Jan 8, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket past Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NBA Draft happened last week, and that was followed by the start of NBA free agency. Most big-name free agents have already found new homes, and it’s widely assumed that Anthony Davis will remain with the Los Angeles Lakers.

There will still be many moves made, and perhaps a blockbuster trade or two (like for the Houston Rockets’ James Harden and Russell Westbrook), but we now have a pretty good idea of who the championship contenders are. So, it’s a good time to take a look at the updated NBA title odds for the 2020-21 NBA season (according to Bovada).

The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers remain the championship favorite with 3-1 odds. That’s certainly not surprising after the Lakers improved their roster on paper with the additions of NBA Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell, high-scoring point guard Dennis Schroder (averaged 18.9 points per game in 2019-20 with the Oklahoma City Thunder), veteran center Marc Gasol, and 38.1% career three-point shooter Wesley Matthews.

The Brooklyn Nets come in second at 5-1 odds, which is certainly an eye-opener. But the Nets will have Kevin Durant (coming off a torn Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (coming off a right shoulder injury), and continue to be mentioned in trade rumors involving stars. They’re in superteam, win-now mode, so it wouldn’t be surprised to see them land Harden or some other big name between now and the trade deadline.

And they’re followed by the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee at 6-1 odds, with each team coming off very disappointing playoff exits after looking like the top two title favorites for much of the 2019-20 season. After that, there’s a big drop-off, with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat next at 15-1 odds.

While it’s quite likely that the championship is indeed won by one of the aforementioned teams, there figure to be more teams in the title mix than usual in the 2020-21 season. Here’s the full list of Bovada’s NBA title odds, and we’ll follow that up with three appealing bets.

Los Angeles Lakers +300
Brooklyn Nets +500
Los Angeles Clippers +600
Milwaukee Bucks +600
Boston Celtics +1500
Miami Heat +1500
Denver Nuggets +1800
Golden State Warriors +2000
Toronto Raptors +2000
Philadelphia 76ers +2000
Dallas Mavericks +2200
Houston Rockets +2800
Utah Jazz +2800
Phoenix Suns +3500
Portland Trail Blazers +4500
New Orleans Pelicans +6000
Atlanta Hawks +10000
Indiana Pacers +10000
San Antonio Spurs +10000
Charlotte Hornets +12500
Memphis Grizzlies +12500
Orlando Magic +12500
Minnesota Timberwolves +15000
New York Knicks +15000
Oklahoma City Thunder +15000
Sacramento Kings +15000
Washington Wizards +15000
Detroit Pistons +20000
Chicago Bulls +25000
Cleveland Cavaliers +25000

Denver Nuggets (18/1)

The Nuggets have been an up-and-coming team that took the next step in 2020, reaching the conference finals before being eliminated by the NBA champion Lakers. They stunningly took down the Clippers despite facing a 3-1 series deficit. Seven-footer Nikola Jokic routinely put together triple-doubles and finished ninth in NBA MVP voting. Jamal Murray made the jump from good player to star, with numerous ridiculous performances in the bubble.

We should assume that this young group is still getting better, especially if Michael Porter makes a big leap in year two (he showed off his star potential in the bubble). With many rest days surely coming for the Lakers’ and Clippers’ veteran stars, it’s easy to see the hungry Nuggets getting the top seed in the Western Conference, which would certainly help their title path as well.

Toronto Raptors (20/1)

Everybody keeps sleeping on the Raptors, and the Raptors keep winning. Despite losing Kawhi Leonard last free agency, the Raptors finished with the second-best record in the NBA at 53-19. The 2019 NBA champions looked poised for a return to The Finals, but lost a tough seven-game series to the Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals.

This is a deep, all-around team that had six players average double-digits in scoring in 2019-20. They should once again get a high seed in the Eastern Conference, and the guess here is that the highly-skilled Pascal Siakam takes another step forward as a star for Toronto in 2020-2021.

Dallas Mavericks (22/1)

Two words: Luka. Doncic.

Doncic is currently Bovada’s clear NBA MVP favorite (3/1 odds), and for good reason. He just about averaged a triple double in 2019-2020, with 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists. He put together a legendary playoff performance in the bubble.


And he’s still just 21 years old! It’s a star’s league, and it’s quite possible that Doncic is its biggest star in the 2020-2021 season. It also helps that the Mavericks have done a nice job improving their roster this offseason

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.