The 2021-22 NBA season kicks off on Tuesday night, which means it is never too early to start looking at future odds. Of course, the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers find themselves at the top when sifting through the NBA Finals market due to their experienced rosters.
However, there are a few teams lower in the odds to keep an eye on. With that in mind, here are three dark horse picks to win the NBA Finals this season, with odds according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
1. Philadelphia 76ers (+2000)
It's interesting to see the Philadelphia 76ers rank eighth in the NBA Finals odds after finishing as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season. Yes, the team has lot of question marks surrounding point guard Ben Simmons. They still have a perennial All-Start center in Joel Embiid, though. The 27-year-old is coming off of a season in which he averaged 28.5 points per game and finished second in the MVP voting. The front office has kept his supporting cast full of shooters like Seth Curry and Danny Green. Overall, the 76ers finished with the second-best defensive rating in the NBA last season. Philadelphia's stellar play on that side of the ball could lead them to a championship.
2. Miami Heat (+2500)
Another team to watch out for in the Eastern Conference is the Miami Heat. The Heat are led by forward Jimmy Butler, but the team also went out and acquired a couple veterans this past offseason. Six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry and reigning champion P.J. Tucker are set to join the starting lineup. Keep in mind that Victor Oladipo should also make his return to the floor sometime this season. Adding in a spark plug that has made an All-NBA team in his career only adds to the excitement on this squad. The Heat have a lot of depth and showed some potential last year finishing with a 40-32 record. They could take a major step up this season.
3. Portland Trail Blazers (+8000)
Anyone looking to put some money on a long shot should take a chance on the Portland Trail Blazers out of the Western Conference. Portland features one of the best backcourt duos in the league with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum highlighting a powerful offense. Both players averaged over 23.0 points per game last season and helped lead the Trail Blazers to the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. There is no reason to believe a team that posted the fifth-highest points per game average (115.1) cannot keep their momentum going into this season. Simply put, anything is possible when Dame Time has the ball in his hands.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.