Nets favorites for NBA title, Sixers tied for third-best odds

Ben Simmons Joel Embiid 76ers
Joel Embiid (left) and Ben Simmons continue to lead the Sixers this season.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eight teams remain in the NBA’s pursuit of the Larry O’Brien Trophy and for the first time in what feels like forever, we won’t have LeBron James or Stephen Curry competing for it.

Parity: What a concept — and those rooting for a competitive NBA would like to extend a thank you to the Phoenix Suns for stopping LeBron and the Lakers’ reign of terror for at least a year.

Of the four top favored teams, three of them are from the Western Conference — which isn’t much of a surprise — but the outright and heavy favorite at the moment is the Brooklyn Nets.

Despite losing James Harden, the duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant aren’t deterring the bookies much considering they took a 2-0 second-round series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks after a gentlemen’s sweep of the Boston Celtics.

After squeaking out a three-point victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their series, the Utah Jazz are the second-favored team. Donovan Mitchell has been playing like a man possessed after missing the first game of the first round, averaging 31.5 points per game this postseason. That includes a monster 45-point performance in that 112-109 triumph over the Clippers.

The Clippers, however, share the same title odds as the Suns — who got my MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in Game 1 — and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers shook off a miserable first half in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks — nearly pulled off a comeback — and then took down Trae Young and Co. in Game 2 by 16.

A banged-up Joel Embiid continues to produce and will be the deciding factor of just how far the Sixers will be able to go. The oddsmakers don’t give the Hawks much of a chance with the worst odds along with the Nuggets, but the looming hurdle after that will likely be the Nets.

Might want to start preparing yourselves now.

Here are the current NBA title odds:

Brooklyn Nets +110
Utah Jazz +300
Los Angeles Clippers +800
Phoenix Suns +800
Philadelphia 76ers +800
Milwaukee Bucks +1600
Denver Nuggets +4500
Atlanta Hawks +4500

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