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NBA betting: Nets most popular title bet, but LeBron and the Lakers loom large

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The Brooklyn Nets are the most popular bet to win the NBA championship at BetMGM, but the presence of LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers looms large.

According to updated numbers released by BetMGM on Tuesday, the Nets have received 19.3% of the bets and 29.8% of the money to win the NBA title. The Nets opened the year at +900, but are currently the betting favorite at +230 with the trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden in the starting lineup. 

Next in line are the Lakers, who sit at +500 despite currently occupying the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. The Lakers, the defending NBA champions, have played a significant portion of their season without James because of an ankle injury. The team’s other star, Anthony Davis, has also missed a significant number of games due to injury.

But both James and Davis are expected to be healthy for the playoffs and plenty of bettors are confident the Lakers have enough to repeat. The Lakers have received 16.7% of the bets and 21.6 of the money at BetMGM, second behind the Nets in both categories. Last month, one bettor at BetMGM put down $35,000 on the Lakers at +350. That bet would win $122,500.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Friday, April 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Friday, April 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Sportsbook rooting against Denver Nuggets

The sportsbook will be rooting against the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets opened the year at +2000 and currently sit at +2500 to win it all thanks to the season-ending injury to Jamal Murray. Even with Murray out, the Nuggets have continued to win behind MVP favorite Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets have received 13% of the bets and 10.5% of the money at BetMGM and are currently the biggest liability for the sportsbook.

While the Nets are the second-biggest liability for BetMGM, the Philadelphia 76ers are next in line. The Sixers opened the year at +2500 but currently have +700 odds to win it all, tied with the Utah Jazz for fourth-best odds behind the Nets, Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers (also +500).

The Sixers, with MVP candidate Joel Embiid leading the way, have received 11.3% of the bets and 10.5% of the money to win it all. Philadelphia can wrap up the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed with a win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

Current NBA title odds

  • Nets: +230

  • Lakers: +500

  • Clippers: +500

  • 76ers: +700

  • Jazz: +700

  • Bucks: +900

  • Suns: +1400

  • Nuggets: +2500

  • Heat: +3500

  • Hawks: +5000

  • Mavericks: +5000

  • Trail Blazers: +6600

  • Knicks: +8000

  • Celtics: +10000

  • Warriors: +15000

  • Grizzlies: +20000

  • Wizards: +20000

  • Hornets: +25000

  • Spurs: +25000

  • Bulls: +50000

  • Pacers: +50000

  • Pelicans: +50000

  • Kings: +100000

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