2022 NBA Championship Odds & Predictions

NBA Championship Winner

  • The 2022 NBA Playoffs are in full effect!
  • Despite the Milwaukee Bucks being the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors are the sportsbook’s favorite to win the title!
  • With 16 teams vying for the title, let’s take a deep dive into the best competitors!

The NBA Playoffs are in full effect, with the top 12 teams earning their place in the post-season, and 4 teams earning the last two seeds in each conference via the Play-In Tournament. After a couple of seasons mired with injury, the Warriors find themselves back at the top of the odds table for the NBA Championship!

Also at the top of the odds table for the NBA title are the Phoenix Suns! Not only were last year’s Championship runners up the top of the Western Conference this season, they earned the best record in the NBA. They seem set for a finals run once again, barring any serious injuries.

Rising to the top of the East is the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. Boston got off to a dreadful start to the season but rallied in the second half to earn the second seed in the East. Milwaukee has proven to be a savvy team, looking to preserve their players and sacrifice some games, in order to defend their 2021 NBA title.

With the playoffs in full swing, let’s take a deeper look at the odds and predictions for some of the league’s best contenders for the NBA Title!

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Who is the Favourite to Win the 2022 NBA Championship?

Golden State Warriors (+340)

After some difficult seasons where the Warriors looked to be struggling to maintain the success of their dynasty, the Warriors have bounced back and look like a real threat to any NBA Championship competitor.

The Golden State Warriors finished the season 3rd in the Western Conference, with a 53-29 record. With rather a clean bill of health and the return of Klay Thompson, the Warriors worked their way back into having the number one rated defense in the NBA!

The Western Conference is more open than it has been in years, with many teams looking like Championship quality. The difference with the Warriors is their new mix of young talent and veteran experience, something that can’t be discounted in any seven-game series.

Who are the Contenders for the 2022 NBA Championship?

The competition for the 2022 NBA Championship projects to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. While the Milwaukee Bucks have a great chance at repeating as winners, veteran units like the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors look primed to take the Larry O’Brien trophy for themselves.

Let’s take a look at who the top contenders are for this year’s NBA Championship!

Brooklyn Nets (+1200)

Key Players: Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving

Head Coach: Steve Nash

Notable Additions: Patty Mills, Ben Simmons

The Brooklyn Nets were put together as an experiment. Now entering the third season with Durant in their employ, it seems as if Brooklyn are ready to realize their true championship potential. There are still issues surrounding Kyrie Irving and his participation, but they are still finding success with just Harden and Durant on the court.

The Brooklyn Nets have had their fair share of bouts with the injury bug this season, but that hasn’t hindered their success. Due to the threat of Durant and Harden, the Nets’ passing game and ability to find open shots for their role players is the best in the league.

Kyrie Irving’s status is still the sticking point when considering the Nets’ success. If all of their stars are available, the Nets have shown their supporting cast are more than ready to step in and support them. Health, rather than talent, is the issue for the Nets. But if all players are available, it is hard to bet against Brooklyn.

Golden State Warriors (+380)

Key Players: Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins

Head Coach: Steve Kerr

Notable Additions: Jonathan Kuminga, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter

After one down season, the public seemed to forget the Golden State Warriors’ qualities, but it wasn’t for long. The Warriors reminded the league of their talent in their first game, all behind the stellar play of Stephen Curry and the improvement of Andrew Wiggins.

The Golden State Warriors are always a threat on offense, mostly due to their excellent passing and shooting threat of Stephen Curry. However they’ve built their success on being the best defensive team in the NBA, despite James Wiseman still out of the lineup.

Now that the Warriors are back amongst the best in the NBA, it’d be foolish to doubt Stephen Curry’s ability to lead a team to a playoff victory.

Phoenix Suns (+400)

Key Players: Devin Booker, Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton

Head Coach: Monty Williams

Notable Additions: Javale McGee, Landry Shamet

Last years runners-up, the Phoenix Suns will be doing their best to prove that last year’s trip to the NBA Finals wasn’t a fluke. They came out of the gates flying this season, resting at the top of both the Western Conference and league table after half of their scheduled games.

