The NBA All-Star break has arrived and we have a pretty good picture of the championship landscape as teams prepare for the final 20-plus games left on the regular-season schedule. Below, we look at the updated 2021-22 NBA championship odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Phoenix Suns lead the Western Conference by 6.5 games and are the best team in the NBA at the break. Three teams in the Western Conference have better records than the top teams in the Eastern Conference, but the back end of the playoff race in the East is better than things look in the West.
Things were shaken up in the East with a big trade involving SG James Harden (to the Philadelphia 76ers) and PG Ben Simmons (to the Brooklyn Nets). The deal appears to make both teams better, and the conference still has the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
Who will survive the stretch run and push through the postseason to be this year’s NBA champions?
2022 NBA championship odds and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Saturday, Feb. 19, at 5:23 p.m. ET.
These are the 12 teams with the shortest odds to win the title, including All-Star break record. Preseason odds not available if not listed.
Phoenix Suns (48-10 record) +425 ⬆️ from +1500 preseason odds
Golden State Warriors (42-17) +480 ⬆️ from +1000
Brooklyn Nets (31-28) +550 ⬇️ from +230
Milwaukee Bucks (36-24) +600 ⬆️ from +750
Philadelphia 76ers (35-23) +700 ⬆️ from +2000
Miami Heat (38-21) +1000 ⬆️ from +2000
Utah Jazz (36-22) +1300 ↔️ from +1300
Memphis Grizzlies (41-19) +2000
Chicago Bulls (38-21) +3000
Boston Celtics (34-26) +3000
Denver Nuggets (33-25) +3000 ⬇️ from +2000
Los Angeles Lakers (27-31) +3000 ⬇️ from +300
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2022 NBA championships picks and predictions
Phoenix Suns (+425)
Bet $100 to win $425
After taking the first two games of the NBA Finals at home, the Suns were two games away from a title last season, but the Bucks won the final four games of the series. The Suns were on the cusp as a surprise team in the regular season and in the playoffs. They have continued their roll this season, sitting at 48-10. They are bigger and deeper this season. They struggle when C Deandre Ayton gets into foul trouble, but with C JaVale McGee and C Bismack Biyombo behind him, Phoenix is two and three deep at almost every position.
Golden State Warriors (+480)
Bet $100 to win $480
There are some concerns about PF Draymond Green’s back. The main thing for the Warriors is getting healthy. They own the second-best record in the league and have championship experience. PG Stephen Curry and SG Klay Thompson make their offensive attack deadly. If Green comes back and C James Wiseman, too, they have the size, strength, firepower and experience to win it all.
Philadelphia 76ers (+700)
Bet $100 to win $700
The addition of Harden gives the 76ers one of the best scorers and playmakers in the league. Adding him with MVP candidate C Joel Embiid, who is playing like the best big man in the league, make the 76ers a real threat to win it all. A motivated Harden can carry a team and he will make things even easier for Embiid.
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2022 NBA championships picks – Long shot
Denver Nuggets (+3000)
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Look to the Nuggets for a long shot worth sprinkling a little something on. However, their playoff fate will be determined by whether PG Jamal Murray returns to form by the postseason as he comes back from a torn ACL, and whether SF Michael Porter Jr. can also get healthy before the end of the regular season. If they can stay in the playoff race and get healthy, they could be a surprise team.
2022 NBA championship odds – Pretenders
Cleveland Cavaliers (35-23) +4000
Dallas Mavericks (35-24) +4000
Los Angeles Clippers (30-31) +6000 ⬇️ from +1500
Toronto Raptors (32-25) +7000
Atlanta Hawks (28-30) +8000
Minnesota Timberwolves (31-28) +9000
Charlotte Hornets (29-31) +10000
New York Knicks (25-34) +30000
New Orleans Pelicans (23-36) +30000
Portland Trail Blazers (25-34) +30000
Sacramento Kings (22-38) +40000
San Antonio Spurs (23-36) +40000
Washington Wizards (27-31) +40000
Detroit Pistons (13-45) +50000
Houston Rockets (15-43) +50000
Indiana Pacers (20-40) +50000
Oklahoma City Thunder (18-40) +50000
Orlando Magic (13-47) +50000
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