Wynn
Usually, the NBA season starts in about two weeks. This year, there’s no concrete starting date. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told CNN recently that the hoped-for start is Christmas. But, more likely, the upcoming season will start at some point in January.
Thus, Wynn Las Vegas kept its NBA futures tucked away until after the Lakers won the championship on Sunday.
Normally, in the past, when things were pretty concrete and you knew that the NBA season was going to end in the summer of the upcoming year, we would have that up well before the NBA Finals,” said Doug Castaneda, the director of race and sports at Wynn Las Vegas, to Casino.org.
“We try to grab that traffic and interest when people are betting the current NBA Finals and try to catch a bet in advance. We do that with the Super Bowl, as well, so when people are in for Super Bowl weekend, we have the odds up for the following year out of convenience to the customer so they can bet ahead of time.”
As is the case at SuperBook, the Lakers are atop the board at Wynn and are followed closely by the Clippers. The Eastern Conference quartet of the Bucks, Heat, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are on the Los Angeles teams’ heels.
“Ever since they starting winning 60-plus games a year, the public has completely stopped betting them,” Salmons said of the Bucks, who must convince star Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a contract extension or risk losing him. “We have the Bucks at 6-1 right now. The public treats them as a choking team that can’t win.”
Not Much Interest
The clinching game of the NBA Finals went head-to-head against a hotly contested NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. The NFL clobbered the NBA in TV ratings, earning a 2-to-1 edge in viewers, and at sportsbooks.
The interest has waned,” Castaneda told Casino.org. “There was a lot of interest with the conference finals, when the Celtics were still alive and there was a lot of basketball being played on a daily basis. Football is king. The clinching game for the Lakers didn’t get as much action as I envisioned. I had more action on Sunday night conference final games than we had on Sunday night. By the time we get to Sunday night, all the NFL action has grabbed everyone.”
The Lakers clinched the championship with a 106-93 victory. Bettors took the Heat at +6 and bet the over, so the game result was a good one for the books.
Here are the odds from SuperBook.
Los Angeles Lakers 7/2
Los Angeles Clippers 9/2
Milwaukee Bucks 6/1
Golden State Warriors 10/1
Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets 12/1
Miami Heat 14/1
Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets 20/1
Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers 30/1
Utah Jazz 40/1
New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns 50/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 80/1
Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks 100/1
Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves 200/1
New York Knicks, Detroit Postons, Cleveland Cavaliers 300/1
Charlotte Hornets 500/1
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