Despite having two of the best offensively talented players in the league in Chris Paul and Devin Booker, it is the defensive end of the ball that inspires the Phoenix Suns’ success. Owning the league’s second best defence, and a playmaking savant at point guard, the Suns have one of the best two-way threats in the league.

Phoenix have proven that they’re in the upper echelon of the Western Conference. As a NBA Championship contender, it is hard to pick against them. With a weakened Western Conference and a Finals-experienced roster, it seems like the Suns aren’t the long shot that many think them to be.

Milwaukee Bucks (+750 )

Key Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer

Notable Additions: Grayson Allen, George Hill

It isn’t that the Milwaukee Bucks seem particularly weaker than they were in their last season, but they don’t seem much stronger either. Despite making some modest moves in the market, the Bucks’ offseason is still defined by whom they were unable to retain.

The Bucks are still a great defensive team, owning the fifth best three-point defence in the league. While they lost Brook Lopez due to injury, Bobby Portis has stepped up in his stead. Milwaukee aren’t a deep team, but the opportunities that Antetokounmpo creates make it easy to “plug-and-play”.

Milwaukee are an excellent pick to win the NBA title. Not only do they have the pedigree as reigning champions, but they compete in a top-heavy Eastern Conference that should be a breeze for them to overcome – at least until the Conference Finals.

Who Were the 2021 NBA Champions?


The 2020-2021 NBA Champions were the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite finishing just third in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks went on to win the NBA Championship after overcoming the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.

Giannis Antetokounmpo won his first NBA Championship and first NBA Finals MVP Award with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Their route to the Championship was no easy task:

Opponent Conference Seed (Record) Series Record Team PPG Opp PPG MIL PPG Leader MIL REB Leader MIL AST Leader
Miami Heat East #6 (40-32) 4-0 118.5 98.0 Giannis Antetokounmpo (23.5) Giannis Antetokounmpo (15.0) Jrue Holiday (9.8)
Brooklyn Nets East #2 (48-24) 4-3 101.9 104.7 Giannis Antetokounmpo (31.9) Giannis Antetokounmpo (12.9) Jrue Holiday (6.3)
Atlanta Hawks East #5 (41-31) 4-2 113.3 106.3 Giannis Antetokounmpo (26.5) Giannis Antetokounmpo (10.0) Jrue Holiday (10.0)
Phoenix Suns West #2 (51-21) 4-2 111.7 109.3 Giannis Antetokounmpo (35.2) Giannis Antetokounmpo (13.2) Jrue Holiday (9.3)

NBA Champions by Year

Here is a list of historical NBA Champions by year:

