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Which teams are getting the most action for 2021 NBA championship?

Is the public expecting the Lakers to repeat or will the Warriors dynasty get back on track? Let’s take a look at updated betting splits on DraftKings Sportsbook.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with the media after winning Game Six of the NBA Finals on October 11, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

We finally have a start date for the 2020-21 NBA season! Although, it would have been nice to get a few more weeks of vacation for the offseason — not just for the players, but for myself. Either way, the season is coming up on Dec. 22 with opening night right before Christmas Day. We’ve got 72 games this season to make things fit. That shouldn’t impact the way we approach the betting market too much, particularly for NBA champion in 2021. As a result, we’ve got updated betting splits on DraftKings Sportsbook for favorites to win the title. Let’s take a look with some analysis.

As you can see, an overwhelming majority of the bets and handle are on the Lakers to repeat. This is perplexing to say the least. We still have the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency to sort through. There will be plenty of trades and transactions that alter the landscape of the NBA. I wouldn’t have even put the Lakers that far ahead of any one team before the draft and free agency, so why are they far-and-away the most bet on team?

The Lakers don’t have much room to maneuver with this roster. They could try and add a third fiddle to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but it isn’t likely. Sure, improvements can be made in the lesser ranks, but would that be significant enough? I don’t think so. Los Angeles also won a title in a very odd situation. There weren’t home crowds, which figures to change by next summer when the playoffs roll around. The competition in the West will only get tougher with the Warriors healthy and other franchises improving. All of these factors point to my next trend. Where the bets are going outside the Lakers.

No other team has a handle higher than 10 percent. Of those teams we see the Sixers, Warriors, Nets, Nuggets, Heat, Mavericks and Celtics among others. People are throwing darts now while the markets are good on sleeper teams. I’m a bit surprised the Celtics aren’t getting more love. They came very close to reaching the Finals this past season and should only get better with another full year of Kemba Walker with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Adding some depth at center would go a long way as well.

The Nets and Warriors feel like two teams that can really give the Lakers some issues. Kevin Durant is coming back after a long wait for Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving and a new coach in Steve Nash. If all goes well, the Nets could be VERY dangerous. The Dubs should have a healthy Klay Thompson well over a year removed from his torn ACL. Stephen Curry is back from injury, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green are around and the No. 2 overall pick should add another strong piece.

The Sixers are getting plenty of love as well with new leadership in the front office and on the sideline. Adding Doc Rivers as coach and Daryl Morey as GM has impacted the way bettors are viewing Philly heading into this season. If the Sixers can figure out a way to improve the roster, specifically at guard, they become an interesting team to come out of the East.

2021 NBA Championship betting splits

Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
Handle Rank Team Odds % of Handle % of Bets
1 LA Lakers 350 49% 26%
2 GS Warriors 800 9% 11%
3 PHI 76ers 3000 9% 8%
4 DEN Nuggets 2500 9% 9%
5 MIA Heat 1400 7% 6%
6 BKN Nets 800 6% 8%
7 DAL Mavericks 2500 4% 4%
8 BOS Celtics 1200 2% 3%
9 CHI Bulls 25000 1% 3%
10 MIL Bucks 600 1% 2%

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