The NBA playoff field is now set, with the regular season games being played in the bubble after the league’s restart now complete. As the postseason gets underway in what has been an extremely weird season, sportsbooks are still doing their thing and setting the odds each playoff team has to win the NBA championship.
Milwaukee Bucks (+250)
The Bucks have one of the league’s best players in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they have the NBA’s best record at 56-17, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that they’d be the favorites to win the title, according to Vegas Insider.
The Bucks haven’t looked great since the NBA resumed play, but it is partially due to injuries. Antetokounmpo has been one of the team’s bright spots, including putting up 36 points in the Bucks’ first game in the bubble against the Celtics.
ESPN notes the team’s biggest concern heading into the postseason is giving up too many three-pointers. Opponents know that’s the blueprint for beating Milwaukee, and they will do what they can to put up as many threes as they can.
The Bucks have had the most three-pointers attempted per game against them in NBA history, which means Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe will have to step up and defend the threes better if the Bucks want to win their first NBA championship in nearly 50 years.
Los Angeles Clippers (+300)
The LA Clippers finished the season 49-23, for the second-best mark in the Western Conference. But they haven’t been at full strength during the restart because of players arriving to the bubble late and injuries.
For example, Montrezl Harrell has yet to play in the bubble, but his self-isolation quarantine has just ended and he has been cleared to play in the first round, but with all the time he has missed he will likely be using that round to build up his conditioning and get back into game shape.
Team chemistry will also be a question, at least early in the postseason, because they haven’t had the full squad available for practices during the restart, which can hurt their timing playing together as they enter the most important part of the NBA calendar. The Clippers will have to come together quickly as a cohesive unit if they want to have a chance to win the Finals.
Los Angeles Lakers (+350)
The best team in the Western Conference at 52-19, the Lakers locked up the top seed in the conference despite going 3-5 in the seeding round and not playing well offensively. But they still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the purple and gold.
Any team with those two players, among the NBA’s best, is a legit contender to win a title. But the key to a championship run is going to be Kyle Kuzma — which even James believes.
Concerning for the Lakers is the absence of two of the players they usually count on to help them win games. Avery Bradley has opted out of the restart, and Rajon Rondo fractured his thumb in training camp and isn’t expected to be available until late August or early September.