It’s a bit crazy to ponder, but after crowning the Los Angeles Lakers NBA champions for 2019-20 barely two months ago, the new season is suddenly upon us. 22 December is the official launch date for the 2020-21 campaign, which features a 72-game regular season and a play-in format for the final two playoff seeds in each conference. LeBron James and the Lakers currently sit as favourites to repeat as NBA champions, but a rogue’s gallery of challengers is poised to mount the most spirited of efforts to knock them off their perch following the shortest offseason ever. With that in mind, it’s time for CanadianBettingSites to deliver the best NBA futures picks for 2020-21, including the outright NBA Finals winner and leading prop bets for East and West conference champions, division winners, MVP, and more.
2020-21 NBA Champion Picks
So, who’s winning the whole darn thing in 2021? The Milwaukee Bucks had the NBA’s best regular-season record last season and have since made arguably the single biggest offseason addition in Jrue Holiday. They just locked two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo into a super-max contract extension for good measure. But do they have the crunch time verve to outclass the Miami Heat in the East? For their part, the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers have as much star power as any team in the league, but each faces stern questions about team chemistry heading into the new year.
And don’t tell the fans in Boston or Philadelphia that they don’t have a shot. They’ll respond as only they can.
In the big picture, the Lake Show may be the most logical choice to win the NBA title. LeBron and Anthony Davis have a revamped supporting cast featuring Marc Gasol and Dennis Schroder, after all. But based on what bookmakers are offering as of this writing, they simply don’t present the best value.
|NBA Championship Odds|
|Los Angeles Lakers||3.50||3.35||3.75||2.90||3.75|
|Los Angeles Clippers||7.50||7.00||6.00||7.50||6.50|
The savviest pick happens to be their LA rivals, who switched out the exposed Montrezl Harrell for the playoff-hardened Serge Ibaka in addition to making the kind of head coaching change that you rarely see at any level of professional sports: a former NBA champ, Doc Rivers, gave way to another former NBA champ, Ty Lue.
Bet on the Los Angeles Clippers (7.50) to win the NBA championship. A $20 bet at BetOnline cashes out for a handsome $150.
Prefer a longshot pick with serious upside and a massive payout? Look no further than the Philadelphia 76ers. With Rivers manning the sideline and Daryl Morey running the front office, don’t be shocked if this is the year this underperforming team breaks through. A $20 bet on Philly (23.0) to win their first NBA title since 1983 pays out a sensational $460 at Intertops.
And not for nothing…
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 11, 2020
NBA 2020-21 Western Conference Champion Picks
Picking the Western Conference champion, the story is the same: your brain might very well be telling you to pick the Lakers, but the value just isn’t there. The Clippers, meanwhile, will only benefit from running it back with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, whose dual additions to the team last season simply presented too large of an adjustment all at once. Figuring out the big man rotation in crunch time will prove to be less of a chore as well, with Ibaka and Ivica Zubac both capable of providing plus value tailored to specific matchups.
Additionally, don’t sleep on Luke Kennard making legitimate contributions for Ty Lue’s second unit — or veteran wing Nic Batum helping to strengthen a locker room that proved to be a teeth-gnashing liability when the chips were down last season.
Pick the Clippers (5.00) to win their first-ever Western Conference title. A winning $20 wager will redeem for $100 at Bodog.
2020-21 NBA Eastern Conference Champion Picks
In the 2020 Playoffs, the Miami Heat turned heads and put the league on notice with a brilliant NBA Finals run that saw them outclass the heavily favoured Milwaukee Bucks before unfortunately succumbing to injuries against the Lakers. This year, they’re running it back with the same group (minus Jae Crowder), with the added benefit of an utter dearth of hype.
The Boston Celtics? They have an injured Kemba Walker and no successor for the departed Gordon Hayward. The 76ers? Their talent isn’t in doubt, but they still haven’t proven that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can coexist for the long haul, to say nothing of the monumentally distracting James Harden trade rumours.
Yes, that leaves Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and the Miami boys in an enviable position. And the value is there, too.
Bet on the Miami Heat (6.50) to repeat as Eastern Conference champions. A $20 ticket cashes out for $130 at Sports Interaction.
NBA 2020-21 Southeast Division Winner Picks
There are a handful of NBA divisions with no obvious winner. The Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference is not one of them. This could end up being the worst division top to bottom in the entire league this season. The Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards are simply not a threat. Period.
Miami is a slam dunk to finish the regular season with the Southeast Division’s best record. A $20 bet pays out $26.66 at top sportsbooks.
2020-21 NBA Southwest Division Winner Picks
Out in the Southwest, the story is the same. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks were ahead of schedule last season and put up a spirited fight against the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs before falling short in six games. Expect them to keep on rolling, especially given the drama surrounding the Houston Rockets, who will either have a disgruntled James Harden this season or no James Harden at all.
Pick the Dallas Mavericks (1.45) to earn the best regular-season record in the Southwest Division. Wagering $20 at 10Bet redeems for $29 at 10Bet.
Slow 😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/nJYNPOOiM5
— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) December 15, 2020
NBA 2020-21 MVP Picks
Speaking of Doncic, he’s getting the most preseason buzz for the 2021 MVP award, and it’s not hard to figure why. Look at it this way: if the young Mavericks superstar isn’t going to win this thing, who is? LeBron James will be 36 years old before the end of the calendar year, it’s awfully hard to imagine Giannis Antetokounmpo winning the award three straight times, and Steph Curry faces too much uncertainty for a Warriors team forced to make do for another year without Klay Thompson.
That leaves Luka, who will flirt with averaging a triple-double this season in addition to competing for the regular season scoring title.
Bet on Luka Doncic (4.75) to win NBA MVP in 2020-21. A winning $20 ticket at Bet365 cashes out for a cool $95.