After 50 years of waiting, the Milwaukee Bucks are the new NBA Champions of the 2020/21 season. However, that hasn’t stopped sports betting sites like BetMGM Sportsbook opening their books on who will replace them as the 2021/22 season NBA Finals Champs.
So in this article, we are going to take a look at the state of play in the NBA at the moment. The teams who the punters feel are going to be the main challengers for the Bucks as they seek to defend their title next season.
Of course, plenty can happen before then. We have players hitting free agency, the prospect of some intriguing trade deals and the NBA Draft still to come on the 29th July, there’s still every chance that come the start of the season, the odds available at the moment look somewhat crazy.
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Contenders In 2021/22?
It’s no surprise to see the Brooklyn Nets sitting at the top of the list as the early favorites for next season. They are 9/4 with BetMGM to win the NBA Finals next and given their superstar team status with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving as the lynchpins, their roster certainly has the talent.
However, the big check mark against the Nets is how healthy all three of their key men can be over the course of a full regular season and playoffs and given how fragile all have been this season, that is a major concern.
The Los Angeles Lakers are 9/2 to bounce back next season. Much of the speculation for the Lakers has been on potential trades with the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder and even, less believably, Anthony Davis names being bandied around on social media.
It does appear that the Lakers may focus on the draft this year to try and improve things, given their lack of cap space, unless of course they can move on one or two players to new destinations to free up the space to make a move. I wouldn’t rule that out.
Lastly, another big contender next season should be the Milwaukee Bucks who are 8/1 to
repeat their success of this season. With Giannis in the team, they have THE dominant player in the NBA at the moment. The Bucks are already a Championship team of course, so they will probably just be looking to fine tune their roster for the new season.
It will probably be similar stories for the two Conference regular season champions, the Utah Jazz (12/1) and the Philadelphia 76ers (16/1). Both these teams proved their qualities over the regular season, but fell short at key times in the playoffs. Whether their odds drift a little, or come in, over the next few months will likely depend on how well both do in free agency, with potential trades and the draft.
A Team To Surprise You Next Season?
Looking at the longer odds options, are there any teams primed to make a mockery of their
longer odds for the Championship next season?
Originally, I was going to say the Portland Trail Blazers (40/1) are one to watch, but the news that Damian Lillard may want away from Oregon means that if he does move on, I cannot see them being anywhere near as dangerous as with him in their team.
The Blazers are a couple of quality players short of being a genuine contender but if they can address that, and keep Lillard, then they could surprise many people next season.
Of course, so much can happen between now and the start of the season, but that won’t stop many NBA fans getting their bets on early on the team that they think will usurp the Milwaukee Bucks this time next year.