The 2021 NBA season gets underway on Tuesday night, and basketball fans can once again start placing wagers. Those in the Mountain State can find a wide variety of markets for this new season at West Virginia sportsbooks.
Despite just being a few months removed from the most recent NBA Finals, which concluded a little later than usual, the action is returning to the hardwood.
The Milwaukee Bucks earned their first title since 1971 behind an incredible postseason from former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was nearly unstoppable throughout the playoffs and averaged over 35 points along with 13 rebounds in the finals.
Milwaukee is among the favorites to potentially win another championship this time around; however, it’s looking up at a couple of teams.
Both the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers have incredibly short odds at all of the WV online sports betting apps. When healthy, they each have one of the most talented rosters in the league.
Bettors can also take their chances putting some money down on plenty of different player props and futures. Will this be the year that Dallas’ Luka Doncic takes home his first MVP?
Let’s discuss the NBA odds heading into the first week of the season and how things might shake out by next June.
2021 NBA Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Eastern Conference Preview
The Eastern Conference was dominated by three teams a year ago, and WV sportsbooks show the same group at the top in terms of odds for this season.
The Philadelphia 76ers won the conference’s best seed by one game over Brooklyn and three in front of Milwaukee. They’re listed behind both of these sides with odds of +750 at DraftKings WV to win the conference.
Brooklyn is available at +100, compared to the Bucks posted at +390.
Part of why Philadelphia isn’t higher is some offseason turmoil. Ben Simmons and the front office seem poised for a trade, but no team has matched Philly’s demands just yet.
Without Simmons, Joel Embiid might be asked to do too much to compete with the other elite squads.
The Nets and Bucks are in a separate tier because of a few players in a league of their own. Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and Antetokounmpo are among the top five players right now, easily.
The odds favor the Nets because they include more stars on the roster. Guards James Harden and Kyrie Irving are incredible offensive weapons and form a scary unit with Durant.
However, Irving remains unvaccinated, creating an issue for the New York-based team. Since he’s unable to play in home games, the team decided to shut him down altogether.
It’s possible Irving will get the vaccine, or the Nets could trade him somewhere that doesn’t require it.
Many believe if the Nets have all three playing at once, they should take the title. This didn’t happen very often last season, including during their postseason series.
Without Irving, the Bucks held on to advance in seven games even though Durant was spectacular. Health is always crucial, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the East decided by one of these two.
Three additional teams are in the neighborhood of contention. DraftKings shows the Miami Heat (+900), Atlanta Hawks (+1500) and Boston Celtics (+1800) up next.
Western Conference Preview
While the West has a clear front-runner in Los Angeles, the field is a little deeper than the East. The online sportsbook currently lists six different teams within odds of +1300 to reach the finals.
Similar to the favorites on the other side, the Lakers are the top bunch thanks to their star power. LeBron James remains one of the best players when available.
His teammate, Anthony Davis, is another rare talent who is hurt all the time. The Lakers won the championship in the bubble with both active and dominating.
They’re available on DraftKings at +195 to win the Western Conference.
A familiar foe for James is offered next in the Golden State Warriors. Their odds are at +550 following another down year.
This season, the Warriors get Klay Thompson back at some point to pair up with fellow “splash brother” Steph Curry.
Both are two of the best shooters ever and should pose a real threat to win it all. Curry was on a different level on his own last year, averaging 32 points in nearly taking another MVP.
The Warriors aren’t the only team with enough skill to cause problems, though.
At the moment, DraftKings showcases the following odds for these other contenders:
- Phoenix Suns +650
- Los Angeles Clippers +650
- Utah Jazz +700
- Denver Nuggets +900
- Dallas Mavericks +1300
The Suns won the conference a year ago and could do so again with a quality young core. Devin Booker is growing into a legitimate force and has lots of help around him.
LA is without Kawhi Leonard for at least a good portion of the schedule but still can rely on Paul George with him out. If they’re both playing when things get serious, then they can run with most teams.
Utah finished the regular season as the West’s No. 1 before going down in the playoffs. It has a great home-court advantage and several up-and-comers, like Donovan Mitchell.
The Nuggets have last season’s MVP in Nikola Jokić, and Dallas enters this year with the favorite to win the award in Doncic.
Betting On The NBA MVP
Many of the candidates with the best odds to snag MVP honors are on the teams mentioned to be in the finals conversation. Often, guys on average teams get overlooked for awards like these.
Bettors should keep that in mind when looking at their options. Naturally, you can always find an exception to this, like when Russell Westbrook won his on a mostly mediocre Thunder team.
As mentioned, Doncic is this year’s favorite. It will be interesting to see where Dallas falls in the standings and how that impacts his chances.
Besides a good finishing position, Doncic has all the tools that can earn someone an MVP. Even at such a young age (22), he plays with complete control and is able to manipulate defenses at will.
It won’t be easy for him with so many other greats in the NBA right now, though. Before the first games begin on Tuesday evening, FanDuel WV has the following odds for MVP:
- Luka Doncic +500
- Kevin Durant +650
- Giannis Antetokounmpo +700
- Joel Embiid+800
- Stephen Curry +800
- Damian Lillard +1200
- LeBron James +1600
- Nikola Jokic +1600
- James Harden +1800
- Trae Young +2100
- Jayson Tatum +2400
- Anthony Davis +2800