NBA Championship Odds 2020

For the first time since the 2010 season, a team other than the Golden State Warriors or one led by LeBron James is the favorite to win the NBA title. There hasn’t been this much parity among the top NBA title contenders since 2012. To put that in historical context, Kevin Garnett was still enjoying All-Star caliber seasons the last time the NBA was this wide open.

For the first time since the 2010 season, a team other than the Golden State Warriors or one led by LeBron James is the favorite to win the NBA title. There hasn’t been this much parity among the top NBA title contenders since 2012. To put that in historical context, Kevin Garnett was still enjoying All-Star caliber seasons the last time the NBA was this wide open.

The Los Angeles Clippers struck gold this offseason, acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to become the preseason NBA title favorites at +325. That duo is only rivaled by the one their Staples Center co-tenants put together this summer when the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Anthony Davis. James has won titles with lesser sidekicks, warranting the Lakers’ +425 odds.

The other side of the bracket feels up for grabs after Leonard departed Toronto, with the Bucks (+650) and 76ers (+700) neck-and-neck for Eastern Conference supremacy. Is Russell Westbrook the sidekick to get James Harden over the top? The Rockets’ +800 odds say he may be.

LeBron, Lakers Among Favorites for 2019-2020 Season

James has switched teams three different times in his career. The first two – the infamous Decision to join the Miami Heat and The Return to Cleveland – resulted in eventual championships in his respective second seasons with the team. James joined the Heat in 2010 and won in 2012, and he joined the Cavaliers in 2014 and won in 2016. That’s where James finds himself – Year 2 – heading into his 17th NBA season, and it’s a main reason why the Lakers are among the favorites to win next year’s title.

It takes time to build a roster around James, the league’s most unique yet demanding player in the league. And it takes time to learn how to play with James, something last year’s Lakers learned on their way to a dismal 37-45 record.

A year later, however, the Lakers have retooled in a big way. Six-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA First Team forward Davis gives James the most talented sidekick of his career – apologies to Dwyane Wade – and forms the best 1-2 punch in basketball. They also added Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook and Dwight Howard during the roster upheaval.

It’ll take time for the pieces to fit together perfectly, but as long as they’re in good standing heading into the postseason, James and Davis can do the heavy lifting from there. It’s never the wrong choice to bet on LeBron James in the NBA Playoffs, and with Davis as his running mate the sky’s the limit for the Lakers.

Clippers Looking To Create Their Own Legacy

All Leonard did in his first season with the Toronto Raptors was lead the franchise to its first title. He accomplished the feat with a core that included Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol. So, what did he do in the offseason? He upgraded his supporting cast to Paul George, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell by signing with the Clippers.

Leonard will look to repeat as both an NBA champion and the player to lead a team to its first title in franchise history. The Clippers have long stood in the shadow of the Lakers but they won’t be sneaking up on anyone with Leonard and George leading the way. Head coach Doc Rivers is also no stranger to NBA Finals success, an underrated factor come the postseason.

The Clippers are the favorites across the board for a reason . With Beverley, George and Leonard, they’ll have arguably the best defense in the NBA. That’s good news, as six of the last 10 NBA champions have ranked top-5 defensively (including Leonard’s Raptors last season). They’ll score, too. They were ninth in offensive efficiency and now add Leonard and George, a pair that ranked second and sixth in points per game last season.

This team has no real weaknesses. They’re strong favorites despite not being overwhelming ones.

Giannis, Bucks Looking To Take Next Step

Everything was in place for the Milwaukee Bucks last season. Homecourt advantage in the East. A beat-up Warriors team and a vulnerable Rockets team on the other side of the bracket. The league’s best player and arguably deepest roster. A 2-0 series lead on a Raptors team that barely scraped by in the East semifinals.

And then it all disappeared. The 60-win Bucks became a shell of themselves, losing four straight to the Raptors and watching a magical season be reduced to nothing in a span of seven days.

So, it’s back to the drawing board – and maybe the 3-point line – for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Antetokounmpo is a nearly perfect NBA player. But it’s his lack of 3-point shooting that could be the difference between a great season and an historic one. Antetokounmpo shot just 25.6% from beyond the arc on 2.8 attempts per game. That percentage was 100th out of 101 players who averaged at least two triples per game. It’s a flaw in his game.

The Bucks have attempted to curtail that weakness by surrounding the Greek Freak with as much shooting as possible. But they lost Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers this past offseason a year after the former Rookie of the Year put together a 50/40/90 campaign. The Bucks will hope to get continued production from Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez on the perimeter, while they added Wes Matthews and Kyle Korver as bench sharpshooters.

The East is no walk in the park, but it’s a far cry from what the West playoffs will look like. That’s why the Bucks’ +650 odds feel like great value. Their core of Giannis, Middleton, Lopez and Eric Bledsoe is not only talented, but it has chemistry. No other East contender can say that, giving them the edge in an already easier conference.

