Raptors among second tier of contenders on NBA championship odds

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With the NBA now scheduled to resume play on July 31, the Toronto Raptors remain firmly in the second tier of contenders on the odds to win the NBA championship as a +2000 wager at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Raptors were among the hottest teams in the NBA when the league suspended play on March 11 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Toronto entered the pause in the schedule with the third-best record in the league, powered by a 21-4 straight-up run in its most recent 25 outings.

However, as has been the case throughout the campaign, the Raptors continue to struggle to gain traction on the NBA futures at betting sites in their bid to successfully defend their NBA crown despite enjoying some significant benefits from the shutdown. Hobbled by a rash of injuries to key personnel including Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Fred VanVleet, and Norman Powell, the club is on pace to resume the season at full health.

While the Raptors trail on the latest NBA futures, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to lead the way on the NBA championship odds as +200 betting favourites. The Milwaukee Bucks closely follow the Lakers as +300 second favourites, just ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers at +325.

The Lakers have returned to championship contention during LeBron James’ second season in Los Angeles, racking up a Western Conference-leading 49-14 record, including a league-best 26-6 mark on the road. The Clippers, meanwhile, have remained among the favourites despite struggling with consistency at times this season. Lagging 5.5 games back of the Lakers when play was halted, the Clippers have stumbled to a somewhat middling 19-13 road record, and have felt the impact of the periodic absences of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who have missed a combined 35 games this season.

Back East, the Bucks have emerged as the class of the NBA while putting up a league-leading 53-12 record. Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the Milwaukee attack, as he sits among the league leaders in all major individual offensive statistical categories and was set as a heavy -325 favourite to claim MVP honours on the NBA odds before the season was halted.

Further down the NBA championship odds, the Boston Celtics sit off the pace at +1200, followed by the Houston Rockets at +1500, while the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Utah Jazz trail the Raptors at +2200.