Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks won the franchise’s first championship since 1971 on Tuesday night, but it’s the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers who are set as the early betting favorites on the opening 2022 NBA championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com (how sports betting works).
Antetokounmpo put up 50 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Bucks’ 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns, clinching the NBA Finals in six games. Milwaukee had knocked off the Atlanta Hawks in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, after needing the full seven games to get past the Nets when the two teams met in the second round.
But it’s the Nets who opened as the +300 favorites (wager $100 to win $300) on the odds to win the 2022 NBA championship, followed by the Lakers at +550, and then the Bucks at +900. That’s of course pending whatever offseason moves that the top contenders all make.
The Lakers, who were ousted in six games by the Suns in the first round of the playoffs, have both LeBron James and Anthony Davis under contract for next season, along with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma — with those four players set to combine for over $100 million in salary. That leaves the Lakers needing to get creative to add support for James and Davis.
Four other Western Conference teams follow the Lakers on the opening 2022 title futures at online betting sites, with the Golden State Warriors at +1200, the Suns at +1500, and both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz at +1800. The Warriors failed to make it into the field of eight teams in the Western Conference playoff bracket this past season but could be aggressive this summer. The Clippers fell in six games to the Suns in the Western Conference Finals, after getting past the Jazz in six games in their second-round matchup.
The Philadelphia 76ers, who fell in seven games to the Hawks in the second round of the playoffs this past season, are also at +1800 on the 2022 NBA title odds, with the Denver Nuggets at +2000, and a jump from there to the Dallas Mavericks at +2800. The Hawks sit at +3500 on those NBA odds, with the Miami Heat at +4000, and the Boston Celtics at +5000.
Everyone else on the board opened at +6600 odds or greater, with the Portland Trail Blazers at +6600, and both the Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Pelicans at +8000. The Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder at +50000 longshots.