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NBA Championship Odds: Analyzing All 30 Teams at the Halfway Point

As we reach the halfway point of the 2021-2022 NBA season, the playoff picture is beginning to come into view. There are a few locks on either end of the spectrum, and then a whole mass of teams in the middle.
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NBA Championship Odds: Analyzing All 30 Teams at the Halfway Point

Western Conference Odds to Win 2022 NBA Championship

Click Here For Western Conference Winner Odds

Dallas Mavericks (+5000) (Bet $100 to win $5000)

The Mavericks have the best defensive rating in the league over the last 10 games since Luka Doncic came back, and it's not particularly close. They are holing teams to 98 points per 100 possessions, while no other team is less than 104 in that span. Still, their offensive rating sits at 19th and they lack the playmakers other than Doncic to make it much past the second round this year.

Denver Nuggets (+5000) (Bet $100 to win $5000)

Imagine if this team did not have Nikola Jokic this season. They would be completely out of the postseason picture and be in the +2000000 range where the Rockets and Thunder reside. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter could actually rejoin this team for the playoff stretch in April, so this is the darkest of horses on which to place a bet. This team at full strength is scary good.

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Golden State Warriors (+500) (Bet $100 to win $500)

After 35+ games of utter dominance, the Warriors are starting to slip somewhat in their attempt to run away with the West. In the last 10 games they are just 4-6 and have fallen three games behind Phoenix and are just 1.5 games ahead of Memphis. Their offense in that span is rated 28th in the league but their defense is still elite at third overall. All SHOULD be right with the world when Draymond Green returns from injury, Klay Thompson starts playing 30 minutes and Steph Curry gets over his recent bumps and bruises. If Curry starts shooting like we expect him to in the second half, these odds will shorten significantly.

Houston Rockets (+200000) (Bet $100 to win $200000)

Let me put it this way. Oddsmakers consider it 50 times more likely that The Rock will be president of the United States in 2024 than the Rockets will sneak into the playoffs and win it all this year. Maybe five years from now, Houston.

Los Angeles Clippers (+3500) (Bet $100 to win $3500)

There are rumors that Kawhi Leonard may return at some point this season from a torn ACL in last year's playoffs. But at that point it may be a bit too late as this is turning into something of a lost season for the Clippers. They can't stay above .500 and are struggling to create shots beyond what Paul George can give them. Their offensive rating the last 10 games ranks 25th and they are dead last in rebound rate in that span as well.

Los Angeles Lakers (+1600) (Bet $100 to win $1600)

I still don't see it happening. The LeBron James at Center experiment has gone well, but you aren't doing that when Anthony Davis is back and there is still only one ball for three mega-usage players. For all of their hype with some big wins recently, they are still only at .500 for the season and just 13-16 in conference play.

Memphis Grizzlies (+4000) (Bet $100 to win $4000)

Now we're talking. These odds look mighty attractive considering what we have seen out of the Grizzlies lately. They rank third in defensive rating over the last 15 games, they lead the league in rebound rate and are top-12 in turnover percentage. All this and they still don't have Dillon Brooks back yet, who is a force on both ends of the court. Ja Morant has turned into a legit superstar, which is the piece you must have to win a title these days. The Grizz and the Nuggets are my two favorite longshot bets out of the West.

Click Here For Western Conference Winner Odds

Minnesota Timberwolves (+20000) (Bet $100 to win $20000)

The Timberwolves are currently in the postseason picture by a comfortable 4.5 games. But that means a likely play-in tournament date with the Clippers or Lakers. Still, it would be nice to see Minnesota back in the playoffs for just the second time since 2004. Just don't expect any miracles here. Towns, Russell, and Edwards are a nice trio, but Kevin Garnett ain't walking through that door.

New Orleans Pelicans (+75000) (Bet $100 to win $75000)

The Pelicans are technically just 2.5 games out of a postseason spot, but the better plan for them is to take this mysteriously lost year for Zion Williamson and get as good a draft pick as they can. If they can pair a high-impact guard with Zion, Ingram, Jonas Valalciunas and do-everything wing player Josh Hart, they start to look very interesting next year.

Oklahoma City Thunder (+200000) (Bet $100 to win $200000)

I love the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey combo. But this team is nowhere near a title right now.

