BetSided Roundtable: NBA Finals Picks

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) brings the
Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) brings the / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021-2022 NBA season is less than a week away, and our team at BetSided is here to get you set with a total predictions for each team and best bets in the Futures market. 

Here are our NBA Finals matchups and Champion, with odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook!

Brooklyn Nets (+210) over Denver Nuggets

Injuries soiled the Nets bid for a title last season, and while the Kyrie Irving concerns are a bad start, this roster is better suited for a championship run in 2021-2022. 

The acquisitions of Patty Mills, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Paul Millsap provide legitimacy to the bench, and the upside of rookie Cam Thomas is intriguing for a Nets team that has two of the best players in the league in Kevin Durant and James Harden.

Durant looked at the peak of his powers and was a big toe away from knocking off the eventual champions Bucks and propelling a wounded Nets team to the Eastern Conference Finals. He's back and Harden is fully healthy after playing at an MVP level before a hamstring injury derailed his season. 

Irving is an x-factor, but this Nets team is still the best roster in basketball without him. That’s the kind of job Sean Marks has done building the roster. The margin for error is smaller without Irving, but when healthy Durant and Harden are unmatched this season.

As for their opponent, I’m fading the Lakers come postseason time. Old age, lack of perimeter defense, and poor fit will sink this team. It’s a matter of who knocks them off. I was between the Warriors and Nuggets, but will side with Denver. 

If Jamal Murray didn’t get hurt last season, I’m confident that the Nuggets were going to the Finals. Jokic’s game should be able to sustain despite such an incredible run last season. He’s the best passing big of all time, and I envision Murray is back for around half the season, allowing him to be up to speed come playoffs. 

With good health and  a strong home court, I like the Nuggets to come through in the postseason and make the Finals...only to come up short against Durant and Brooklyn. 

Too much scoring for Brooklyn will overwhelm Denver in a Finals matchup. Jokic has the size but the Nets are bigger this season and the ability to attack Jokic in the pick-and-roll relentlessly will take a toll on the reigning MVP over a seven game series. -- Reed Wallach

Brooklyn Nets (+210) over Los Angeles Clippers

With or without Kyrie, the Nets are getting to the Finals this year. Between a locked-in Kevin Durant and a full season of James Harden, plus perhaps the deepest bench in the league, I don’t see how the talent doesn’t eventually win out here.

As for the Clippers, there’s almost a part of me that thinks Kawhi returning around the midway point will raise the team’s focus to keep them on track. Paul George took a massive stride forward as an NBA alpha last year, and if they’re confident and playing well BEFORE Kawhi comes back, this is as dangerous of a team as any in the West.

There’s a ton of appeal to take the Clippers at +2500, but I’ll hedge my bet slightly with a Nets championship bet, and Clippers at +1200 to win the West at WynnBET. It’s not the L.A. team the league is praying for, but I don’t think they’d be too upset if the other one sneaks in. -- Ben Heisler

Milwaukee Bucks (+750) over Los Angeles Lakers

As we all know, the Bucks won the title last season, and they will do the same this season. Milwaukee’s biggest competition will be the Brooklyn Nets, but I’m all in on Giannis Antetokounmpo climbing the ranks of the all-time ladder.

Meanwhile, The Lakers, if healthy, will waltz into the Finals. Milwaukee will be on a pseudo-revenge tour this season, trying to prove it is as legitimate of a champion as the rest.

Antetokounmpo is at the peak of his powers and I think it’s going to be hard for any team to get in his way. The Lakers’ tragic flaw will be their lack of three-point shooting. If the Bucks can exploit that deficiency, they’ll win the Finals and begin the next dynasty in the NBA -- Donnavan Smoot

Milwaukee Bucks (+750) over Los Angeles Lakers

It is going to be an uphill battle, but I think the Milwaukee Bucks are the best bet on the board at +800 to win the NBA title in the 2021-22 season. 

Milwaukee might be even better than it was last year, as the Bucks added Grayson Allen and will have a healthy Donte DiVincenzo to improve their perimeter shooting this season. 

When it comes to an NBA Finals pick, I want to look at two things. The first thing is ability/star ability to actually make an NBA Finals, which the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo showed they have last season. The second is reliability/durability of the roster, and Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Giannis have all been available for the majority of games (Holiday playing 59 regular season games was the lowest of the trio in the past five years) in recent seasons. 

The Bucks and Nets are going to be the clear leaders in the East, but I believe in Milwaukee’s team more than the trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and (maybe?) Kyrie Irving at +250 odds. 

As for the Lakers, there’s the LeBron James factor. Health is going to be a major key for Los Angeles after James and Anthony Davis were unable to hold up last season, but the team did bring in several veterans to hopefully avoid a fall off like last year. Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker have already gone down for the Lakers, but I think James is too hard to bet against.

The West has a lot of unknowns (like Klay Thompson in Golden State) and a lot of teams that have failed to prove they can make an NBA Finals (Utah, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles Clippers). I’ll predict LeBron and Giannis to face off this season, but give me the Bucks at +800. -- Peter Dewey

Phoenix Suns (+1400) over Miami Heat

You want a hot take? Well there's no take hotter than this one, especially considering it involves the two hottest (literally) mascots in professional sports.

These two teams are the last two runner ups in the NBA finals, and if there's any level of chaos in the postseason this season like there was last, there's a chance they'll meet in the finals.

Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker are two of the best young players in the NBA, and I'm not as ready to chalk up last year's final appearance by the Suns as luck or an anomaly like some people are.

Then when it comes to the Heat, defense wins championships and Miami might have one of the best defensives in the NBA. Add in Kyle Lowry and his championship experience, and this team is going to sneak up on some people. I'll take the Suns to outlast the Heat and win it all. -- Iain McMillian