Year Western Conference Champion Series Result Eastern Conference Champion
2021 Phoenix Suns 2-4 Milwaukee Bucks
2020 Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Miami Heat
2019 Golden State Warriors 2-4 Toronto Raptors
2018 Golden State Warriors 4-0 Cleveland Cavaliers
2017 Golden State Warriors 4-1 Cleveland Cavaliers
2016 Golden State Warriors 3-4 Cleveland Cavaliers
2015 Golden State Warriors 4-2 Cleveland Cavaliers
2014 San Antonio Spurs 4-1 Miami Heat
2013 San Antonio Spurs 3-4 Miami Heat
2012 Oklahoma City Thunder 1-4 Miami Heat
2011 Dallas Mavericks 4-2 Miami Heat
2010 Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 Boston Celtics
2009 Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Orlando Magic
2008 Los Angeles Lakers 2-4 Boston Celtics
2007 San Antonio Spurs
4-0 Cleveland Cavaliers
2006 Dallas Mavericks 2-4 Miami Heat
2005 San Antonio Spurs 4-3 Detroit Pistons
2004 Los Angeles Lakers 1-4 Detroit Pistons
2003 San Antonio Spurs
4-2 New Jersey Nets
2002 Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 New Jersey Nets
2001 Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Philadelphia 76ers
2000 Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Indiana Pacers
1999 San Antonio Spurs 4-1 New York Knicks
1998 Utah Jazz 2-4 Chicago Bulls
1997 Utah Jazz 2-4 Chicago Bulls
1996 Seattle SuperSonics 2-4 Chicago Bulls
1995 Houston Rockets
4-0 Orlando Magic
1994 Houston Rockets
4-3 New York Knicks
1993 Phoenix Suns 2-4 Chicago Bulls
1992 Portland Trail Blazers 2-4 Chicago Bulls
1991 Los Angeles Lakers 1-4 Chicago Bulls
1990 Portland Trail Blazers 1-4 Detroit Pistons
1989 Los Angeles Lakers 0-4 Detroit Pistons
1988 Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 Detroit Pistons
1987 Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Boston Celtics
1986 Houston Rockets 2-4 Boston Celtics
1985 Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Boston Celtics
1984 Los Angeles Lakers 3-4 Boston Celtics
1983 Los Angeles Lakers 0-4 Philadelphia 76ers
1982 Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Philadelphia 76ers
1981 Houston Rockets 0-4 Boston Celtics
1980 Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Philadelphia 76ers
1979 Seattle Supersonics 4-1 Washington Bullets
1978 Seattle Supersonics 3-4 Washington Bullets
1977 Portland Trail Blazers 4-2 Philadelphia 76ers
1976 Phoenix Suns 2-4 Boston Celtics
1975 Golden State Warriors 4-0 Washington Bullets
1974 Milwaukee Bucks 3-4 Boston Celtics
1973 Los Angeles Lakers 1-4 New York Knicks
1972 Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 New York Knicks
1971 Milwaukee Bucks 4-0 Baltimore Bullets
1970 Los Angeles Lakers 3-4 New York Knicks
1969 Los Angeles Lakers 3-4 Boston Celtics
1968 Los Angeles Lakers 2-4 Boston Celtics
1967 San Francisco Warriors 2-4 Philadelphia 76ers
1966 Los Angeles Lakers 3-4 Boston Celtics
1965 Los Angeles Lakers 1-4 Boston Celtics
1964 San Francisco Warriors 1-4 Boston Celtics
1963 Los Angeles Lakers 2-4 Boston Celtics
1962 Los Angeles Lakers 3-4 Boston Celtics
1961 St. Louis Hawks 3-4 Boston Celtics
1960 St. Louis Hawks 3-4 Boston Celtics
1959 Minneapolis Lakers 0-4 Boston Celtics
1958 St. Louis Hawks 4-2 Boston Celtics
1957 St. Louis Hawks 3-4 Boston Celtics
1956 Fort Wayne Pistons 1-4 Philadelphia 76ers
1955 Fort Wayne Pistons 3-4 Syracuse Nationals
1954 Minneapolis Lakers 4-3 Syracuse Nationals
1953 Minneapolis Lakers 4-1 New York Knicks
1952 Minneapolis Lakers 4-3 New York Knicks
1951 Rochester Royals 4-3 New York Knicks
1950 Minneapolis Lakers 4-2 Syracuse Nationals
1949 Minneapolis Lakers 4-2 Washington Capitols
1948 Baltimore Bullets
4-2 Philadelphia 76ers
1947 Chicago Stags 1-4 Philadelphia Warriors

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Do the NBA Champions Receive a Prize?

The NBA Champions receive the Larry O’Brien Trophy upon closing out their opponents in the NBA Finals. The Larry O’Brien Trophy was only awarded beginning in 1984. Before that, teams received the Walter A. Brown Trophy. The Walter A. Brown Trophy now resides in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

In terms of prize money, the NBA Champions don’t receive anything of the sort. Due to the fact that teams participating in the NBA Playoffs are entitled to additional television revenues, players receive a bonus for each game they participate in. In 2018, the amount was reported to be in the realm of $20 million. The winner of the prize pool had approximately $3 million to split between their players.

Exposure is also a huge reward for the NBA Champions during their following season. Massive amounts of signage, imagery, and player likeness from the championship side are used for the subsequent season. Champions can also expect an increase in nationally televised games. For example, the 2019 Champion Toronto Raptors received 11 nationally broadcasted games in 2019-2020, compared to an average of just three per season in their previous ten seasons.

What Is the Larry O’Brien Trophy?


The Larry O’Brien Trophy is the ultimate reward for the years NBA Championship team. Introduced in 1984, the Larry O’Brien Trophy replaced the more cup-like Walter A. Brown Trophy. Unlike the Walter A. Brown Trophy, each team gets to keep one version of the Larry O’Brien Trophy for themselves.

