The 2020-21 NBA regular season gets underway on the 23rd of December and we couldn’t be any more excited! There has been plenty of player movement in the off-season via trades and free agency, which has made for some very interesting futures markets. Here, we take a lot at all the popular markets and provide our best betting tips for the upcoming season. Let’s get stuck into it!
Remember, we'll be bringing you regular NBA previews throughout the season so be sure to head to our NBA Betting Tips page for more content weekly!
2020-21 NBA Betting Tips
There are a few teams given a chance in the market this season with four teams quoted at single-figures in the NBA Championship market. The defending champion Lakers lead the betting at $3.60, followed by the Giannis-led Bucks ($6), Durant’s Nets ($6.50) and Kawhi’s Clippers ($7).
If the rollercoaster 2019-20 NBA season taught us one thing, it’s that LeBron James is still well and truly in his prime and that isn’t changing any time soon. James, alongside Anthony Davis, led the Lakers to their first title since 2010, with their elite play in the Orlando Bubble far too good for any team to seriously challenge them. The Lakers may have won the title, but they’ve still been one of the busiest teams in the off-season, making numerous changes to their roster that we believe will make them an even better club in the upcoming season. They’ve added Montrezl Harrell to the frontcourt and Dennis Schroder to the backcourt, with their only major loss being Rajon Rondo. The Lakers may appear a little short in the market if you aren’t fully sold on them, but we simply can’t put anyone else on top considering how dominant they were in their recent championship run.
If you’re looking for a team at long(ish) odds to follow this season and that can certainly give the playoffs a shake, then look no further than the Boston Celtics at $15. They bring back Kemba Walker to run the point along with the star wing pairing of Jayson Tatum (22) and Jaylen Brown (24) who will continue to get better with natural progression. The Celtics were just two games away from the NBA Finals last season and made a couple of nice pickups in the off-season with Jeff Teague and Tristan Thompson joining. There are obvious reasons why there are a couple of teams above them in the market, but at $15 the Celtics look like the clear value pick of the bunch.
Value: Boston Celtics ($15.00)
Most Valuable Player (MVP)
The MVP race is always the most popular and hyped individual award in the regular season and it’s one that looks to be a very open market this season. Luke Doncic is on the first line of betting and he’s our pick to take it out. The young superstar broke out with a record-breaking second season in the league in 2019-20 with a 29/9/9 average and is every chance to improve his numbers in year 3 providing he stays healthy. The only question mark about his MVP legitimacy is the number of wins that his Mavericks can chalk up. The Mavs finished last regular season with a 43-32 record and will need probably 45+ wins in the 72-game season in 2020-21 for Luka to be in a really strong position to take it out.
For some long odds we see Nikola Jokic as someone worth a tenner. The Joker has made the All-Star game in back-to-back campaigns coming in and shed a ton of weight leading into his impressive bubble display. If he can improve his 20/10/7 splits to 23/11/7 with his added athleticism and the Nuggets clinch a 1-3 seed in the West, then the Joker certainly could be in the mix.
Value: Nikola Jokic ($34)
Most Improved Player (MIP)
The MIP market is always wide open and this season is no different. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from OKC is the favourite in the betting at $10 and we believe he’s still overs. He’s coming off a very impressive sophomore campaign where he posted 19/6/3 averages with Chris Paul as his mentor. Now Paul and a whole host of other key players have left to kickstart the Thunder rebuild, the ball will be in SGA’s hands as he leads this team into their promising future. It would be no surprise if he posted 23/7/6 averages this year, which would make him a hard man to top for MIP.
One player at odds that we believe will be in the mix for MIP is Rockets recruit, Christian Wood. He averaged 13 points and six rebounds for the Pistons last season, while shooting 39% from deep in 21 minutes per game. Those stats on a 36-minute basis equate to 22 points and 11 rebounds, which is why the Rockets were so keen to sign him to be their starting centre. Now 25-years-of-age and with a great opportunity at his new club, Wood is every chance to have a breakout season.
Value: Christian Wood ($21)
Shai Gilgeous Alexander MIP
Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY)
Last season’s DPOY winner was Giannis Antetokounmpo and while he had some great splits, it was certainly a pick that caused for a lot of questioning from the public. Anthony Davis was the odds-on favourite to win the award after his fantastic first season in LA where he posted averages that included 9.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 2.3 blocks, which are all elite defensive numbers. Selectors always remember past seasons when making their picks for the current year and as long as Davis continues to post similar stats in a winning team, then we can see him taking out a very much deserved first DPOY award this season.
A player that exploded last season in year 3 was Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo. He made huge improvements to his game from his sophomore year and became a first time All-Star as a result. He was the Heat’s anchor on the defensive end with 10.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game, and will be a sniff for DPOY this campaign if he can continue to improve.
Value: Bam Adebayo ($9.50)