We've made one betting pick from each conference. But before we give them out, we'd stress to not bet too much on any one team (for now). You see, it's still relatively early. One injury could make or break a team's title chances and that's impossible to account for with 75 percent of the regular season remaining. With that out of the way, let's discuss our early-season picks to win conference titles:
2022 NBA Eastern Conference Champion Pick
The best NBA betting sites are consistently updating their futures odds, but at the moment, they've listed one team as the clear front-runner to be the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference champion pick:
The Nets, despite no Kyrie Irving, are still tops in the Eastern standings with a winning percentage hovering around 70 percent. What makes Brooklyn unique is they possess two game-changing superstar players — not just one like most teams out East. Having Kevin Durant and James Harden gives you a strong chance to win any given night, but despite that, our betting pick isn't Brooklyn.
No, we're backing Miami with our dollars. Here's why: while less superstar heavy up top, the Heat are the most well-balanced team in the East. Its dynamic duo of Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry isn't at the level of Durant-Harden, but make no mistake, they can play with the best of 'em. And both have proven themselves in big-time moments plenty in the last three years.
Beyond those two, the Heat have plenty of supporting pieces to contend. Bam Adebayo is a prevailing presence when on the floor. Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro, while inconsistent at times, can shoot lights out when things are clicking. And collectively, Miami has a better offensive efficiency rating than the Nets currently.
But what might be the biggest thing that puts the Heat over the Nets in the conference is coaching. There's absolutely no denying Erik Spoelstra is one of the league's best at his job. Steve Nash? Well, the jury is still out. Right now, we just have more faith in Spoelstra to design a game-winning play than Nash during crunch time. Take the risk and grab Miami at these +525 odds.
2022 NBA Western Conference Champion Pick
|Golden State Warriors||+190||+190|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+600||+600|
It's official — the Warriors are back! After a two-year hiatus from atop the NBA pecking order, Golden State is once again a title contender. In fact, the Dubs are our 2022 NBA Western Conference championship pick, no questions asked.
Any discussion about Golden State must begin with Steph Curry. He's the online sportsbooks favorite to win the regular-season MVP and he's every bit as deserving so far. At the moment, Curry is averaging 27.5 points per game and has a player efficiency rating of 26.07 — sixth-best in the NBA. These numbers rival the two years he won MVP in the past.
Beyond Curry's theatrics, a huge reason why the Warriors hold the league's best record is its defensive effort. At the moment, Golden State is tops in defensive efficiency. The gap between them and the second-place team is a whopping four points, too. Offense, defense, this team can do it all, akin to its 2014-2019 heydays.
And here's the "joker card" for the Warriors — the return of Klay Thompson. He hasn't played since the 2019 NBA Finals, but Thompson will be back in the lineup within the next month or so. There's no telling whether Klay is still the Klay of old, ya know, one of the best three-point shooters in league history. But even a Thompson at 80 percent of what he once was is still trouble for opponents.
Golden State is our most confident conference championship pick, even more so than Miami. If you can only make one futures bet right now, then make it the Warriors.
How To Bet On NBA Futures?
NBA futures bets aren't limited to the ones we covered above. Nope, there's also futures on the NBA Finals champs or individual award winners like MVP or Rookie of the Year. To get a complete list of NBA futures to bet on, visit one of the sportsbooks below. They'll have you covered with the most up-to-date lines from now until the end of the season in June.
But that's not even the best part of gambling at these sites. The real kickers are the different types of bonuses for free play available at the bookmakers. Whether you're a new or repeat player, there's free money that can be earned. The table below lists a few bonuses available to you right now. To redeem, just hit one of the "play now" buttons underneath.