Fox Bet updated its NBA Finals odds following the representatives of the National Basketball Players Association approving the 22-team return format.
Here's some advice:
Don't take it. I know you Team LeBron members will struggle to resist. The Last Dance has you fired up that your guy can do that. Calm down and listen.
The Lakers should not be tied, at +250, with the Bucks. Milwaukee, as the odds show, benefits from real separation from the rest of the East. The Lakes, meanwhile, have to go through the Clippers, a team that's more equipped for a postseason run. The first step to winning an NBA Finals is getting to the Finals. I'm not betting on LeBron James, at 35, over Kawhi Leonard to come out of the West. And I wouldn't bet on him against Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league's best player, in the Finals.
It's always hard to find value in Finals odds. It's so rare a team that isn't projected to win actually does. Surprise championship wins are reserved for when stars players go down (Kevin Durant last year). But the value pick on the board is Denver at +2200. The well-coached, well-balanced offense will quickly pick up where it left up before the season's hiatus. The Nuggets can give the Lakers' lack of depth fits. Nikola Jokic is the one player the Clippers next-level defense doesn't have an answer for. Word is, Jokic even added abs to his repertoire.
If Denver makes the Finals, the ratings will be a disaster. And the bettors will be getting rich over a glass of expensive wine that tastes the same as the cheap brands.
This is solely a longshot bet. Though, if Milwaukee has any hiccups upon returning, Miami will be the main beneficiary. As of right of now, Miami, as the fourth seed, would face Milwaukee in the second round. Their chances of pulling an upset are greater there than Boston's in the conference finals when Milwaukee is in sync.
Jimmy Butler is a bull and gives the Heat a puncher's chance.
I've warned you before — stay away. As fun as a Rockets' win would be for the debate shows, it's not happening. James Harden and Russell Westbrook don't fit together. What's more, neither has shown the ability to show up in the postseason. At +1600, you are getting a team primed for a first-round exit.