Phoenix Suns (+800) (Bet $100 to win $800)

While the Warriors endure their mini-slump, the Suns continue to dominate and are now three games up on on the top seed out West. They own the best point differential in the conference and we just saw on Monday what Devin Booker can do when he wants to take over a game. At +300 longer than the Warriors, I would seriously bet some Suns futures. It looks like they will have homecourt throughout the entire playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers (+25000) (Bet $100 to win $25000)

Portland is another team hanging onto a postseason spot by their fingernails, but the positive new of CJ McCollum returning is dampened by the news that Damian Lillard is at least out another seven games with his abdominal injury. I believe they will eventually hold off Sacramento for the 10th spot in the West, but their are no title shots in their future with all of the injury concerns.

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San Antonio Spurs (+75000) (Bet $100 to win $75000)

Their 16-28 record looks quaint when you see the Spurs are just 9-17 against the Western Conference this season including 1-5 in divisional games. The Spurs are down to 20th on the season in defensive rating (and 24th in their last four games) so I'm sure that is making for some fun practices with Coach Popovich.

Sacramento Kings (+75000) (Bet $100 to win $75000)

The only hope Kings' fans have this year is that they are just 1.5 games out of a spot that would end the longest playoff drought in the NBA (since 2005-2006). No thanks.

Utah Jazz (+1200) (Bet $100 to win $1200)

The Jazz blew a comfortable lead to the Lakers on Monday night, so it's nice to see they are in full playoff mode already. All kidding aside, the Jazz continue to roll on offense, ranking eighth in the last 10 games, but just 23rd in defense, leading to a negative net rating in that span. The Jazz will likely finish the season with home-court in the first round of the playoffs. But it will culminate with a date with the Warriors or Suns in the second round which will end their season.

Eastern Conference Odds to Win 2022 NBA Championship

Click Here For Eastern Conference Odds

Atlanta Hawks (+8000) (Bet $100 to win $8000)

What a fall by the Hawks this year. After finishing last season in the Eastern Conference Finals, Atlanta is four games out of a playoff spot even in the expanded field. At this point you start to look at teams that they could realistically pass to get in. Knicks? I could see it. Celtics? Probably not. Raptors? Same. Wizards? That may be their best shot, but Washington is healthy again and has a five game lead on the Hawks. Either way, a title is not in the cards this year.

Brooklyn Nets (+290) (Bet $100 to win $290)

Your clubhouse odds leader at the halfway point. Oddsmakers have not wavered in their prognostications that Brooklyn is the team to beat all season. But how far back will the Nets slide with Durant expected to miss 4-6 weeks and Kyrie Irving digging in on his stance that he will not get vaccinated, therefore unable to play in home games. If this injury causes Brooklyn to slip into the +400 range, I might take some shots. But I'm just not quite there at this price. Their Big Three is the best, so it's tough to not think they have the best chance at a title.

Boston Celtics (+8000) (Bet $100 to win $8000)

Tell me again why the Celtics should have better odds to win the title than the Cavaliers, for example? The Celtics rank 22nd offensively and just 15th in defensive rebound rate. Because it's the East, they are only 5.5 games out of the one-seed, but this offense has looked so discombobulated at times, it's hard to see them past the first round with defenses like Chicago, Milwaukee and Miami waiting for them.

Charlotte Hornets (+20000) (Bet $100 to win $20000)

Lakers: seventh seed, 22-22 record, and +1200 odds. Hornets: 24-20 record, seventh seed, and +20000 odds. That tells you about all you need to know concerning what oddsmakers feel about the Hornets making a title run. Their defense has been much better the last two weeks, but they are still 26th on the season in defensive rating and 29th in rebounding rate.

Click Here For Eastern Conference Odds

Chicago Bulls (+2500) (Bet $100 to win $2500)

At +2500, give me all the Bulls futures at this price. The East is very top-heavy this year with the top seven teams all within four games. But the new Chicago Big Three of DeRozan-Vucevic-LaVine is legit. And if the minor knee injury that LaVine suffered last week causes the odds to drift, I will certainly take that as well. The Bulls are sixth in offensive rating this year and seventh in turnover rate. But they MUST improve on their 24th-ranked rebounding rate to survive in the playoffs. LaVine fill-in Ayo Dosunmu (rookie out of Illinois) has been simply fantastic since LaVine went down which has kept Chicago tied for the one-seed in the East.

