With an 82-game regular season and best four-of-seven series in the playoffs, basketball bettors can get a massive bang for their buck by betting on NBA futures. Even sweet, they can often find value with the right approach. If you’re new to sports betting, then you might have a few questions about NBA futures markets. Let’s start from the top.

What Are NBA Futures?

Simply put, a futures bet is a bet that is placed on the outcome of a future event. When visiting an online sportsbook, you can bet who will win the NBA Championship, MVP, and Scoring Leader — just a few examples of the types of NBA futures.

NBA bettors typically flock toward NBA Championship, Western Conference, Eastern Conference, and MVP odds before each season tips off, as well as over/under regular-season win totals for individual teams. Additionally, bettors may find value on more niche futures markets like NBA Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and Clutch Player of the Year.

NBA futures odds are available year-around — during the offseason and throughout the regular season. In the offseason, sportsbooks adjust odds based on news and the volume of money being wagered on each team. For instance, a big free-agent signing or blockbuster trade, as we so often see during the NBA offseason, may suddenly turn an under-the-radar team into a real contender. As a result, oddsmakers react to such events by shortening their odds. They also adjust odds if a large percentage of their handle is on a specific team. Once the season tips off, NBA Championship odds are most affected by injuries and team performances, but major transactions before the trad deadline can also play a factor.

How To Read NBA Championship Odds

Just like at sportsbooks, here on our odds comparison page you’ll find odds are listed as follows:

  • Denver Nuggets +450
  • Boston Celtics +450
  • Milwaukee Bucks +600
  • Phoenix Suns +600

These odds show bettors how much they will win on a given wager if the team they select wins the NBA Championship.

If you were to place a $100 wager on the Nuggets to repeat (+450), it would pay you $550 total — $450 in profit, hence the +450, plus your initial $100. If you place $50 on the Bucks, you would get $350 back —  $300 profit, plus your $50 back — in the event they win.

These odds are read just like moneyline odds and apply to all futures wagers, not just the NBA Championship.

Preseason Odds Of NBA Champions Since 2000

Unlike NFL futures and betting on the Super Bowl, longshot NBA Championship winners are few and far between. With only five players on the court at a time, the top superstars have a massive impact on who wins the NBA Championship in a given year. We typically know who the superstars are and where they’ll be playing before each season begins. Additionally, the playoff format includes a best-of-seven series in each round. These factors combined make it especially difficult for longshots to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Here’s a look at each winner and their respective preseason odds, dating back to 2000:

2023Denver Nuggets+1800
2022Golden State Warriors+900
2021Milwaukee Bucks+500
2020Los Angeles Lakers+440
2019Toronto Raptors+1850
2018Golden State Warriors-185
2017Golden State Warriors-125
2016Cleveland Cavaliers+280
2015Golden State Warriors+2800
2014San Antonio Spurs+1200
2013Miami Heat+225
2012Miami Heat+225
2011Dallas Mavericks+2000
2010Los Angeles Lakers+225
2009Los Angeles Lakers+350
2008Boston Celtics+1000
2007San Antonio Spurs+450
2006Miami Heat+350
2005San Antonio Spurs+400
2004Detroit Pistons+1500
2003San Antonio Spurs+1100
2002Los Angeles Lakers+200
2001Los Angeles Lakers+180
2000Los Angeles Lakers+400

Betting On Longshots

The lesson from past winners? Don’t reach too much when betting on NBA Championship odds. While there have been recent outliers like the Nuggets this past season, Raptors in 2018-19, and the Warriors in 2014-15, preseason favorites usually come out on top.

With that said, however, there may be merit to picking longshots soon after the NBA Finals end and before free agency begins, particularly if you want to speculate on which team a franchise-changing superstar will sign with. We saw this play out with the Raptors, who were actually +6000 before Kawhi Leonard signed with the team and subsequently led them to the 2019 title. The following season, the Lakers opened +1800 to win the championship, but oddsmakers quickly made them favorites as soon as LeBron James signed with the Purple and Gold.

Where To Bet On The 2023 NBA Championship And More NBA Futures

The 2022-23 season is well underway, but as we mentioned earlier, it’s never too late to bet on the NBA Championship. You can use this page to view updated odds at some of the best sportsbooks in the industry. Our odds comparison tool updates daily, showing you which online sports betting site has the best payout for all 30 teams, along with odds for other futures markets discussed in this article.

Click on your team’s odds to Bet Now and receive amazing sign-up offers. You can also check out our Fanatics Sportsbook promo code if you’re in Ohio or Tennessee.