On Thursday, the NBA finalized a plan to restart the 2020 season with 22 teams in a “bubble” in Disney World. The teams will play eight regular-season games with the possibility of a few play-in games to determine playoff seeding. With the league officially cutting down to 22 teams, championship odds are changing.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers are still the top three favorites to win the title on FanDuel, but there are more than a handful of dark horse teams in the mix.

 

Current NBA Championship Odds

Milwaukee Buck +240
Los Angeles Lakers +270
Los Angeles Clippers +340
Houston Rockets +1200
Boston Celtics +2000
Toronto Raptors +2400
Denver Nuggets +2500
Miami Heat +2700
Philadelphia 76ers +2700
Utah Jazz +2900
Dallas Mavericks +3600
Brooklyn Nets +6000
Indiana Pacers +10000
Oklahoma City Thunder +10000
New Orleans Pelicans +12000
Memphis Grizzlies +21000
Portland Trail Blazers +21000
San Antonio Spurs +21000
Orlando Magic +25000
Phoenix Suns +25000
Sacramento Kings +25000
Washington Wizards +25000

 

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Unprecedented Format

For the first time in history, the NBA Finals will take place in October. A few months ago, that statement would have sounded ridiculous, but the outbreak of COVID-19 changed everything. Now, that’s one of the best things NBA fans have heard in some time.

Due to these unprecedented circumstances, it’s difficult to predict what teams are going to show up in Orlando and find a rhythm. For one thing, homecourt advantage is a moot point. The NBA explored some options to remedy the loss of homecourt advantage with extra possessions or coach’s challenges, but the point remains the same. These games are going to be much different in front of mostly empty stands.

But the players on the court are more important than the fans in the stands. The nearly four-month-long layoff is providing some teams with time to rest and recover before a championship run. The Philadelphia 76ers were without All-Star Ben Simmons when the season stopped due to a pinched nerve. Simmons is going to be ready to play come the playoffs.

The Brooklyn Nets could benefit big time from the hiatus if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are healthy enough to play. Neither player has given any indication that they will participate in the NBA’s restart, but the Nets would be an absolute steal at +6000 if they do.

It might take players a few games to return to form, but that’s what those eight regular-season games are there for. Expect to see healthy, rejuvenated teams once the playoffs roll around.

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Danny is bringing his years of experience as a New York sportswriter to the Action Rush team. He’s spent time covering just about every professional team in New York for Elite Sports NY. Whether it’s writing, podcasting, video content, or anything in between, Danny has done it all.