NBA Futures Odds: Bucks Fall After Slow Start With Rivers, While Knicks Rise

Not too long ago, the Milwaukee Bucks were considered a serious threat to win this year’s NBA title. After posting a solid record of 35-10 in their first 45 games of the season, the Bucks were hailed as bona fide contenders in the Eastern Conference as they entered the month of January with the third-best odds to win the NBA Finals (+450) – only behind the Celtics (+300) and Nuggets (+425).

As previously reported, however, the Bucks fired head coach Adrian Griffin on January 23 and named Doc Rivers as his replacement shortly thereafter. And quite frankly it’s been a disaster ever since. As of February 27, the Bucks have posted a lackluster record of 5-7 under Rivers to fall to 37-21 on the season – causing their NBA odds to take a considerable downtick to the +600-700 range at most shops.

Nba Champion Odds

+120 + +115 + +140 + +120 + +120 + +125 +120  
+225 + +260 + +240 + +240 + +275 + +230 +225  
+1400 + +1300 + +1400 + +1500 + +1600 + +1400 +1400  
+1400 + +1500 + +1600 + +1500 + +2000 + +1500 +1400  
+1600 + +1500 + +1600 + +1800 + +2000 + +1600 +1600  
+1800 + +1600 + +1600 + +1800 + +1700 + +1750 +1800  
+1800 + +2000 + +1800 + +1800 + +1100 + +1750 +1800  
+1800 + +2300 + +2000 + +2000 + +1600 + +2000 +2000  
+5000 + +4500 + +5000 + +5000 + +4500 + +5000 +5000  
+4000 + +4500 + +4000 + +4000 + +3000 + +4000 +4000  
+4000 + +6000 + +5000 + +4000 + +2500 + +5000 +5000  
+8000 + +7000 + +10000 + +10000 + +14000 + +10000 +10000  
+5000 + +12000 + +5000 + +4000 + +4500 + +6000 +5000  
+15000 + +50000 + +20000 + +20000 + +15000 + +20000 +15000  

See All

+30000 + +65000 + +50000 + +30000 + +50000 + +25000 +25000  
+35000 + +100000 + +30000 + +30000 + +30000 + +50000 +25000  

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If you remove the numerical odds from the equation, the top of the NBA championship odds board may appear to be holding relatively steady – as the Celtics and Nuggets remain atop the list, followed by the Clippers, Bucks and then Suns.

However, if you take a closer look, the board is slowly becoming more and more top-heavy as the season progresses. But it seems like the oddsmakers still haven’t figured out which side of the seesaw to place Milwaukee – with the Celtics, Nuggets and Clippers all sitting within +500, followed by the Bucks in no man’s land at +700, and then everybody else lies outside of +1400.

If you like the Bucks to win the title, this might be the best odds you are going to get.

On a more positive note: the Knicks haven’t been considered legitimate title contenders for most of the season. The last time we broke down the NBA title odds, New York was listed beyond +3000 behind the Heat, Lakers and Sixers. 

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However, with the Sixers free falling in the absence of Joel Embiid, the Knicks have emerged as the clear cut third-favorite in the East – with New York currently listed at +2000 to win the championship, while Philly and Miami now lie beyond +3000.

Push comes to shove, the Nuggets and Celtics are the best teams in the league – and based on their regular season performance, it’s certainly no surprise that the odds board is beginning to tilt in their favor.

With that in mind though, I feel the same way about Philly and Miami as I do Milwaukee. The Sixers may get Embiid back down the stretch. And if you are familiar with the current iteration of the Heat, you already know that this team never goes full throttle during the regular season.

The Heat posted a regular season record of 44-38 and came incredibly close to being eliminated in the Play-In Tournament before going on to represent the East in last year’s NBA Finals. And while maybe not quite as dangerous, this is still a Sixers team that held a 3-2 lead over Boston in the playoffs and let it slip away in heartbreaking fashion last year.

The circumstances are much different now. But I believe the East is far more wide open than the title odds currently indicate.

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