There’s a 50 per cent chance the NBA will crown a first-time champion in 2021, with two of the remaining four teams targeting their maiden titles as the campaign winds to a close.
Neither the Phoenix Suns nor the Los Angeles Clippers have ever been crowned kings of basketball’s elite, but one of those teams stands a distinctly better chance of ending the wait this betting season.
The Suns hold a 2-0 lead going into Thursday’s Game 3 clash against fellow Western Conference finalists the Clippers, with Devin Booker playing a major role in Phoenix’s rise of late.
The star shooting guard dropped 40 points in Game 1 to put his side in the ascendancy, and CNN reported on a Game 2 triumph that saw the Suns sliced down to +110 odds to win their first championship:
Deandre Ayton hit the crucial game-winner for Phoenix to celebrate a 104-103 victory in Arizona, and the center admitted he wasn’t sure his buzzer-beater—converted with 0.7 seconds to play—would count:
“The celebration was a little shaky because I wasn’t too sure what I did.
“I wasn’t sure if it counted, I didn’t want to be a blooper, none of that. I just wanted to get to the next play or for the refs to confirm what it is.
“I was so anxious. I was so stressed. It was a lot.”
Los Angeles are at joint-long odds of +1200 as they return home for back-to-back games at the Staples Center, a potential value price for any who feel home advantage could turn the tide.
Campussports.net recently broke down the best way to go about your sports betting in order to prioritise profits, but the dark horses left in the running for this year’s NBA throne may not stand much of a chance.
The Suns are joint-leaders to clinch the crown alongside the Milwaukee Bucks, who are targeting their first title in half a century and their first Finals appearance since 1974.
Star man Giannis Antetokounmpo is hoping to finally end his wait for a championship following back-to-back MVP awards in the 2019 and 2020, helping Milwaukee top the Eastern’s Central division in each of the last three seasons.
Giannis won’t win a third MVP accolade in 2021 after Denver Nuggets talisman Nikola Jokic took that honor, though ‘The Greek Freak’ does stick out as something of an anomaly in the Eastern Conference Finals:
The 2021 Eastern Conference Finals will feature 1 All-Star in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
That is tied for the fewest combined All-Stars in a Conference/Division/NBA Finals series since 1951 and the fewest since the 1978 NBA Finals between the SuperSonics and Bullets. pic.twitter.com/A3qaPW4OjI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 23, 2021
According to Illinois Gambler, the Bucks begin their seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, with the latter listed as +1200 outsiders to win their first championship since 1958.
Atlanta suffered a four-game sweep the last time they featured in the Conference Finals back in 2015, and one could draw comparisons between Milwaukee and the Cleveland Cavaliers outfit that downed the Hawks six years ago.
It speaks volumes of just how highly the Bucks are favored despite the fact they’re yet to begin their Conference decider, with most analysts judging it as a matter of when, not if Milwaukee qualify for the ultimate stage.
2021 NBA Championship Outright Odds
|Los Angeles Clippers||+1200|