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Best Longshot Bets to Win the NBA Championship

March 27, 2021
NBA Championship picks and longshots

The passing of the NBA trade deadline has made for some very interesting conversation. It is making bettors reassess the futures market for the NBA title. Brooklyn still remains the overall +225 favorite with the ailing Lakers close behind at +325.

Taking out the Clippers (+425), Bucks (+700), and Jazz (+800); we have all the favorites and contenders. We should probably throw the Sixers in the mix too at +1000 since they have the best record in the Eastern Conference. Taking these teams out of the equation, which of the remaining 24 is the best longshot bet to win it all in 2021?

Blazing the Trail
They have got the NBA’s second-leading scorer in Damian Lillard and just recently added his backcourt mate C.J. McCollum back to the lineup. The Trail Blazers are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings and went out and got one of the hottest players in the league right now – Toronto’s Norman Powell.

An undersized 2-guard, Powell’s thing was always defense. At 6-4, he has a 6-11 wingspan and 40-inch vertical jump, but the guy can score too. In his last ten Raptors’ games, Powell was averaging 25.8 points per game.

Now, is that what Portland needed for a deep run in the playoffs? It can’t hurt, but getting Jusuf Nurkic or Zach Collins – or both – back in the frontcourt would be a huge boost. At +4000 at online sportsbooks, Portland would likely have to beat three of the best teams in the West just to get a chance at playing for an NBA title.

Celtics Make a Move?
Ok. So Boston was just 1-for-6 prior to the final weekend in March. The Celtics lost to Cleveland and Sacramento, but also lost to Utah by eight and Milwaukee by two. Boston has been dealing with some COVID issues, but you have to like the deal that acquired Evan Fournier from the Magic.

Fournier is averaging a career-high 19.7 points per game. He will join Celtics stars Jayson Tatum (24.8 ppg) and Jaylen Brown (24.7 ppg) to form a very formidable trio. Add in point guard Kemba Walker (17.9 ppg) and you’ve got the makings of pretty strong offense. The Celtics score 112.2 points a game (18th) right now, but Boston is 12th in offensive efficiency.

The big question will be can they beat the Bucks – they have once – and Sixers – they have not – when it comes playoff time. At +4000, it might be worth a small wager to find out.

The Heat Is On
A year ago, the Heat played for the NBA championship. They have nearly the same roster and just added Victor Oladipo to the mix. The Heat hit a recent bump in the road losing five straight just prior to the final weekend of March, but much of that had to do with playing shorthanded.

It is entirely true that defense wins championships and the Heat are one of the best in the NBA. They are currently fourth in scoring defense allowing 108 points per game. Miami ranks seventh in defensive efficiency. Health will play a role as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro have all missed some time. Those three are the Heat’s top scorers and Adebayo is the team’s leading rebounder.

Despite being under .500 and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings, there is no reason to doubt Miami reaching the NBA Finals once again. What bettors may doubt is the Heat’s ability to beat any of the contenders from the West. Miami is listed at +2200 to win it all.

Best Bet: The Nuggets
The best of the longshot bets has to be Denver. The Nuggets are currently fifth in the West, just 2.5 games behind the fourth-place Lakers. Denver has won nine of its last 12 games and they are as talented as anyone on offense.

Nikola Jokic is an MVP candidate averaging 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. Behind him is Jamal Murray who has been outstanding since his return to the lineup. Murray averages 21.1 points and 4.8 assists a game. Michael Porter Jr. (16.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg) has been a pleasant surprise for Denver, which ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring putting up 115.6 points per game.

As if the roster wasn’t good enough already, Denver went out and traded for Aaron Gordon and also added veteran center JaVale McGee. An already very good lineup, just got that much better and is set to rival the likes of the Jazz, Clippers, and Lakers in the West. Denver also offers a nice payout at +1600. That’s your best longshot bet for this year’s NBA championship.