The NBA season is less than two weeks away, and many fans across the globe are already thinking about the months of June and July. With so much movement across the league and an ever-changing landscape, the league has never been so wide open when it comes to winning an NBA Championship.
With so many teams vying for an NBA title, only a select few have managed to put themselves at the very top of the pack. After all, only 16 teams out of 30 make the NBA playoffs and only one can win it all.
Many teams have improved over the offseason, and it is time to rank the top 10 favorites to win an NBA Championship entering the new season. Betting odds vary per team, and this list should give an indication on which teams are favored to capture the NBA title this season.
Unibet has all the betting needs for all teams in the NBA by showcasing the odds for victory for every game including the Finals.
10. Boston Celtics
The Celtics have dropped all the way to 10th place following their semi-disastrous offseason where they had to part ways with both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. While Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter are both very good players, they do not match the formers’ production. Not to mention, the Celtics also lost valuable role players in Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris and will be praying that Tatum and Brown finally become All-Stars this season.
This is unlikely to happen just yet, but the Celtics will still most likely be a Top-3 team in the Eastern Conference. If injuries or poor production becomes a factor for the other top-2 teams in the East, anything can happen.
9. Golden State Warriors
While it may be surprising to see the Warriors this low, they simply do not have enough firepower and defense without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson (who will miss most of the season).
As great as Curry is, he will have to carry a large burden while his new running buddy D’Angelo Russell gets acclimated to the Warriors system. While Curry can go off for 40 a night, he offers little to no defensive resistance and neither does Russell. The loss of Andre Iguodala will hurt since he was their main perimeter defender.
Lack of depth and a key injury will lower the Warrior’s chances this year, but they could be a sleeper team in the playoffs.
8. Denver Nuggets
Even though the Nuggets played fantastic basketball last year, their loss in last year’s playoffs showed a lof about them. The Nuggets have tremendous talent and depth, but not enough star power.
Jokic is a perennial All-Star, while Jamal Murray looks to finally become one. But the Nuggets do not have enough guys who can break down defenses on the wing. Harris and Barton are effective two-way players but often rely on exceptional talent to allow them to prosper.
Jokic and Murray will not be enough for the Nuggets this season, although they have enough role players to come in at any point during a game. If the Nuggets can snag another All-Star, or if production rises from unexpected pieces, they might have a shot at the Western Conference Finals.
7. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz got tremendously better this past season, especially by adding Michael Conley. Conely is one of the most underrated players ever and is a two-way player who can lead a team from the point guard position. Conley and Mitchell will be a very effective backcourt, as they both have never played with such talent at the guard spot before.
The Jazz still have dominate big man Rudy Gobert, who is the best defensive player in the league and will simply make the Jazz very difficult to beat. If the Jazz can find scoring in more areas than simply Mitchell and recently-acquired Bogdanovic, they have a shot at the Finals.
6. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers were a bit of a surprise last year when they made it to the Western Conference Finals to play the Golden State Warriors. But the Blazers made it known that they are not done yet, and want to repeat it again this year.
Offensive juggernauts Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum both return this season backed up with new in Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside. Even though they lost some key pieces such as Curry, Harkless, and Aminu- they added a higher-level talent who will help the scoring tremendously. Whiteside is a shot-blocker extraordinaire who will be surrounded by snipers on the court whenever possible. Nurkic and even Collins are still very good big men who will give the Blazers a strong inside game.
The Blazers got better, and they are still a major threat thanks to their two stars.
5. Milwaukee Bucks
When it comes to the Bucks, it is all about Giannis Antetokounmpo.
If Giannis can become the undisputed best player in the league, he might be the reason the Bucks hoist the NBA Championship next year. He is that great, and the entire team is built around him for a reason.
Giannis must have an improved jump shot if the Bucks want to be better than last year, and key pieces such as Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton must step up. Middleton is a great shooter and defender, but can always do more to create on offense and relieve some pressure off of Giannis. Bledsoe simply needs to shoot the ball better and can be a liability at times due to his inconsistent shooting.
Overall, the Bucks will be a problem all year long and will have one of the top 5 chances at being NBA Champions.
4. Houston Rockets
The Rockets retooled this summer by trading Chris Paul to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook. Pairing Russ with James Harden certainly catapults the Rockets back into the conversation for the best teams in the West.
While many critics will point to the fact that both Westbrook and Harden are most effective on the ball, the sheer scoring output and offensive dominance these two players posses will make the Rockets nearly unstoppable all year long. Surrounded by shooters, the Rockets will be able to beat anybody as long as their defense is solid.
If the two superstars mesh well, the Rockets have a great shot at becoming NBA Champions.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Simmons and Embiid are rare talents, who can affect the game in many areas. They are the driving forces behind the Sixers, and arguably two of the best 3 players in the entire conference. Simmons is a triple-double threat, who excels at being the primary playmaker for his team. Embiid is a beast on both ends and is a walking 25-10 guy every night. The Sixers also have Tobias Harris who played at an All-Star level last year.
The Sixers lost Jimmy Butler, who is a bonafide stud, but managed to grab Al Horford in Free Agency. Horford and Embiid will provide defense, shooting, and leadership to their team all year long.
If Simmons can no longer be a liability from the perimeter, the Sixers have a legitimate shot at making the NBA Finals and knocking off one of the Western Conference heavyweights.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Anytime an NBA roster has either Anthony Davis or LeBron James on it, they know they have a once-in-a-generation type talent. Well, the Lakers have both.
James and Davis will be too much for most teams in the league, thanks to their incredible talent and size. They are simply too dominating from the inside and have the attributes to hurt defenders from the outside. Not to mention, James is one of the best playmakers of all time while Davis is also a defensive specialist. Yikes.
The Lakers have managed to build a great roster around James and Davis, adding shooting and defense to a Lakers team full of size and star power.
If the Lakers can pace themselves during the season, and if the role players can play big minutes and produce at a high level, they are a legitimate problem for the league.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
Last but not least, the Clippers have the best shot at an NBA Championship. Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and superstar Paul George join forces to form one of the best defensive duos in NBA history.
George and Kawhi can lock up anybody and will do as much as they can to guard the likes of LeBron James and James Harden in the West and Giannis and Simmons in the East. Not to mention, the Clippers have tremendous talent including the likes of scoring guard Louis Williams and bulldogs Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell.
Spearheaded by HOF Head Coach Doc Rivers, this Clippers team is the best in their franchise’s history and will most likely be crowned NBA Champions at the end of the season.