Cleveland Cavaliers (+10000) (Bet $100 to win $10000)

This is quite the shockingly high number considering the fourth seed in the West (Utah) is at +1200. The Cavaliers are getting it done on the defensive end, now only trailing the Warriors in fewest points allowed per game. In the past 15 games, Cleveland is top-ten in defensive rating, rebound rate, and opponents' field goal percentage allowed. Evan Mobley is a one-man defensive wrecking crew even as a rookie. I would likely look to next year to make a bet on them winning the finals as they won't get Collin Sexton back until then, but this team looks legit.

Detroit Pistons (+200000) (Bet $100 to win $200000)

Trust the Process: Detroit Edition. Cunningham. Diallo. Hayes. Grant. A top-3 pick this year. That's a solid foundation.

Indiana Pacers (+50000) (Bet $100 to win $50000)

Perhaps the most boring team in the NBA, the Pacers have also been ravaged by injuries and COVID scares this season. They have played long stretches without Brogdon, Duarte, LaVert, and now Myles Turner is out for a couple weeks with a foot injury. The latest 1-9 stretch solidified their place in the lottery this year.

Miami Heat (+1500) (Bet $100 to win $1500)

These next two teams represent my favorite bets in the East to win the title. The Heat just finished a 7-3 stretch which moved them into a tie for first in the conference and they just now got Bam Adebayo back from injury. In the last six games (several played without Bam and Jimmy Butler), the Heat have the best offensive rating in the league. They are two deep at every position and can go toe-to-toe defensively with any offensive scheme opponents can throw at them.

Click Here For Eastern Conference Odds

Milwaukee Bucks (+700) (Bet $100 to win $700)

For the price I like the Heat slightly more than the Bucks, but Milwaukee has tremendous value at +700. By PER and win shares per 48 minutes, Giannis is having an even better year this year that last. Consider, the ideal Milwaukee lineup of Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, Holiday and DiVincenzo has not played a single minute together this season. Add in the emergence of Bobby Portis and Grayson Allen and this looks like a team prepared for a big run.

New York Knicks (+20000) (Bet $100 to win $20000)

Since a nice start to the season, the Knicks has been average at best and now sit at exactly .500 in the 11th seed and have no idea what they want to be. They added the 38th wing player to their roster with Cam Reddish, I guess hoping RJ Barrett and Reddish will spark some of their Duke magic together. Too steep a hill to climb for the Knicks this year, I'm afraid.

Orlando Magic (+200000) (Bet $100 to win $200000)

See: Pistons, Detroit. Except take away the good players part. At least they will have another high draft pick this year. To be fair, Franz Wagner has been a revelation and we have been barely seen Jalen Suggs. There could be something there for the future.

Philadelphia 76ers (+2500) (Bet $100 to win $2500)

The 76ers are on a huge roll, winners of eight of their last 10 and moving into sixth in the East. The best thing going for Philly in the second half is their schedule. They have played 25 road games to just 18 home games so it they should be loaded with home contests from this point forward. It will be tough to win the whole thing without Ben Simmons, especially if they end up with a first round matchup with Milwaukee. That looks like a distinct possibility at this point.

Toronto Raptors (+25000) (Bet $100 to win $25000)

They have shown what they can do lately now that they are almost fully healthy and back to the tight eight-man rotation that Coach Nurse loves so much. Chris Boucher is turning heads with his play and the Raptors are sixth in offensive rating over their last 15 games. There are definitely worse teams with better odds this season so I wouldn't blame you if you threw $100 on a +25000 team with as much talent as Toronto.

Washington Wizards (+25000) (Bet $100 to win $25000)

I wouldn't call Bradley Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyle Kuzma a Big Three necessarily. Maybe a Passable Three or a Moderate Three. Either way, to get through the East you have to pass through Durant/Harden/Irving, Giannis/Holiday/Middleton, DeRozan/Vucevic/LaVine or Butler/Lowry/Adebayo. I just don't see Washington being there yet.

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Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.


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