The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of history. Up 3-1 on the Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals, the Lakers need just one more win to clinch the title, which would be their 17th in franchise history, tying them with the Boston Celtics for the most championships of all-time.
But while the Lakers still have work to do in the present day, Las Vegas oddsmakers are already thinking about the future. And based on the current numbers, the Lakers are seen as favorites for next season as well. Also ranking among the contenders are the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.
Here’s a look at the current 2021 NBA championship odds, courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.
For the most part, none of this is really surprising. Aside from a few exceptions — the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors — where teams were without key players and fell well short of expectations, this is basically just a list of the best squads from this season.
It’s also why, in all honestly, these kinds of early odds are somewhat meaningless. The 2020 NBA Draft hasn’t happened, and neither has free agency, so the landscape of the league is going to look completely different in a few months once teams have had a chance to make some moves. But as of right now, all oddsmakers have to go on are the current rosters, so obviously the odds are just going to be a reflection of how teams did this season.
Perhaps the most interesting number is that the Heat have the seventh-best odds despite being in the Finals this season. That’s worse than both the Bucks and Celtics, each of whom the Heat beat in the playoffs earlier this summer. While Miami’s run has been incredible, Vegas doesn’t see them pulling it off again next season.
Another item to note is the Sixers’ odds. Coming into last season they were one of the favorites to win it all, but have been relegated to longshot territory after their performance this season. Even with all the talent, and new head coach Doc Rivers, there’s little faith from oddsmakers that Philadelphia can put everything together.