Atlantic Division Odds
|New York Knicks||+25000||+25000|
The NBA is just days away from getting underway, and no division is more difficult to call than the Atlantic Division. With four teams separated by just a few points in the odds, this looks like it could be up for grabs. Oddsmakers could be spot on here.
One thing DraftKings and other sportsbooks could be sure of was the only team with no real shot to win the division is the New York Knicks. They are given the worst odds at +25,000 and those odds are well deserved.
The Brooklyn Nets were given the clear edge to win the division and they still are, but the odds have narrowed slightly. Brooklyn moved from a +125 to +190. The Nets did not make any significant additions, but they get better because of health. Kyrie Irving was an MVP candidate before an injury wiped out the remaining 50+ games of the season. Kevin Durant sat out all of last season with an injury, but he is healthy and the combo makes the Nets the team to beat.
The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers now find themselves given the same odds to win the division, coming in at +275. Philly is an enigma, a team that should be so much better than they are, but do not live up to expectations. They have gone through a major overhaul, including adding Dwight Howard and Danny Green. Green joins Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey as new additions, making Philly more versatile.
Boston also added some talent, especially Tristan Thompson. The losses were negligible, but Jeff Teague and Payton Prichard add some real talent at the point guard position. Boston has a real shot at winning the division and this is why they have seen their odds improve.
That leaves the Toronto Raptors. They are just a year removed from winning the NBA title and come in at +350. Toronto took a step backward, but that was understandable after Kawhi Leonard left for Los Angeles. He is impossible to replace, but this team is deep enough with the additions of Malachi Flynn and DeAndre Bembry to make them competitive.
The big question mark will be how well Durant and Irving respond. If they look like their 2016-17 form, the Nets will quickly become a -125 odds or better to win the division. If you think Brooklyn is the team to beat, the odds will never be better for you to win.
Central Division Odds
It is time for the NBA to get back on the court once again. December 22 is set for the date for the 2020-21 season to get underway and the Central Division could be a race that we could call already. The Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA last season, but failed to live up to expectations. However, they may have the easiest path to a division crown, at least according to oddsmakers.
DraftKings and other sites initially provided stronger odds that the Milwaukee Bucks would win this division when odds were initially released, but they have declined slightly. However, they still find themselves as the prohibitive favorite. In fact, it appears that only one team has any chance of even offering any real competition. Milwaukee comes in at -3300. While the team has made several key moves, it has been the additions that have oddsmakers excited. The team added a slew of key free agents, including Torrey Craig and Bryn Forbes. This is as deep a roster as one will find.
The Indiana Pacers come in at +1000, and this is realistically the only team that has any real shot of challenging Milwaukee. Nate McMillan is out as coach after the team was summarily dispatched by the Miami Heat, thanks to the play of Jimmy Butler. They had no key losses otherwise and drafted guard Cassius Stanley who should see some quality minutes.
From there, these are just teams playing out the season. The one with the best chance of even making the playoffs may be the Cleveland Cavaliers. They got a lot bigger and stronger upfront with the additions of forward Isaac Okoro and center JaVale McGee. They still have power forward Kevin Love, but are given a +8000 chance to win the division. That at least is an improvement over the +15,000 they were originally tied with.
The Chicago Bulls come in at +5000 and the Detroit Pistons have seen their odds increase from +15,000 to +8000. Detroit went through a complete overhaul of their roster, especially upfront where the team added forwards Josh Jackson, Shaddiq Bey, Jamari Grant, and Mason Plumlee. Chicago made some minor cosmetic moves on the floor but did add coach Billy Donovan and have a new GM as well. They may not be competitive this season but should be a team to watch in 2021-22.
Southeast Division Odds
The NBA season is coming fast and the Southeast Division is going to be one of the tougher ones this season. Despite the fact that the defending Eastern Conference champions reside in the division, this division could very well be up for grabs.
The Southeast Division should be a great place to spend some money this year, as three teams have a real shot at winning this division. It starts with the defending conference champs, as the Miami Heat went 50-22 last season and look like they actually got better. They are given a -250 odds of winning and with the addition of Precious Achiuwa, Maurice Harkless, and Avery Bradley, they could very well be even better than last year. No wonder why MyBookie.ag lists continues to list them as the prohibitive favorites.
Both the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks are given a pretty good chance of winning the Southeast Division crown, but Atlanta is given a sight edge. They come in at +500 and considering that they added former all-star Rajon Rondo to go along with Kris Dunn, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Danilo Gallinari, they should be able to keep themselves in the hunt for the division lead up until the end. You know oddsmakers are loving the drafting of center Onyeka Okongwu, who could solidify this position for a decade.
The Washington Wizards come in slightly behind the Hawks, given a +600. They made the boldest move of the off-season when they traded point guard John Wall for one of the best talents in the NBA, point guard Russell Westbrook. Westbrook will combine with Bradley Beal, who is a superstar in his own right. This gives Washington a 1-2 punch that few teams in the NBA can match. This is a young and talented team, and oddsmakers are loving what Washington brings to the court.
Orlando has seen their odds get worse, moving from +1200 to +1400. That comes courtesy of a season-ending injury to Jonathan Simmons the team’s best player. They barely made it in the postseason last year, and the loss of Simmons all but dooms this team to oblivion. They did add some talent in the draft (Cole Anthony) and have Chuma Okeke returning from an ACL tear, but neither one of these is going to make that much of a difference.
