NBA Futures Prop Bets for the 2020-2021 Season

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Don’t want to wait until Opening Night to start getting some money down on the NBA? NBA Futures Prop Bets allow you to potentially monetize some of your predictions on how certain teams will fare in the coming season. While you’ll have to wait until the end of the season or postseason to cash in on the futures wagers we’ll be reviewing below, the following 5 NBA Team Futures Bets offer an appealing combination of plausible scenarios and appealing payouts:

5 NBA Futures Prop Bets for the 2020-2021 Season

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1. Atlanta Hawks to Win Southeast Division (+700), PlaySugarHouse

We look to a young, promising squad for the first of our NBA Team Futures Bets. Atlanta returns its dynamic duo of Trae Young and John Collins, but who management has put around two of the most exciting young players in the league is just as important.

The Hawks technically have had Clint Capela in the fold since February’s trade deadline, but a heel injury prevented him from ever suiting up last season. The former Rockets big man is now rested and at full health, and he’ll offer a badly needed defensive/rebounding presence down low.

5 NBA Futures Prop Bets and NBA Team Futures Bets: Trae Young's Atlanta Hawks are a team squarely on the rise
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after a dunk by guard Cam Reddish (not pictured) in the second overtime against the Charlotte Hornets at State Farm Arena during the 2019-2020 season. (USA TODAY Sports)

Then, Bogdan Bogdanovic should be an ideal complement to Young in the backcourt and will help draw some defensive attention, while Danilo Gallinari figures to give a second unit that will also feature fellow three-point marksman Kevin Huerter some serious scoring punch.

The expected Year 2 improvements for wings DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish — last season’s 4th and 10th overall picks, respectively — and the veteran presences of Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn off the bench could helpd breed a relatively deep and potent squad brimming with young talent.

Granted, going from worst to first, as the Hawks would have to do in the Southeast this season for this bet to cash, can be a tall order, but Atlanta’s only true competition for the division title appears to be the Heat. Miami is admittedly a formidable obstacle, but at this price and withthe Hawks’ offseason talent upgrades, this wager is worth a flier.

2. New Orleans Pelicans to Win Southwest Division (+550), PointsBet

The Pels check into the 2020-21 campaign with an intriguing mix of young and veteran talent that could be enough to carry them to a division crown. Like the Hawks, New Orleans needs to completely flip its 2019-20 finishing position to make this bet a winner. However, there are several factors that portend a notable improvement over last season’s 30-42 mark.

To begin with, head coach Stan Van Gundy’s first Big Easy squad will trot out a formidable starting five consisting of Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Steven Adams. Bledsoe and Adams are the offseason additions, and the combination of the two could equate to a slight net advantage over the duo they replace, Jrue Holiday and Derrick Favors, if Adams bounces back from last season’s slight scoring downturn.

5 NBA Futures Prop Bets and NBA Team Futures Bets: Zion Williamson's New Orleans Pelicans have a sneakily talented roster
Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) shoots the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena on Dec. 14, 2020. (-USA TODAY Sports)

Additionally, there’s some second-unit depth with the promising Nickeil Alexander-Walker, rookie 13th overall pick Kira Lewis, versatile wing Josh Hart, the floor-spacing Nicolo Melli, and 2019 first-rounder Jaxson Hayes, giving New Orleans a solid chance to keep the scoreboard humming when some of the starters take a breather.

Finally, it’s worth noting there was only a 14-win gap between the last-place Pelicans and division-champion Rockets last season. James Harden might eventually be moved from Houston or not quite have his head fully in the game as a result of his desire to be elsewhere. Plus, Kristaps Porzingis will miss some time early on for the Mavericks.

The Pels doing just enough to vault to the top of the division isn’t the most outlandish scenario.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers to make playoffs (+1000), PointsBet

Sure, Cleveland is still technically considered a rebuilding squad to a significant degree, helping explain the four-digit figure on their odds of making the postseason. However, this isn’t a team devoid of talent by any stretch, which makes taking a potential flier on this good of a payout worthwhile.

