Alright BetUS NBA online betting faithful, love him or loathe him, having LeBron James on your team’s roster means an almost automatic berth to the NBA Finals. However, if you’re not a fan of James’ or the Los Angeles Lakers, then you should know that, while his teams are almost guaranteed a berth in the NBA Finals each and every season, they certainly aren’t guaranteed of winning it.
While the Lakers managed to hoist the 2020 Larry O’Brien championship trophy by beating the Miami Heat in six games and are favored to repeat in the most recent 2020-21 NBA Championship odds, there’s hope, not only for your favorite team but for the Boston Celtics to beat the Lakers to the punch in regards of becoming the first franchise to claim 18 NBA titles.
With that thought in mind sportsbook betting buffs, it’s time to find out whether the C’s or Lakers have the best chance to cash in against their respective ‘Drive for 18 NBA Odds. Thanks to the creative oddsmakers at BetUS, you could cash in big with a season-long NBA futures odds wager centered around which team will win their 18th title first.
Let’s examine what could lie ahead for both teams over the course of the quickly approaching 2020-21 campaign.
Which Franchise Will Win 18th NBA Championship First
- Los Angeles Lakers -350
- Boston Celtics +250
The Lake Show
Not only did the Lakers (52-19) get back in the playoffs after missing out in 2018-19, but they managed to win their first title since 2010 by defeating Miami in six games. Los Angeles got another monster campaign from the soon-to-be, 36-year-old James but it was the addition of veteran power forward Anthony Davis that put LA over the top.
While James averaged 25.3 points, a career-high 10.2 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game during the regular season, it was Davis that mostly dominated in the postseason by putting up 27.7 points and 9.7 boards per game while dominating the likes of the “tiny” Houston Rockets, and banged-up Heat in the finals.
While Los Angeles got some nice contributions from peripheral performers like Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, it was a two-man effort that gave the Lakers the 2020 championship. Now, as far as their overall total of 17 titles is concerned, the Lakers won five titles while still based in Minneapolis (1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, and 1954). After moving to Los Angeles in 1961, the franchise has won a dozen titles (1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2020).
More importantly, depending on how things shake out in free agency and the upcoming NBA Draft, the Lakers could repeat — or come up short of their championship hopes. Davis, Caldwell-Pope, Rondo, veteran center Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters, and JR Smith are all unrestricted free agents and could choose to sign elsewhere this offseason. Depending on which players return and which ones the Lakers add in free agency, Los Angeles could either increase their chances of repeating or fall by the wayside to a handful of other legitimate title contenders in the Western Conference like Denver, a reloaded Golden State Warriors team or a Los Angeles Clippers squad that was big on talent, but woefully short on chemistry. Simply put, if Davis returns (he will) to join James, Los Angeles will have another great shot at winning it all in 2020-21.
Boston went 48-24 in the shortened regular season while reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in the last four seasons. While the C’s came up short in their 4-2 conference finals loss against Miami, Boston looks like it will be in contention, not only this coming season but for years to come.
The Celtics are built around the vast talents of two of the best young wing players in the league in 22-year-old third-year forward Jayson Tatum (23.4 ppg) and 24-year-old swingman Jaylen Brown (20.3 ppg). Boston will likely see its roster change this offseason as they look to add some much-needed height, rebounding and rim protection in the frontcourt. The good news is that Boston has a ton of high NBA draft picks over the next handful of seasons, though they are clearly in ‘win now’ mode behind their two young stars.
The Celtics won their first title in 1957 before winning eight straight from 1959-1966 and then, consecutive titles in 1968 and 1969. The C’s added six more titles by bringing home the bacon in 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, and 1986 while claiming their last title back in 2008 when Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen combined to lead Boston to the title.
Now, moving forward, the C’s need to make some minor roster adjustments, but if they can add a productive big man to their already solid collection of young performers, Boston could very well beat out Los Angeles in the race for each franchise’s 18th NBA crown. While James will eventually start to see his skills diminish, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have yet to even hit their full-on primes.
In closing, Los Angeles likely has a better chance to win next season’s NBA Championship, but after that, it’s hard to go against a Celtics team that is loaded with youth and hunger. While Boston came up short of reaching the NBA Finals last season and the Lakers won it all, I genuinely believe L.A.’s title window is closing quickly while Boston’s hasn’t even fully opened as of yet. I’m going with the younger Celtics to win No. 18 before the veteran-laden Lakers get there!
- Pick: Boston Celtics