Then you have the Charlotte Hornets. They are given the worst odds at +2800, but that is actually increased since the initial value was set. MyBookie.ag must be liking the drafting of LaMelo Ball, who is a premium talent but has the baggage of an overbearing, obnoxious father to deal with. No doubt that Ball has a chance of being a real superstar, but he needs some players around him, and oddsmakers recognize that there is just not enough talent for this season.
Pacific Division Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||-143||-143|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+120||+120|
|Golden State Warriors||+1800||+1000|
When you have the defending NBA champions in your division and they are returning their star player, it would seem a mere formality that they would be the presumptive favor. That is true for the Los Angeles Lakers, but this is expected to be the most competitive division in basketball, and so oddsmakers are giving four teams in this division a legitimate shot at winning the division crown.
Realistically, only one team is out of the running, so here is a brief look at the Sacramento Kings. Their odds are at +10,000. This is a team looking to build toward the future and they are in a division of thoroughbreds. An 18-win season would be a better prediction than believing they will win the division.
The Phoenix Suns odds are +1400, which may be a little low. This was the only team to go undefeated once play resumed this summer, but they missed out because of the seeding. In response to the success, the team made a number of big moves to improve, with the biggest being the addition of point guard Chris Paul. If they get off to a 6-2 start or better, this team is going to see a dramatic increase in their odds of winning. It might be smart to get on board now.
The Golden State Warriors suddenly fell on hard times, but they earn a respectable +1,000. The loss of shooting guard Klay Thompson to an injury was a crushing one, but they added Kent Bazemore, which should mitigate the loss.
That leaves the big two – the L.A. teams. The Lakers come in at -125 and the Clippers at +150. Some oddsmakers have the Lakers at +100 and the Clippers at +175. What this says is that these two are going to be battling until the end to see who will win.
The Lakers are obviously the team to beat with Lebron James and Anthony Davis returning. They have lost some key pieces from the last season, including center Dwight Howard and point guard Rajon Rondo. However, the two will be replaced with experienced center Marc Gasol and Dennis Schroder.
The L.A. Clippers went with a new head coach. Doc Rivers is out and Tyronn Lue in. He knows Lebron well, so he could have an immediate impact on changing the power structure of this division. The success of this team depends upon how well Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can blend.
Northwest Division Odds
|Portland Trail Blazers||+350||+250|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+15000||+15000|
The Northwest Division is up for grabs, as oddsmakers think that the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers all have a legitimate shot at winning the division crown, and they may very well be right. Since the start of the season was announced, the odds have tightened between the three.
The two teams that are given no chance of winning this division are the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves. OKC comes in at +8000. They have the Houston Rockets all they could handle in the playoffs last season, but gone are Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Danny Green, among others. It is rebuilding time in Oklahoma City.
The Minnesota Timberwolves odds are +2,500 and they are a year away. However, that is what oddsmakers and NBA analysts always seem to be saying. This is a team with enough talent to be solid, but not enough to be a contender. Ricky Rubio returns to Minnesota and will be the starting point guard. Anthony Edwards was acquired in the same deal and will likely fill in at the small forward position.
Portland comes in at +325, a slight improvement over their initial odds. The Trail Blazers were able to secure the last playoff spot in the conference last season and were battling with the Lakers until star Damian Lillard got hurt. Things unraveled quickly from there. They have Lillard back and added some free agent talent to make this team a contender.
The Utah Jazz come into this season looking for a little payback. They had three chances to eliminate Denver from the playoffs but failed each time. They have also seen their odds improve over the last few weeks, moving to +210. They had no significant losses but did add center Derrick Favors. Donovan Mitchell turned into a star last season and he could very well be the NBA MVP this year (+5000).
That leaves the Denver Nuggets, who were competing for the top record in the West for some time. there is an outstanding core of talent, starting with center Nikola Jokic and point guard Jamal Murray, who work extremely well together. The Nuggets added a lot of depth and this makes them even more dangerous, reflected in that they are given the best odds to win the division (+100), but that has fallen from an initial set of -134.
Southwest Division Odds
|New Orleans Pelicans||+500||+500|
|San Antonio Spurs||+3300||+3300|
The Southwest Division was owned by the San Antonio Spurs for many years, but those days are long gone. Oddsmakers have no confidence in the team as those at William Hill and others have given them the least chance of winning, and “least” is a nice way of saying “No way in H***.”
The San Antonio Spurs odds are at +2,800, which is oddsmakers way of saying better luck in 2023-24. The Memphis Grizzlies are at +1,200, which puts them at least a year or two away from being competitive. The team suffered no major losses, but the only real editions were Desmond Bane, selected in the draft, and Marion Hezonja, acquired in a trade. For a team that went 34-39, they really made no changes to make them a contender.
The Dallas Mavericks are the prohibitive favorites. Odds for them winning the Southwest were first set at -225, but have fallen slightly to -180. The team added some shooting touch in Josh Richardson, who immediately takes over at the small forward position. Josh Green will also see some time there, and Tyrell Terry adds depth at the point guard position. Dallas had the second-best record in the division last season, but they look like the top dog this year.
The Houston Rockets have seen their odds improve over the last few weeks. They started out at +500, but have moved to +325. Houston won the division last year, and they have undergone some dramatic changes. The biggest of which is replacing star Russell Westbrook with Wizard’s point guard John Wall. Wall is a big-time talent who has never really lived up to the hype. He has never had a No. 1 like James Harden before either, and with DeMarcus Cousins in the house as well, oddsmakers may have been way off in declaring them No. 2.
New Orleans Pelicans comes in at +650. They are in the midst of a major overhaul as they will have two new starters in point guard Eric Bledsoe and center Steven Adams. Lonzo Ball will likely become the brother of LaMelo Ball by year’s end.