By Adam Thompson | | 8 mins
5 NBA Finals Matchup Odds You Should Jump On Now
Picking LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers to win the 2020 NBA Finals is one thing. Picking the Lakers and their opponent is another when it comes to NBA betting. NBA Finals matchup futures means you don’t have to pick a winner of the league, just the winners of each conference. It presents a different betting perspective, one that often offers odds worth backing. These are our five.
|Lakers vs. Bucks||+310|
|Rockets vs. Bucks||+1200|
|Nuggets vs. Bucks||+2200|
|Trail Blazers vs. Bucks||+25000|
|Lakers vs. Heat||+2500|
NBA odds current as of publication and subject to change.
Lakers vs. Bucks (+310)
It may not be exciting to pick the two Finals favorites to get there, but there is a reason they’re favorites. Milwaukee is the class of the East, and there isn’t a close second in terms of true championship contender. Milwaukee ranked not just No. 1 in scoring, but No. 1 in point differential both at home and on the road. The Bucks also had the sixth-ranked defense, and the presumptive NBA MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Lakers are the No. 1 team in the West, and yet it feels like we haven’t seen the best of LeBron James and Anthony Davis together.
Recent NBA champions have ranked in the top eight in scoring and top 10 in defense. Only two teams this season are in that coveted range: The Bucks and Lakers. Lock the favorites together with the best odds found at DraftKings:
Rockets vs. Bucks (+1200)
We’re not going to fade the Bucks in the East. The Lakers, however, have a challenging road to the Finals. The Rockets might be the best suited team outside of L.A. to make a run. Houston ranks just No. 6 in the rugged Western Conference, but regarding the “others” of the West, Houston was a combined 5-4 vs. the Mavericks, Nuggets and Rockets, and its 3-3 mark vs. the Clippers and Lakers was the best among them.
James Harden and Russell Westbrook are two of the premier playmakers of the last decade. Neither has proven the ability to lead a team to the promised land. But star power wins titles in the NBA. A season restart might do wonders. Make the bet at BetMGM:
Nuggets vs. Bucks (+2200)
The Nuggets have been playing in the shadow of the Lakers and Clippers all season, but they were 43-22 and the No. 3 team in the West, with a chance to finish No. 2.
The Nuggets have all the pieces to get it done. They have Nikola Jokic (20.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 6.9 apg), one of the tougher-to-guard quasi-stars in the NBA, a rising No. 2 scorer in Jamal Murray (18 ppg) and a defense that ranks No. 5 overall. Denver's depth is a strength, too, with 10 players averaging at least seven points per game.
Denver was a combined 6-3 vs. the other top teams in the West until a swoon just before the stoppage pushed the mark to 6-5. Jokic and Murray will need to be on their game to get through three rounds in the West, but it’s certainly possible. You can make the bet at Unibet.
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Trail Blazers vs. Bucks (+25000)
Again, there’s no overthinking the East. But the West? There’s value in other teams. The Blazers have one of the top guard combos in the league in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Now starters Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic are back from injury to join Hassan Whiteside in what is suddenly a formidable frontcourt. And let’s not forget Carmelo Anthony – this is his best and probably last chance at an NBA Finals.
Lillard and McCollum led the Blazers to the Western Conference finals last year. They’ll likely have to shock the Lakers in the first round, but if that happens, you might be glad you took the low-risk, high-reward flyer. The odds for this matchup at most sportsbooks is in the +12000 range, except at BetMGM where it’s more than double.
Lakers vs. Heat (+2500)
OK, maybe the Bucks don’t make the NBA Finals. If there’s one team suited to get past Milwaukee in the East, it’s Miami. That’s because the Heat proved they can, sweeping the Bucks in two regular-season matchups.
Each win was impressive: They won an OT thriller in Milwaukee without Jimmy Butler, and cruised by 16 at home. Miami has been much better at home than on the road, so it’s TBD how it’ll react in this new environment. It went 28-10 vs. the East before the restart, third only to the Bucks (34-5) and Raptors (30-10).
By taking the Lakers here, it means we’re fading the Clippers. The Clippers were 2-1 vs. their across-the-hall rivals, and they’re 23-7 when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both suit up (21-13 when they don’t). Although the Lakers lost to the Clippers in a season opener and on Christmas Day, they beat them 112-103 in a playoff-feel game right before the stoppage. James and Davis (58 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists) outplayed Leonard and George (58 points, eight rebounds, three assists).
Despite the great record, the Clippers were also just 4-5 vs. the Nuggets, Jazz and Rockets combined. The Lakers were 5-2 against those teams. Get the best Lakers-Heat odds at FanDuel: