The 2020-21 NBA season is set to begin with a pair of games on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The start of the season was pushed back due to last year’s coronavirus-impacted season. It finished up in the middle of October when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals.
The season will start with a doubleheader on Tuesday night. The first matchup features the Golden State Warriors heading out on the road to take on the Brooklyn Nets, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers taking on the Lakers afterward.
The other 26 NBA teams, including the Toronto Raptors, will get their seasons going the next day on Wednesday, Dec. 23, and the season is currently scheduled to finish with the NBA Finals in July. As we get ready for an action-packed several months of NBA play, let’s take a look at a betting preview of the season for the league.
2020-21 NBA Betting Preview
Sportsbooks have offered a variety of betting options for sports bettors to choose from prior to the start of the NBA season. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting betting odds for the season. All odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.
NBA Finals Odds
The Lakers are the betting favorites to repeat as NBA champions this summer with odds at +275, followed by the Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks at +550. To round out the top five, the Nets are fourth at +600 odds, with the Boston Celtics and Heat both at +1500 odds to win the title.
Eastern Conference Winner Odds
The Bucks, which recently extended superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s contract, are the favorites to advance to the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference. They’re at +230 odds with the Nets right behind at +275. The Celtics and Heat are tied for third best at +600, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers at +800 to round out the top five.
Western Conference Winner Odds
The Lakers are the expected winners of the Western Conference once again at +140 odds, followed by the Clippers at +275. After the two Los Angeles teams, it’s a pretty significant drop off for the rest. The Denver Nuggets check in with the third best odds at +1000, followed by the Dallas Mavericks at +1100 and the Golden State Warriors at +1400.
Division Winner Odds
The sportsbook is offering odds on which teams will win each division across the NBA. Brooklyn is favored to win the Atlantic at +125 odds, the Mavericks are projected to win the Southwest at -225 and oddsmakers expect the Nuggets to win the Northwest at -121 odds. In the Southeast, the Heat are heavy favorites at -360, and the Lakers are at -143 to win the Pacific. The heaviest divisional favorite is Milwaukee, which has -5000 odds to take the Central.
Most Valuable Player Odds
Taking a look at individual player awards, betting on the league’s Most Valuable Player is one of the most intriguing options when looking at the individual futures odds market. Luka Doncic of Dallas is the betting favorite at +400 to win the award, with Antetokounmpo at +450. Golden State’s Stephen Curry is at +800 followed by Lakers Anthony Davis and LeBron James, tied for fourth with +900 odds.
Rookie of the Year Odds
LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets is the betting favorite to win the Rookie of the Year at +400 odds, and right behind him is Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves at +450. Then, it’s a three-way tie for the third best odds between Detroit Piston Killian Hayes, New York Knick Obi Toppin and Golden State’s James Wiseman at +600 odds, followed by a bit of a drop off after the top five.
Opening Night Betting Odds
As we get set for the opening night of NBA action, let’s take a look at the two matchups with the odds available for sports bettors.
In the first game, Brooklyn is favored by 7.5 points at home against Golden State with the over/under set at 235. The Warriors’ moneyline odds are at +245 with the Nets at -305. This game will get started at 7:10 p.m. ET.
In the nightcap between the Los Angeles teams that tips off at 10:10 p.m. ET, the Lakers are slight favorites at -2.5, and they have moneyline odds at -141 with the Clippers at +118. The point total for this one is set at 220.