NBA Odds Update: Are the Champs a Value Bet?

The Lakers have picked up right where they left off last season. Is there any value in betting on the champs to win it all again?

In this edition of the 2020-21 NBA Championship Odds Update, we’ll look at which teams saw their numberFire title odds move the most since our last update.

Teams that had strong starts and are starting to look like cohesive units will likely see the most upward movement, while those that had it rough could see their odds spiraling.

If you want to see numberFire's odds for every team, be sure to check out our power rankings. FanDuel Sportsbook's most up-to-date championship odds can be found here. Now, here's a look at the three teams who had the most movement in title odds over the last two week.

Los Angeles Lakers

Current numberFire Champs Probability: 33.6%
Previous numberFire Champs Probability: 26.7%
FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: +270

The biggest jump in our model's championship probability over the last two weeks belonged to the Los Angeles Lakers, who saw their percentage rise by a very nice 6.9%.

As of writing, the Lakers are tied with their neighboring Clippers for the best record in the league. After dropping two of their first four, the champs have won 11 of their last 13, and they currently possess the best net rating in the Association. Additionally, LA's 103.6 rating on the defensive side is 2.5 points better than any other team in the league.

Over at oddsFire, we see that you can make a Lakers championship bet for as low as +325 -- that carries 23.5% implied probability. Given that our algorithm gives them a 33.6% chance of bringing home a second consecutive title, there's still value to be had here.

Utah Jazz

Current numberFire Champs Probability: 4.8%
Previous numberFire Champs Probability: 1.8%
FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: +1600

Likely the league's hottest team, the Utah Jazz saw their title probability rise by 3% over the last couple of weeks.

Utah has now won a league-high eight games in a row, five of which came against teams that are either at or above .500. To date, Utah possesses the league's fourth-best net and defensive rating, and they're fifth on the offensive side.

This is a wager where shopping around on oddsFire will be key. While FanDuel Sportsbook has the Jazz priced at +1600, you can get them as low as +3300 elsewhere. At 33/1, the implied total of 2.9% is far lower than our model's 4.8% probability.

Brooklyn Nets

Current numberFire Champs Probability: 8.9%
Previous numberFire Champs Probability: 12.8%
FanDuel Sportsbook Title Odds: +320

While there was no doubt that the Brooklyn Nets were going to get a jolt offensively with James Harden in the fold, one wouldn't have needed Sherlock Holmes to figure out that they could suffer defensively -- and that's exactly what's happened. Since Harden joined the team, Brooklyn has the third-best offensive rating in the league, but they find themselves second-worst defensively. Over those five games, the Nets have surrendered an eye-popping 126.9 points per game.

This small (but not insignificant) sample has led to our model dropping Brooklyn's title probability by 3.9% -- the largest drop of any team over the last two weeks.

At oddsFire, we see that the lowest odds you can get for the Nets are +700 -- the implied odds for that are 12.5%. Given our model's outlook for Brooklyn, there isn't much value to be had by placing a championship wager on them.