The Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team has already made history by advancing to the final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. But can they go all the way and bring home the gold medal against a rising power in Sweden? Plus, can the USA regroup and capture the bronze against Australia?
NBA 2021 Playoffs Update: It’s Brooklyn Or Bust
The Brooklyn Nets are still favoured to win its first NBA championship in franchise history despite being plagued by injuries. With a hampered Nets team, we now have a wide-open NBA Playoffs where any of the remaining teams can realistically win it all.
In the pre-season, the Brooklyn Nets were already a top-three title favourite behind only the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. When they acquired James Harden, they became the favourites. Now it’s come full circle as the Nets are handling the Bucks without Harden and the Lakers have been eliminated.
Brooklyn is now the sizable favourite to win it all as we look at how the rest of the playoff picture looks with the latest NBA Playoffs update (odds courtesy of the top online sportsbooks):
|Odds To Win The 2021 NBA Championship|
Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Championship Futures: Going Big on Brooklyn or the Bucks
What a disappointing turn of events for the Brooklyn Nets who appeared to be a class above their peers. They were beating up on the Bucks until Kyrie Irving got hurt. Now, the series has been tied and Milwaukee has a realistic chance of upsetting them.
But the Nets have been dominant not just because of their offence, but because of their defence. This team is third in the playoffs in defensive rating and has held their opponents to just 43% shooting. Brooklyn can get it done on both ends of the floor, which still makes them a solid choice to win it all.
But Brooklyn still has plenty of work to do. Other contenders still have a shot (odds via Bodog):
NBA Championship Odds: The Other Contenders
Before we crown Brooklyn, several other teams would have something to say. In fact, at least four other teams are neck-and-neck when it comes to being the next best team to Brooklyn. The three teams in the West: Utah, Phoenix, and the Clippers are all in serious contention.
Utah Jazz — 4.00
The NBA’s best regular-season team leads the pack thanks to having homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs and being an all-around excellent team. Utah is making short work of the Clippers the same way Brooklyn is with Milwaukee. Should they get past them, they’ll take on Phoenix.
While Utah has struggled against the elite teams in the regular season, it’s easy to bank on this team when it’s playing elite defence and Donovan Mitchell is channelling his inner Michael Jordan.
Phoenix Suns — 4.75
Right behind Utah are the Phoenix Suns. The Suns actually swept the Jazz in the regular season (3-0) and made it look easy for two of those games. Phoenix has looked just as dominant as Utah and Brooklyn in the playoffs and a sweep of Denver would only emphasize that they are for real.
Like the Jazz’s Mitchell, Devin Booker has also come alive in the playoffs. Phoenix will need for him to continue stepping up as he will be the talisman for a franchise still looking for its first NBA title.
Milwaukee Bucks — 5.50
Before going down 0-2 against Brooklyn, the Bucks were considered their equal and were a trendy pick among both fans and the media. Milwaukee has struggled to score and that goes from two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo all the way down to their bench.
However, the tables have turned as not only did Irving get hurt but Milwaukee has tied the series and is shooting the ball a lot better. The momentum is now with the Bucks and if they beat Brooklyn, they will be the favourites to win the NBA Championship.
Best NBA Playoff Bets: Painting The Rest of the Picture
Now that we have a clear view of the teams and players involved, we can look at some additional playoff bets beginning with what the likely NBA Finals matchup will be:
2021 NBA Exact Finals Matchup: Brooklyn Nets vs Phoenix Suns — 3.75
At almost 3-1, this bet has the best value if we’re looking at the most likely outcome for the Nets. Phoenix matches up well against Utah and has their number. They may as well come out of the West thanks to Booker shooting the lights out and Chris Paul looking as determined as ever to lead this team to the promised land.
Brooklyn should hold steady even with their injuries and beat the Bucks. They will face and defeat an equally feisty Philadelphia 76ers squad. Nothing is ever a sure thing even in the superstar-driven league like the NBA. But Brooklyn and Phoenix meeting in the NBA Finals is a likely outcome.
NBA Finals MVP: Kevin Durant — 2.50
If Brooklyn wins the title, Durant will almost surely be the MVP. His impact is felt on both ends of the floor as he’s been able to dominate Antetokounmpo and any other stars that have come his way. The two-time NBA Finals MVP is nigh-unstoppable and is posting 31.8 points with a 524/478/903 shooting line.
Additionally, Durant has a 105 defensive rating and is averaging nearly two blocks per game emphasizing he is still a two-way force. Barring any injuries, this appears to be Durant’s year.
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