The Larry O’Brien Trophy is made of seven kilograms of sterling silver and vermeil, with a 24 karat gold overlay as defined by Tiffany & Co. The design imitates a basketball entering the net. The team name and year of their victory is engraved on the base of the trophy, usually displayed prominently in the team’s home arena.

Players, coaches, and staff are usually able to organize times during the offseason in which they can acquire the Larry O’Brien Trophy for temporary, personal use.

What Are NBA Championship Rings?

Due to the fact that NBA players on the championship side don’t get to keep a version of the Larry O’Brien Trophy for themselves, Championship Rings have been common for teams to commission for its players.

Modest during the outset of the NBA, Championship rings have grown more beautiful and lavish as the years have gone on.

Jason of Beverly Hills crafted the 2021 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks’ ring. It features more than 400 diamonds, and a removable top that features a QR code that can be scanned to display all of the best moments from Milwaukee’s championship season.

Who Were the First NBA Champions?

The inaugural winners of the NBA Championship were the 1946-1947 Philadelphia Warriors. Technically speaking, at the time of their victory the league was known as the BAA or the Basketball Association of America. If you consider 1948 as the true debut season of the NBA, the eventual NBA Champions were still the Philadelphia Warriors.

Which Franchise Has the Most NBA Championships?

NBA Championships Team Year(s) Won
17 Boston Celtics 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961,

 

1962, 1963, 1964, 1965,

1966, 1968, 1969, 1974,

1976, 1981, 1984, 1986,

2008

16 Los Angeles Lakers

 

(Also as Minneapolis Lakers)

1949, 1950, 1952, 1953,

 

1954, 1972, 1980, 1982,

1985, 1987, 1988, 2000,

2001, 2002, 2009, 2010

6 Golden State Warriors

 

(Also as Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors)

1947, 1956, 1975, 2015,

 

2017, 2018

Chicago Bulls 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996,

 

1997, 1998

5 San Antonio Spurs 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014
3 Philadelphia 76ers

 

(Also as Syracuse Nationals)

1955, 1967, 1983
Detroit Pistons

 

(Also as Fort Wayne Pistons)

1989, 1990, 2004
Miami Heat 2006, 2012, 2013
2 Milwaukee Bucks 1971, 2021
New York Knicks 1970, 1973
Houston Rockets 1994, 1995
1 Cleveland Cavaliers 2016
Atlanta Hawks

 

(As St. Louis Hawks)

1958
Washington Wizards

 

(As Washington Bullets)

1978
Oklahoma City Thunder

 

(As Seattle SuperSonics)

1979
Portland Trail Blazers 1977
Dallas Mavericks 2011
Baltimore Bullets 1948
Sacramento Kings 1951
Toronto Raptors 2019

Which Franchise Hasn’t Won an NBA Championship?

There are a number of NBA franchises that are yet to win a title. Whether they’ve been terribly close or never within striking distance, these teams are still looking to add the Larry O’Brien trophy to their cabinet.

  1. Indiana Pacers (est. 1976)
  2. Charlotte Hornets (est. 1988 as Hornets, 2004 as Bobcats, 2014 as Hornets)
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder (est. 2008)
  4. Brooklyn Nets (est. 2012)
  5. Memphis Grizzlies (est. 2001)
  6. Utah Jazz (est. 1979)
  7. Phoenix Suns (est. 1968)
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (est. 2002 as NO Hornets, 2013 as Pelicans)
  9. LA Clippers (est. 1984)
  10. Denver Nuggets (est. 1976)
  11. Orlando Magic (est. 1989)
  12. Minnesota Timberwolves (est. 1989)

Which NBA Franchise Was Quickest to an NBA Championship?


Founded in 1968-1969, the Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA Championship during the 1970-1971 NBA season. Outside of the Philadelphia Warriors, who won the inaugural BAA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks were the fastest expansion team to the title. But how did they do it?

After the drafting of Lew Alcindor, later known as NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1969 and acquiring Oscar Robertson in a trade, the Milwaukee Bucks found their way to an NBA Championship by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in the 1971 NBA Finals.

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Christian Jope

Expert on NBA

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]