- The Los Angeles Lakers are now favored to win the NBA Championship
- The Lakers did a great job of rounding out their roster with Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins
- Do the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers offer good value at +800?
After a whirlwind offseason, the Los Angeles Clippers opened up as the favorites to win the 2020 NBA title. However, if you look at the 2020 NBA Championship odds right now, it’s the Lakers who have moved into the favorite’s role.
Which team is the best bet at this point?
2020 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||Odds to Win 2020 NBA Title|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+300|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+325|
|Golden State Warriors||+1000|
*Odds as of 12/08/2019.
Lakers Round Out Their Roster
Once Kawhi Leonard made his decision to sign with the Clippers instead of the Lakers, the Purple and Gold had to move quickly to round out their roster. The moves they’ve made are likely what has pushed them ahead in terms of the betting odds.
The Lakers picked up Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley and DeMarcus Cousins. They now have a lineup of players who can spot up around the arc, and that’s crucial. Given LeBron James’ ability to break defenses down, the supporting cast needs to include strong perimeter shooting.
The signing of Cousins was also a shrewd pickup, as he didn’t cost the team very much and still has a high upside. Cousins had an up and down year with the Warriors but is a former All-Star. As a cheap starter or a bench guy who can step in to start and give Anthony Davis nights off, this was a good pickup.
Chemistry Is Still A Concern
The challenge with overhauling a roster is that we don’t know how the pieces will all fit together. Usually, it’s not something you worry about with James as he elevates the play of everyone around him. However, that didn’t happen last season as the team collapsed.
It’s very likely that James makes guys like Green, Bradley, Cousins, Rondo and Daniels improve. At the same time, when this team is the odds-on favorite, you have to be thinking about the downside risk and there is some here.
Also, don’t forget that there’s an entirely new coaching staff. That just adds to the element of uncertainty. For these reasons, I wouldn’t bet on this team to win it all. Not at this price.
Clippers Make More Sense
The Clippers seem like a better bet to win it all as they have a lot more roster consistency. Not only is head coach Doc Rivers back, this is a team that brings back Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, who were the core of last year’s unit. Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac also spent half the season with the team.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are stellar defensive players and with Beverley, you just know that this team will be a lock-down unit defensively. With the Lakers, that side of the court makes you wonder.
Of the two Los Angeles teams, I’d sooner bet the Clippers than the Lakers.
Rockets, 76ers Offer Value
Two teams that I love are the two at +800: the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers.
The Rockets have two MVP-caliber players Russell Westbrook and James Harden. And don’t forget, they nearly beat the Golden State Warriors in each of the last two years in the playoffs with Chris Paul. How much better can they be with Westbrook? They also made good moves, acquiring Austin Rivers and Tyson Chandler.
As for the 76ers, they’re a bit of a wild card but in my mind, they have the best starting lineup in the Eastern Conference. This was a team that was a basket away from beating the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs.
The Western Conference playoffs are going to be a gauntlet while the East is much easier. Philadelphia might be good enough to beat whomever they face, but having a much easier path to the final is crucial to winning this prop. That’s why I like Philadelphia at +800, as well.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.