NBA Basketball Prediction
Photo: NBA.com

While there are many exciting sports leagues that attract plenty of fans, the NBA is among the most popular. Basketball is one of the traditional ‘Big 4’ sports in the USA, so the NBA is widely followed.

The 2021/22 NBA season is well underway and has produced some amazing action so far. The regular season will come to its conclusion in mid-April 2022, so as you would expect, people are now seriously looking at which sides could make the Finals in June and bring home the Championship trophy.

What do sportsbooks and analysis sites think?

A good place to get a handle on which NBA teams might challenge for the Larry O’Brien trophy is looking at the latest NBA odds and betting lines online. These provide a quick way of assessing which sides are favorites to triumph and which sides aren’t being given too much of a chance.

If you like to bet on basketball, you can find the best value odds when wagering on a specific game or taking a punt on who might win the title.

Some teams stand out as having surprising odds for this year’s title race. Utah Jazz for example is showing at odds of +1800, while the Nets are at +450 and the Bucks are at +650.

So why might these sides have odds that some find surprising?

Utah Jazz

When you think about the talent in Utah’s locker room and the season they have had to date, it’s a real shock to see the current odds of around +1800 on them for the Championship. You would think that they would be a lot shorter than that, with their players at their disposal.

Much of this seems to come down to the fact that the Suns and Warriors have stolen the Western Conference headlines so far. Even the Grizzlies are getting in on this, as the fuss around Ja Morant’s recent 46-point game at the Bulls shows. This has enabled the Jazz to fly under the radar somewhat.

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Utah sits high in the overall NBA ratings this year for both their offensive and defensive play. If stars like Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert can keep performing well, they have a much better chance than current odds suggest.

Milwaukee Bucks

Every NBA fan knows that the Bucks are defending champions and also kept roughly the same roster from last year. In addition, they have been in pretty awesome form this year in the Eastern Conference. Therefore, it is a bit surprising to see them a little bit down the betting, at odds of around +650 at most sportsbooks.

With the form of star man Giannis Antetokounmpo and the depth in their locker room, you would think they’d be at much shorter odds for the title and sit atop the betting. If other big-name players like Khris Middleton keep performing to help Antetokounmpo thrive, you’d have to see them as title challengers.

Brooklyn Nets

As it stands, the Brooklyn Nets remain one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship this season, as has been the case for the entire campaign. This is actually something of a shock when you think about it a bit deeper.

The departure of James Harden has been one of the biggest NBA surprises this season so far and saw them lose an elite-level player. Although they did bring in some very good players afterward, such as Ben Simmons and Andre Drummond, you still feel they are weaker now than before.

This is even more pertinent when you consider that one of their other superstars, Kyrie Irving, is restricted in how many games he can play. In addition, they have not had an outstanding season so far and look on course for a play-in game before getting a tough first-round playoff match, if they stay where they are in the Eastern Conference.

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For these reasons, you’d have to find their current odds a surprise.

Surprising odds for NBA race can be a good thing

When you also throw in that the Heat have odds of around +1000 at most sportsbooks despite looking a top team, and the Bulls are in at +2800 despite being in great form so far, it’s clear that the current NBA odds are throwing up plenty of surprises.

This is great if you like to bet on the NBA because it means you could find yourself in the money come June.

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