Long Shot NBA Title Futures Odds That Are Worth a Shot

With the NBA regular season slowly but surely coming to an end, the title race is starting to clear up. It’s obvious that teams like the Celtics and Nuggets are the leading favorites to win the 2024 NBA title. But we all know that there are no sure things when the playoffs begin, so the door is very much open for a team to emerge from the pack and win a championship.

Of course, this is the right time of year to place a futures bet on the NBA champion and take a chance on some sleepers. By this stage of the season, we’ve seen what every team has to offer and we can start to see what teams have the traits of a champion. First, it’s best to review several betting sites to find one with the best features and odds. Then you can give some consideration to these teams that have long odds to win the NBA title but could be worth a shot.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder is in serious contention for the top seed in the Western Conference, yet OKC isn’t getting the same respect from oddsmakers as the Nuggets. That must make the Thunder annoyed, especially considering what an offensive juggernaut they’ve been this season. Oklahoma City is averaging over 120 points per game, largely thanks to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has become one of the NBA’s best pure scorers. Chet Holmgren has also been impressive in his first season of action. He and Jalen Williams form a terrific frontcourt and give OKC three reliable scorers. If the rest of the backcourt around Gilgeous-Alexander can contribute regularly, the Thunder could have enough depth to mount a title run.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers might have to win an NBA title the hard way. It’s possible that LeBron James and company will need to play in the play-in tournament just to get into the playoffs. But don’t forget that the Lakers were in a similar position last year and reached the Western Conference Finals. As long as they have James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers can’t be counted out completely. The supporting cast with D’Angelo Russel, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura isn’t bad either. The Lakers caught fire in February, and if they can play at that same level the rest of the way, they’ve got a chance.

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas is another team that is trying to avoid the play-in tournament and earn an automatic playoff spot. But whether they do or not might not matter with the way Luka Doncic is playing. He’s been on another level since the all-star break and is performing like a player who can carry his team a long way. Of course, the Mavs also have Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones, Jr., and some other pieces. If Doncic can keep it going and get some help from Irving, don’t overlook the Mavericks.

New York Knicks

Injuries have derailed the Knicks to some extent. That could give New York a tougher playoff path that involves playing the Celtics sooner rather than later. But if they can get healthy, the pieces are there to make a serious push in the Eastern Conference. Don’t forget that the Knicks were red-hot soon after trading for OG Anunoby, who’s close to returning from injury. If the Knicks can get Julius Randle healthy at some point and get those two playing alongside all-star point guard Jalen Brunson, New York will have a trio that nobody will want to face in the playoffs, even the Celtics.

Cleveland Cavaliers

There isn’t enough talk about the Cavs being a threat to the Celtics and Bucks in the Eastern Conference. Overall, Cleveland’s roster probably doesn’t stack up compared to some other championship contenders. However, Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland form one of the NBA’s most dynamic backcourts. The Cavs also have great interior play with Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, who are both walking double-doubles. Injuries have plagued them lately, but a healthy Cleveland roster would be something to watch closely in the playoffs.

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans are easily the most overlooked team in the NBA right now. The problem is that the trio of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum doesn’t have the same track record as some of the other star-studded rosters on contending teams. However, it’s hard to deny that New Orleans is a young team on the rise. The Pelicans have played some of their best basketball of the season over the last month, which is what you expect of a young team. If New Orleans can stay healthy and can start to click in the playoffs, the Pelicans are the type of deep sleeper that could win the NBA title.