The two favorites to win the NBA title have taken commanding leads in their respective first-round series.
Brooklyn, which is now the +190 ‘chalk’ to win the NBA Finals, dominated Boston in the first two games of their series. The Nets are taking full advantage of the Celtics, who are without Jaylen Brown and have 50/1 odds to come back and upset Brooklyn.
If the Nets take care of business, one BetMGM bettor will be able to breath a sigh of relief. He or she wagered $420,000 on Brooklyn to win the series at -1500 odds prior to Game 1, according to VSIN’s Ben Fawkes. The bet would cash for $28,000.
Brooklyn is -118 to win the Eastern Conference, putting it ahead of Milwaukee (+240) and Philadelphia (+275). The Bucks took a 3-0 series lead with a win at Miami on Thursday night, while the 76ers hold a 2-0 advantage over Washington.
Oddsmakers are not expecting any other team to make noise in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is priced at 50/1 and New York is 60/1. Miami, Boston and Washington all have one foot out the door and are 250/1 or longer.
The Western Conference holds more intrigue from a betting perspective, starting with the Lakers. They are +135 ‘chalk’ to make the NBA Finals and have the second-best title odds at +310.
Los Angeles won and covered as a seven-point favorite on Thursday night at Staples Center, taking a 2-1 series lead over Phoenix. Devon Booker and Jae Crowder were both ejected in the game’s final minutes, while Chris Paul continues to nurse a shoulder injury. The Suns are 25/1 to win the Western Conference and are 60/1 to win the NBA Finals.
Borgata Sports in New Jersey took a $335,000 bet on the Lakers to win their series against Phoenix at -335 odds prior to Thursday’s game. The bet would win $100,000 and is looking good following Game 3.
Utah has a healthy Donovan Mitchell back in the fold and is coming off a 141-129 win over Memphis in Game 2 of their series. The Jazz have the second-shortest odds to win the Western Conference at +230.
Dallas is +650 after taking a 2-0 lead on the Clippers, who have dropped to +700 to win the conference. Denver is 12/1 and Portland is 22/1. Memphis is the only true longshot in the Western Conference with a price of 150/1.