Our Pick for the 2020 NBA Championship

The Los Angeles Lakers were in fourth place in the Western Conference on Christmas Day when LeBron James suffered the worst injury of his career. The strained groin that cost him six weeks effectively ended the Lakers’ hopes of a title, but it’s worth noting that the team was 19-15 despite having no real shooting (a staple of James-led teams) and inexperienced youth (the opposite of what James has won with in the past). Despite that, they were still in the thick of it, just 3.5 games behind the West-leading Warriors, who the Lakers pummeled in that Christmas Day game.

Fast forward a year and LeBron is healthy and the team is loaded. The Lakers added a second star in Davis, they provided James with plenty of shooting on the perimeter, and they’ve got room on the roster to be aggressive at the trade deadline. This roster is what a LeBron James championship contender is supposed to look like.

Issues at point guard notwithstanding, this is the Lakers’ year. They replaced the injured DeMarcus Cousins with Dwight Howard – and their title odds remained the same – and will get just enough production from the supporting cast to allow James and Davis to go work in May and June.

Their defense will be much improved with Davis – a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate – and Danny Green – a lockdown perimeter defender on last year’s Raptors title team. The offense is going to be fine with James, Davis and a host of shooters.

If you’re looking for a darkhorse, the Denver Nuggets bring back their core from last season’s 54-win team. They’ve increased their win total in each of the last five seasons and have breakout stars in Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Will Barton to go with MVP candidate Nikola Jokic. Their +2300 odds make for excellent value, even in the gauntlet of the Western Conference.

NBA Title FAQs

How do NBA odds work?

Each NBA team is given future odds to win the upcoming season’s championship. The vast majority of teams are given odds greater than 1 to 1, meaning a bettor can wager $100 and win more. For instance, if the Lakers are +400 (4 to 1) to win the NBA title, a bettor would win $400 on a $100 wager.

Who won the championship in 2019?

YearTeamFinals MVP
2019 Raptors Kawhi Leonard
2018 Warriors Kevin Durant
2017 Warriors Kevin Durant
2016 CavaliersLeBron James
2015Warriors Andre Iguodala
2014 Spurs Kawhi Leonard
2013 Heat LeBron James
2012HeatLeBron James
2011 Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki
2010 Lakers Kobe Bryant

Which teams have not won a championship?

TeamPlayoff
Appearances
Last
Suns 29 2010
Jazz 28 2019
Pacers 26 2019
Nuggets 25 2019
Nets 20 2019
Magic 15 2019
Clippers 14 2019
Hornets 10 2016
Grizzlies 10 2017
Timberwolves 9 2018
Pelicans 7 2018

Which teams have won the most championships?

Celtics – 17

Lakers – 16

Warriors – 6

Bulls – 6

Spurs – 5

Which teams have won Back-to-Back championships?

Lakers – 1952-54

Celtics – 1959-66

Celtics – 1968-69

Lakers – 1987-88

Pistons – 1989-90

Bulls – 1991-93

Rockets – 1994-5

Bulls – 1996-98

Lakers – 2000-2002

Lakers – 2009-10

Heat – 2012-13

Warriors – 2017-18

Which NBA teams have won 3 championships in a row?

Lakers – 1952-54 & 2000-2002

Celtics – 1959-66

Bulls – 1991-93 & 1996-98

Which NBA team has the most consecutive NBA championships?

Celtics (8) – 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966

What player has the most championships?

Bill Russell – Celtics (11)

Sam Jones – Celtics (10)

Tom Heinsohn – Celtics (8)

KC Jones – Celtics (8)

Tom Sanders – Celtics (8)

John Havlicek – Celtics (8)

Who won the first NBA championship?

The Minneapolis Lakers won the first NBA championship in 1950. They defeated the Syracuse Nationals in six games, with future Hall of Famer George Mikan leading the way with 32.2 points per contest. The Lakers would go on to win three of the next four titles (1952, 1953, 1954), with Mikan leading the series in both points and rebounds.

What teams in the Eastern Conference have won a championship?

TeamTitlesFinals
Appearances
Last
Title
Last Finals
Celtics17 21 20082010
Bulls6 6 19981998
76ers3 9 19832001
Pistons3 7 20042005
Heat3 5 20132014
Knicks2 8 19731999
Cavaliers1 5 20162018
Wizards1 4 19781979
Hawks1 4 19581961
Bucks1 2 19711974
Raptors1 1 20192019

What teams in the Western Conference have won a championship?

TeamTitlesFinals
Appearances
last
Title
Last Finals
Lakers1631 20102010
Warriors611 20182019
Spurs56 20142014
Rockets24 19951995
Thunder*14 19792012
Blazers13 19771992
Mavericks12 20112011
Kings11 19511951

*-Won title in Seattle as SuperSonics