Anthony Davis, James Harden, and now Kyrie Irving
That's three top-10 players that have gone down with an injury this postseason. It's shaken up NBA Finals betting so much that the futures wager is currently down at most online sportsbooks. Almost certainly, bookies are waiting for news on the severity of Irving's injury before putting betting lines back up to wager on.
If you're reading this, there's a strong chance you had money on either the Lakers or Nets to win the NBA championship — the two were overwhelming favorites all season long, after all. Los Angeles bettors are already toast, while Brooklyn might not be far behind after Irving's scary-looking fall.
But the beauty of futures betting is you can hedge against yourself at any point. Now — with the NBA conference finals a little over a week away — is the perfect time to hedge. In particular, you should be hedging with one of these three teams:
|NBA Outright Winners Odds 2023|
|Golden State Warriors||+450||+450||+450|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+800||+800||+800|
You have to start with the only team that's already booked a trip to the conference finals. The Suns made quick work of the Nuggets in a four-game sweep, allowing them to rest up while the remaining six playoff teams wage on — adding fatigue to an already tiring season, which always adds risk for another injury.
Beyond the rest factor, Phoenix is just flat-out for real. Chris Paul, chasing that elusive first-ever NBA title, is in prime form despite just turning 36 years old. He sent Denver packing with a 37-point effort in game 4, showing us he can still be counted on in a clutch situation.
Of course, Paul is usually dishing it to recently-anointed superstar, Devin Booker. He's not a no-winning stat padder anymore, folks. Despite the lack of playoff experience, D-Book is pouring on about 28 points per game this postseason run.
Throw in two premier defenders in Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, and yep, this Suns team has all the makings of a title-winner. If you don't have a futures bet on Phoenix, now's the time to make it. And heck, even if you already have a wager on them, you should consider "doubling down" because not a single team has impressed more in the last month than the Suns.
Betting pick to make: Phoenix
To preface, yes, we're writing off the Nets. Reports said Irving was in a walking boot and crutches coming out of Game 4. That's not a good sign at all. Tack on a long history of injuries and it looks like Irving will be shut down the rest of the way. No matter how great Kevin Durant is, he can't will an Irving- and Harden-less Brooklyn team to a title. No way.
That leaves Philadelphia and Milwaukee with clear paths to the NBA Finals. Which of the two is the better bet?
For us, that would be the Bucks. Mainly because the Sixers aren't exactly healthy themselves. No surprise here, Joel Embiid is once again on-again, off-again in the injury report. It's clear Embiid is nowhere near recovered from a torn meniscus (suffered in the first round) and he's constantly clutching his knee in the current postseason series versus Atlanta.
A 70-percent Embiid is enough to power Philly through Atlanta, but not a much-more talented Milwaukee team. The Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Bucks have seized momentum versus the Nets, tying the series 2-2. We fully expect them to run the table in the East and give the Suns a fight in the NBA Finals. That's worth a hedge bet in case they pull off the championship upset.
Betting pick to make: Milwaukee
Los Angeles Clippers
We don't need to remind you that the NBA is a superstar-driven league. Of the remaining six postseason teams, factoring in injuries, no team has a better "big two" than the Clippers' tandem of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
No, they haven't looked particularly sharp thus far in the playoffs and yes, they are currently in a 2-1 hole against top-seeded Utah. Regardless, we think they deserve a wager off of their superstar talent alone.
And here's one thing that Los Angeles has going for them that Phoenix and Milwaukee don't: championship experience. Its two leaders, Leonard and Rajon Rondo, have a reputation for coming big in clutch situations, which could prove to be a difference-maker. That championship experience warrants a wager here.
Betting pick to make: Los Angeles Clippers
Alright, ready to update your NBA Finals betting pick? You can do so easily at one of the betting sites listed in the underneath table. Once odds are posted again, you'll find great prices at any one of the bookies.
But that's not all, the bookmakers also offer promotions for you to rack up free play. The promo that pays the most is without a doubt the sign-up bonus. As the name suggests, this deal is earned after completing the sign-up process (and depositing money into your account). Bonus money earned can reach thousands of dollars and be wagered on the NBA playoffs or elsewhere!