The 2019-2020 NBA season officially tips off tonight when the defending champion Toronto Raptors welcome in the New Orleans Pelicans (+7). The NBA schedulers wasted no time in the second game of the evening, as the battle of Los Angeles gets underway with the Lakers and Clippers (+2.5) squaring off in the late game slot. Just like all four teams in action opening night, much of the NBA features new-look rosters as we enter a season with five teams at shorter than 10 to 1 odds to win the championship. In the first season in recent memory with so much uncertainty in what could happen, let’s see if we can find some value in the future market for the NBA Championship. Check out all NBA Championship future odds here.
What Are the Odds?
These odds were taken from FanDuel Sportsbook on October 21, 2019
|Team||NBA Championship Odds||Regular Season Win Total|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+350||56.5|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+440||51.5|
|Golden State Warriors||+1200||47.5|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+3900||46.5|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+6500||38.5|
|San Antonio Spurs||+6500||46.5|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+21000||32.5|
|New York Knicks||+25000||27.5|
Best Bet for NBA Championship?
Golden State Warriors (+1200)
You have to go all the way back to the 2014-2015 season to find the last time the Warriors were anything higher than +480 favorites to win the NBA Championship, and they have been -120 or greater favorites in the three seasons since. On the surface, these long odds seem completely valid, with the losses to their roster in the departure of Kevin Durant to the Nets and Andre Iguodala to the Grizzlies. A deeper look, however, and I see some value in a team still led by one of the best players the NBA has seen in the last decade in Stephen Curry. And let us not forget, this is the same Warrior’s team that ran the gauntlet that is the Western Conference playoffs last season mostly without Durant.
While he doesn’t compare to the talent of Durant or the veteran leadership of Iguodala, I think the addition of D’Angelo Russell has gone under the radar of one of the better moves this summer. Outside of his off the court problems, which shouldn’t be an issue in the buttoned-up Warriors organization, Russell quietly been improving every season since he joined the NBA in 2015. Coming off the best season of his career, in which he had career-highs in points per game (21.1), effective field goal percentage (51.2%) and assists per game (7), Russell is poised for a monster season, and he’s surrounded by far the most talent of his life. Paired with Curry at the point, and the Warriors have arguably the most dynamic backcourt in the NBA, which should be a nightmare for teams when they are on the court together.
The Warriors’ establishment of a big-man front with Draymond Green and Kevin Looney adds to their championship competitiveness. Before getting injured in last season’s playoff run, Looney was showing signs of taking his game to the next level, which I expect to continue as this season progresses. Additionally, all indications out of the Warrior’s camp is that Klay Thompson should be back sometime just after the All-Star break, making him a key component of their run down the stretch. With Thompson back in this lineup, the Warriors roll out one of the best starting fives in the NBA that I’d put up against anyone in a seven-game series. Depth is certainly a cause for concern, but head coach Steve Kerr has a knack of getting the most out of his players.
While it won’t be easy to make it six straight finals appearances, I think the Warriors offer a ton of value at the long odds of +1200 as the season gets started, and they won’t go away in the West as easily as some bookmakers are forecasting.