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Breaking down the most popular bets for the NBA Finals

The betting splits have seem some movement since the NBA announced its plans to return and finish out the season. We break down the numbers here.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate a basket during a 112-103 win over the LA Clippers at Staples Center on March 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The NBA is planning on starting up training camp in late June to allow the 22 teams remaining to get back in shape before the season resumes in late July. Teams will be gearing up to play their first games since early March and will close out the regular season by playing eight regular-season games apiece.

The league’s revised schedule will give teams on the fringe a chance to earn playoff spots via a play-in tournament sometime in August. Naturally, that’s affected the mindsets of bettors and altered betting splits for the NBA Finals. DraftKings Sportsbook has a breakdown of what the numbers have looked like since the NBA’s plan to return to play was announced. Here’s what they look like.

2020 NBA Finals betting splits

Team Odds % Handle % Bets
Team Odds % Handle % Bets
LA Lakers +2500 26% 21%
POR Trail Blazers +15000 13% 3%
PHI 76ers +2800 12% 10%
DEN Nuggets +2500 11% 11%
BOS Celtics +2000 8% 8%
LA Clippers +333 8% 9%
BKN Nets +30000 8% 8%
MIL Bucks +2500 4% 7%
HOU Rockets +1300 3% 4%
IND Pacers +10000 2% 6%

The Los Angeles Lakers (+250) are favored to win it all and lead all teams with 26 percent of the handle of NBA Finals bets since the NBA’s plan was announced. The LeBron James-led squad is being backed by 21 percent of bettors. Anthony Davis is playing at an elite level, and the extended break could help DeMarcus Cousins — who was released in February — return to the team. That’s a big if, but the NBA is already considering expanding rosters due to the unique circumstance players will be in during the postseason.

Portland Trail Blazers (+15000) bets have surprisingly accounted for 13 percent of the handle since the announcement. Although only 3 percent of bettors are banking on them winning it all, the Trail Blazers are only second to the Lakers when it comes to the handle. Jusuf Nurkic is set to play for the first time this year when the season resumes, and he’ll join a team that has a healthy Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Hassan Whiteside.

The Philadelphia 76ers (+2800) rank third with 12 percent of the handle, as Ben Simmons and the oft-injured Joel Embiid should be healthy to lead a team that many though could win the Eastern Conference at the beginning of the year. Although the Milwaukee Bucks (+2500) have odds on par with the Lakers on DraftKings Sportsbook, they rank eighth in the field with 4 percent of the handle and 7 percent of bettors backing them.

Howe much will the absence of fans and home court advantage affect the outcome of the NBA playoffs? It’ll certainly be a factor, but bettors are favoring a top contender in Lakers the underdog Trail Blazers for now.

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