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Breaking down NBA championship betting splits ahead of opening night

We go over how the public is backing to win the 2020 NBA Finals. The Lakers are heavily favored by bettors so far.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers share a smile during Game Six of the NBA Finals on October 11, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida.  Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Opening night for the NBA’s 2020-21 season is here and bettors are already putting their money where their mouths are in hopes of hitting big on NBA Finals wagers. The reigning champs are heavily favored by the public but an Eastern Conference team has also risen to the forefront. Let’s go over the betting splits for the favorites so far.

The Los Angeles Lakers are favored to win it all on DraftKings Sportsbook at +275. Their superstar duo — LeBron James and Anthony Davis — are running it back and have added some quality role players to defend their title. Adding Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol, and Wesley Matthews to a team that’s already won a chip has won the confidence of the public. The Lakers command 41 percent of the handle and 33 percent of the total bets.

The Brooklyn Nets have the third-best title odds (+600) and are right behind the Lakers. While they were booted from the playoffs in the first round last season they’ll benefit from the return of a slew of key players. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Spencer Dinwiddie will make Brooklyn an offensive powerhouse capable of taking down major players like the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics. and the Miami Heat. The public has placed 17 percent of the handle and 12 percent of the total bets on the Nets.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ title odds are at +2000 and they rank third in handle percentage (11) and percentage of total bets (10). Philly couldn’t help but get swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of last year’s playoffs after Ben Simmons suffered a season-ending knee injury but he’ll return to form a dynamic duo with Joel Embiid. The Sixers added some much-needed outside shooting with Seth Curry and Danny Green. Bettors seem to think they’re capable of making a deep run with a different supporting cast.

The Denver Nuggets (+2000) and Golden State Warriors (+3000) round out the top five. Denver’s impressive streak of seven-game series in the bubble makes it seem like Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are ready to take the sizeable leap. The Dubs could be limited by Klay Thompson’s season-ending Achilles injury but the return of Stephen Curry could make them competitive. Denver has 6 percent of the handle and total bets. Golden State accounts for 5 percent of the handle and 6 percent of the total bets.

The Heat and Celtics both have +1500 title odds and 2 percent of the handle despite facing off in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. Boston has an edge in the percentage of total bets with 4 percent while 3 percent of the total wagers have been placed on Miami.

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