The NBA 2019-20 season has finally restarted! As the players warm up to the bubble in Orlando, it’s time to check back in with the futures markets.

The 2019-20 NBA season is finally back underway. The Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans got us off to a hot start before the Battle of L.A. produced the goods as expected. Now that we’ve seen a couple of games and know that it’s all real, we’re due a refresher of the futures markets.

How does the new-look season work?

Finding The 8th Seed

Most current playoff teams are sitting pretty in the seeds. However, the 8th seed in both conferences does have a little battle on their hands. The Brooklyn Nets are $1.36 favourites to finish as the 8th seed while the Orlando Magic – expected to rise to the 7th seed – are at $3.10. A whopping 5.5 games back on the Nets and Magic, the Washington Wizards are at long $23 odds to advance to the post-season.

It’s a little more interesting in the West. The Memphis Grizzlies are 3.5 games ahead of the competition to be $1.67 favourites to keep their 8th seed. They’ll need to hold off a valiant Portland Trail Blazers ($5) and improving Pelicans ($3.75), though. The Pelicans, in particular, will back themselves given the schedule they’ve been handed despite the loss to the Jazz first up.

Conference Winners

Regardless of which teams sneak into the 8th seed, they’re unlikely to still be there when the conference championships are decided.

The Milwaukee Bucks have been the premier team all NBA season and are $1.57 favourites to top the Eastern Conference. While the Toronto Raptors ($7) and Boston Celtics ($7.50) have squads to compete, this new-look Philadelphia 76ers ($8) with Ben Simmons at power forward has the highest ceiling.

“It’s relatively untested, but this 76ers outfit has the potential to grow into championship contenders overnight.”

The Western Conference isn’t so clear cut. The Battle of L.A. is expected to decide the conference. At $2.60 to advance to the NBA Finals, the Lakers are slight favourites over the Clippers at $2.70. However, the Rockets and their small-ball style can’t be ruled out at $8. Nor can this intriguing Denver Nuggets outfit at $11.

NBA Championship Odds

Talk about asterisk’s all you like, the eventual NBA champions will be as deserving as any other – if not more under the circumstances.

Working from the eighth line of betting up, the Nuggets are at $26 to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy. While their ceiling does reach a championship, the 76ers are $21 outsiders to get there. The defending NBA champion Raptors are right there beside the 76ers while the Rockets sneak onto the fifth line of betting at $18. The Boston Celtics boast an excellent roster and rotation, but they’re still relative roughies for the championship at $12.

The odds suggest it’s a three-horse race.

The Bucks have the easier run to the NBA Finals. Things won’t get too difficult for them until the second round. Will that work to their advantage as $3.40 favourites, or will one of the more battle-hardened Lakers ($3.60) or Clippers ($4.20) put an end to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s dream of an NBA Championship and MVP double?