While betting on NBA games daily during the regular season is entertaining enough, sometimes it can be fun to bet on an event that happens in the far off future - aptly named NBA Futures betting. You can place a wager on a number of events throughout the NBA season, like the East and West Conference winners and who will win the NBA Finals.
NBA Futures odds are released almost immediately after the conclusion of the season - usually within hours of crowning the NBA Finals champions. Sportsbooks act quickly to get the futures for the following season out, so sports bettors can make their predictions (we really feel it’s a total guess at that point) right away to lock in the most far-out odds possible.
It’s hard to predict the winners of the NBA Finals when you just watched the Championship of the previous season the night before. Many sports bettors will do a few smaller wagers to spread out the risk, choosing a few different teams.
If you still aren’t sure what NBA Futures are, we can explain further. It’s important to understand all NBA betting types, and which betting types make the most sense in your betting strategy. If you’re really new, understanding how NBA odds work can be a great starting point in your NBA betting strategies.
How to Bet on NBA Futures
Picture this: It’s October 2020, the 2020 NBA finals just wrapped, and you’re looking to place a bet on the winner of the 2021 NBA Finals.
The NBA Futures odds for the 2021 season are below. Please be aware the odds are subject to change. This page was last updated on January 18, 2021:
2021 NBA Championship Winners Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+260||+250||+250|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+650||+650||+650|
If you placed a wager of $100 on the Toronto Raptors in October 2018, your bet slip would show a $4100 payout if the Toronto Raptors did win the 2019 NBA Finals (spoiler alert: they did).These odds likely won’t move until the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season unless there are major trades or drafts. But at the start of the 2018-19 season, the Golden State Warriors were still favored to win the NBA Finals at -180 odds. Toronto seemed to be a complete longshot at +4000 and unlikely to win the NBA Championship.
By November 26th, 2018, the Raptors odds had already moved to +700. They shot up the odds board after only a few games - meaning that you placed your wager at a very good time. The odds hovered around this zone for most of the season, then dropped to +400 during the playoffs. Even going into the NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors you could grab them at +225, which still could provide great value if you bet a large sum.
Mind you, not all series end up as exciting as the 2019 NBA Finals, and many favored teams end up winning - but this is a great example of getting huge value on a longshot team months in advance.
2021 NBA Futures
While the NBA season was postponed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic which halted much of the world and the entirety of the sports world, the NBA decided to go through with a playoff series beginning in August. The playoffs leave little time between the two seasons.
As you can see, the LA Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks came out as the favorites coming into the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Only 22 teams were invited to participate in Florida to determine the playoff team selection - 13 from the Western Conference and 9 from the Eastern Conference. All teams will be required to finish their remaining eight regular-season games before the 16-team playoff series begins.
Odds to Win the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals
The odds to win the Eastern Conference are available and were last updated on January 18, 2021:
|2021 NBA Eastern Conference Winners Odds|
Odds to Win the 2021 Western Conference Finals
The odds to win the Western Conference are available and were last updated on January 18, 2021:
|2021 NBA Western Conference Winners Odds|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+138||+138||+138|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+300||+300||+300|
With stiffer competition in the Western Conference and four more teams than the East, the oddsmakers are putting all their money on Los Angeles. The Lakers topped the odds board with the Clippers a mere 20 points behind. It’s likely an LA team will be crowned Western Conference champion - but the question is, which one?
Like we said in the East, anything can happen and if you think the LA teams will crumble under the pressure or that a team lower on the odds board like the Rockets or Jazz have a chance with the extended rest time off for injured players and plenty of training time for others during the pandemic. You could get some great value from any of those teams if you decide to bet on an underdog for the Western Conference champion.
Top Online Sportsbooks for NBA Futures Betting
Every sportsbook will be offering NBA Futures leading up and during the 2021 NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. Your job is to find the right sportsbook for your specific needs. What do we mean by that?
Not all sportsbooks are the same. Some offer better odds than others, some have better bonuses, and some have a larger selection of deposit options. Finding out what matters to you in a sportsbook, and ensuring you select the one you will be happy within the end should be your main priority.
Reading sportsbook reviews can help with that. Our sportsbook reviews are all subjective, and we only review the top online sportsbooks, we would never promote one that we wouldn’t use ourselves. If you want to use a certain deposit option, you will want to read up on the sportsbook to ensure they accept your preferred method of payment. If you want to take advantage of bonuses, ensure you find a sportsbook with lucrative bonuses that you can use to pad your NBA Futures betting bankroll.
Betting on NBA Futures can be so fun, as long as you’re using the right sportsbook!