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We’re just about a month into the 2021-22 NBA season and we’ve already seen some significant movement in the NBA futures market. There are a few teams that have improved their odds to win this year’s NBA Championship, while other squads have had their odds of winning the title plummet over the first few weeks of the schedule. The good news for basketball betting fans is that there’s still plenty of time to bet on any of the league’s 32 teams to win it all. Bovada Sportsbook has a wide range of NBA futures available for betting, including odds on every team to win the 2021-22 NBA Championship

It’s been an interesting start to the year, to say the least, as the NBA implemented a new rule change this offseason to discourage players from using “overt, abrupt or abnormal non-basketball moves”. Basketball fans have taken notice of this new rule, as offensive superstars like James Harden and Trae Young can no longer lunge into their defender to draw a foul. It will be important to see how players adjust to this new wrinkle as the season progresses and heads into the playoffs. 

There have been a number of other storylines over the first month of the season, which have had an effect on the NBA futures betting market. The resurgence of teams like the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks has shrunk their respective NBA championship betting odds. On the other hand, teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have seen their futures odds rise after a slow start to the season. 

This year’s MVP race could be another good way to make money betting NBA futures, as there are several players with a legitimate chance to win this year’s award. All the big names like Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo are in the running, while a few other dark horses have emerged over the first month of action. 

This article will take a closer look at some of the top contenders to win the 2021-22 NBA championship, based on their current betting odds at Bovada Sportsbook, while also reviewing the top five candidates to win this year’s NBA MVP award. 

2021-22 NBA Championship Contenders

1. Brooklyn Nets +250

The Nets are still the betting favorite to win this year’s NBA title, despite the fact that Kyrie Irving has to take the court the season as a result of his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. You would think that would hurt the team’s championship aspirations, but Brooklyn has looked just fine with Kevin Durant leading the NBA scoring race at 29.5 PPG. With players like Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap and Patty Mills providing added depth and veteran leadership, you can see why the Nets are such a popular pick to win it all. 

2. Los Angeles Lakers +550

It’s been a rough opening month to the season for the Lakers as the team has struggled out of the gate. The once invincible LeBron James has already missed several games due to injury, while offseason acquisition Russell Westbrook has had a hard time adjusting to his new team. The good news is that Anthony Davis is playing well and the Lakers still have plenty of time to get things straightened out. If you plan on betting on Los Angeles to win it all this season, you can now get a much better price on a team that is only a year removed from when they last accomplished the feat.

3. Milwaukee Bucks +800

The defending NBA champions are another team that has endured a tough start to the season, including losses to the lowly Timberwolves and Spurs. Milwaukee starters Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton have all missed time during the early part of this schedule, leaving two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to hold down the fort. Their current NBA championship odds may not reflect the way their playing right now, but still offers plenty of betting value in the long run. Winning back-to-back titles is never easy, but the Bucks could have a shot if they can get healthy. 

4. Golden State Warriors +900

After toiling at the bottom of the NBA standings for much of the past two years, the Warriors are back in the mix and once again look like contenders to win it all. Through the first 10 games of the season, Golden State earned the league’s best record at 9-1. The Warrior’s impressive turnaround is of course due to two factors: the return of one of the game’s best shooters in Klay Thompson and the strong play of Steph Curry. Curry, in particular, has been lights out over the first month of the season, averaging over 27 points and 5 three-pointers made per game. 

5. Miami Heat +1200

Miami has quickly shot up the list of championship contenders following a great start to the year that saw them open 7-3 and sitting atop the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Miami is second in the NBA in field goal percentage at 46.4% and have been getting excellent play from leaders Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. With veteran point guard Kyle Lowry coming over to South Beach during the offseason and Duncan Robinson starting to find his shooting stroke, the Heat have all the talent needed for another NBA Finals run. Their futures odds have lowered as a result of their hot start, but Miami still offers a great return at +1200.

6. Utah Jazz +1200

The Jazz are once again a popular dark horse pick to win the NBA championship, and their 8-3 start to this year’s campaign has led to even more betting wagers on Utah. Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley continue to lead this team on offense, with two of their three losses coming in games which Conley sat out for rest. The Jazz are also strong on the defensive side of the ball with starting center Rudy Gobert averaging a league best 16 RPG and reserve Hassan Whiteside also contributing well off the bench. You may score a nice payday betting on Utah if the Jazz can finally put it all together in the postseason. 

7. Phoenix Suns +1700

Despite the off-court drama surrounding Suns majority owner Robert Sarver, things have been going pretty well on-court for Phoenix so far this season. After starting 1-3, last year’s Western Conference champions have put together a five-game win streak as Devin Booker is putting up nearly 24 PPG and looks to have picked up from where he left off in last year’s playoffs. Chris Paul has also played well, leading the NBA at 11.3 assists per game and recently surpassing Mark Jackson and Steve Nash for third on the NBA’s list of all-time assist leaders. Betting on the Suns to win this year’s NBA championship could provide a great return, but Phoenix will need to improve on the defensive end where they are currently giving up 109.2 PPG to their opponents. 

2021-22 NBA MVP Contenders

1. Steph Curry +300

The sharpshooter from Golden State, who has already won the NBA MVP award in 2015 and 2016, looks to be back in top form with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists per game. The Warriors’ team success is biggest reason why Curry is the current MVP betting favorite, as the all-star point guard has led Golden State to number one in the NBA standings. 

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo +600

The Greek Freak is another former NBA MVP looking to reclaim the title this year. Giannis is tied with Curry for second in league scoring at 28 PPG, while also adding 12 rebounds and 6 assists per contest. As one of the most dominant players in the game, the Bucks big man offers solid betting value to take home what would be his third MVP award over the last four seasons.  

3. Kevin Durant +600

Arguably the most popular pick to win this year’s MVP award heading into the season, Durant has been scoring buckets at will so far this season and is shooting an incredible 56.7% from the field. With James Harden struggling to adjust to the league’s new rule changes and Kyrie Irving sitting out due to not receiving the vaccine, the stage is set for Durant to dominate the floor in Brooklyn.

4. Luka Doncic +800

The Mavericks superstar may only be 22-years-old, but is quickly rising the power rankings for this year’s NBA MVP candidates. Doncic currently leads Dallas in points, rebounds and assists, doing it all for the Mavs while leading them to a surprising 7-3 start over the season’s first 10 games. It’s only a matter of time before the talented Slovenian adds an MVP award to his NBA resume and this could be the year he gets it done.

5. Nikola Jokic +1500

Nicknamed ‘The Joker’, the Nuggets’ big man has been his usual dominant self in the early part of this season. Jokic is putting up over 25 PPG to go along with 14 RPG, good for third-best in the league. While his Nuggets have started slowly with a record of just 6-4, the big man has been all over the stat sheet on a nightly basis. Considering he is the defending NBA MVP, Jokic’s +1500 betting odds give you the chance to earn a massive payout if he can make it two years in a row.