Fans had good reason to be excited when the NBA announced a plan to resume the season. But, while the plan seemed like a good one, many fans remained skeptical. However, now that most of the players are inside the bubble and teams are starting to practice, it looks like we will see the season completed.
Of course, the question now is who will make it to the end. Which teams are going to make it to the NBA Finals? There are over 100 possible matchups with odds at BetRivers.com. The following is a sample of those odds:
- Teams to Meet in the Finals
- Bucks vs. Lakers +310
- Bucks vs Nuggets +1900
- Bucks vs Rockets +1100
- Bucks vs Clippers +350
- Celtics vs Lakers +1900
- Celtics vs Nuggets +10000
- Celtics vs Rockets +6000
- Celtics vs Clippers +2000
- Raptors vs Lakers +1900
- Raptors vs Nuggets +10000
- Raptors vs Rockets +6000
- Raptors vs Clippers +2000
It is not hard to figure out what the most logical matchups are going to be. With how dominant the Milwaukee Bucks have been this season, it would be a surprise if they were not representing the Eastern Conference.
In the Western Conference, it is expected to be either the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers.
No one would fault you for taking matchups featuring those three teams— which is why their odds are the shortest. So, the real question is whether anyone else from either conference has a shot.
Despite how well the Bucks have played this season, the answer has to be yes. They were the No. 1 offensive and defensive team in the NBA last season but still lost to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. If it could happen, then why not now?
The only other teams oddsmakers seem to think have a shot in the East are the Celtics (+700), Raptors (+700), Heat (+900), and 76ers (+900). To beat the Bucks will take a complete game. Whoever it is will have to be strong on both ends of the court.
While all four are sharp on both ends (top ten in the rankings), the Celtics and Raptors are in the top four of both, making them the better choices.
In the West, there are several teams an argument can be made for. But oddsmakers seem to think the Rockets have the best chance outside of the Lakers and Clippers followed by the Lakers. It may seem strange that the current sixth seed would be favored over higher-seeded teams (i.e., Jazz, Thunder).
Both are better defensive teams, but the logic behind the odds must be that the Rockets potential on offense is enough to override the difference.
So—how should you bet?
The safe bets are not hard to figure out; anything involving the Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks. But for those looking for a larger payout, put something down on the Rockets vs. Bucks, and maybe the Celtics vs. the Lakers/Clippers/Rockets.