NBA No. 1 Seed Odds: Lakers, Nets Open Season as Favorites
Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets, LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers
The NBA season is fast approaching and while we are getting back to a regular 82-game season, there is frankly very little feeling regular about the start of the 2021-22 season.
Much of the discourse surrounding NBA training camps have been about the COVID-19 vaccination rate of teams, with each franchise choosing to handle things in their own way.
But as we shift to more on-court discourse, the most important thing to remember is that the presumed favorites to win the title aren’t necessarily locks for the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences.
Last season the Philadelphia 76ers used a dominant defense and the bruising play of big man Joel Embiid to edge out the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
In the West, the Utah Jazz ripped off 52 wins with a balanced attack that saw them narrowly beat out the upstart Phoenix Suns for No. 1 seed.
Entering the 2021-22 NBA season, it is tough to predict how everything will shake out, especially with the aforementioned vaccination rates having such a big impact on rotations on a nightly basis.
With availability being a top concern for teams, the franchises that already have multiple All-Star players vault to the front of the line in terms of No. 1 seed odds.
This means that the Nets, with possible 2022 assist-leader James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, will continue to be the favorite for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn has more than enough firepower to survive an injury or two, even more so now that they’ve added sharpshooting guard Patty Mills. His addition will come into even greater focus if Irving is forced to miss games this season due to vaccination status.
The shooting of Mills and the additions of LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap make the Nets deep enough to handle any threat and this is exactly why they are -135 favorites to win the conference.
In the West, things are less clear.
The Lakers’ new trio of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis make them the favorite. Meanwhile, the continuity of the Jazz and Suns core groups have them ahead of the pack but behind the Lakers.
With the league shifting back to an 82-game season, expectations and win totals have been adjusted.
Conference seeding props for ’21-’22 have been released via DraftKings and here is where the pack stands in terms of odds to be the No. 1 seed in their conference.
Odds to be No. 1 Seed in Western Conference
|Golden State Warriors||+1100|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+3000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+4500|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+20000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+100000|
Odds to be No. 1 Seed in Eastern Conference
|New York Knicks||+20000|