The Cavs’ projected starting five of Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro, Kevin Love and Andre Drummond is certainly above average. Considering Garland and Sexton are still developing while Okoro is a rookie, this is a team that could be playing its best basketball down the stretch, with Love and Drummond providing quality and critical veteran stability.

Cleveland’s depth could be better, but it’s far from bottom of the barrel. Cedi Osman, Dante Exum, Kevin Porter and Larry Nance make for an intriguing second-unit quartet that boasts a solid mix of experience, youth and eclectic skill sets. The Cavs’ ability to improve defensively figures to be key to their fortunes, however. Cleveland allowed 114.8 points per contest last season — the eighth-highest figure in the league — and surrendered the highest shooting percentage overall (49.1).

However, if Garland and Sexton take big leaps in their respective Year 2 and Year 3 campaigns and the Love-Drummond frontcourt duo delivers as expected, the Cavaliers could see a nice boost in their 19-win total of a year ago and sneak into the final Eastern Conference postseason spot over the likes of a fellow borderline contender such as the Magic.

4. Golden State Warriors Over 37.5 wins (+105), PointsBet

Stephen Curry is rested and healthy. Andrew Wiggins has had plenty of time to absorb coach Steve Kerr’s system. Kelly Oubre is recovered from the knee issues that derailed him at the end of last season in Phoenix. Draymond Green should be past last season’s assortment of injuries and ready to resume his multi-faceted role down low. James Wiseman arrived via the second overall pick with an abundance of upside.

Furthermore, the one silver lining in the rash of injuries that befell the Warriors last season was the experience it afforded young players that now become key second-unit pieces — Damion Lee, Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole.

To put it another way, this win total looks very appealing at plus-money for a team helmed by a two-time league MVP and with some solid depth on the second unit. In addition to Lee, Paschall and Poole, Golden State’s bench also boasts Kent Bazemore, Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney, solid veterans who fit the Warriors’ system well.

And yes, the loss of Klay Thompson for a second straight season due to injury is a significant one. However, Wiggins certainly isn’t a sub-standard replacement. If the Dubs can avoid an injury disaster of the magnitude of last season, a minimum of a 38-34 record in the upcoming 72-game season is certainly conceivable.

5. Miami Heat to win 2020-21 NBA championship (+2000), PointsBet

The Heat’s rather unlikely journey to the NBA Finals several months ago was a true team effort and testament to some stellar coaching on the part of Erik Spoelstra and his staff. Judging by these NBA Finals odds for Miami, sportsbooks aren’t giving them a very strong chance of not only duplicating the feat, but getting all the way over the hump.

There’s certainly a legitimate argument to be made for that, considering Miami would have to get through the likes of the Bucks, Nets, 76ers, Raptors and Celtics just to emerge from the East for a second straight year. Then, if they’re able to overcome those obstacles, the Lakers and Clippers are among the squads most likely to be standing in the Heat’s way for the ultimate prize.

Nevertheless, Miami certainly demonstrated its ability to knock off the best the conference had to offer last season in the Bucks. They then gave the Lakers a good bit of trouble in the Finals before succumbing by a 4-2 series margin. The Heat saw the likes of Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo take monumental steps forward during their memorable playoff run, and all three players, plus Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler, give Spoelstra’s squad a talented and diverse core.

The Heat’s second unit has room for improvement, although offseason arrival Avery Bradley could prove to be a valuable addition, and first-round pick Precious Achiuwa could certainly carve out a solid role at power forward as the campaign unfolds behind either Maurice Harkless or Meyers Leonard. Additionally, as Spoelstra and his charges proved last season by coming within two games of a title, this team is a true embodiment of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

While the path to this bet paying off could well be steep, the very appealing price makes it very worthy of consideration.

Get ready for 2020-2021 NBA fantasy basketball & betting

After you finish examining our 5 NBA Futures Prop Bets for the 2020-2021 Season and decide on your NBA Team Futures Bets:


Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports since 1997 and actively writing about the fantasy sports and sports betting industries since 2015 for multiple websites. He has covered a wide variety of professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, CFL, Arena Football League, Alliance of American Football, XFL, NPB and KBO. He was the recipient of the FSWA's 2016 Newcomer of the Year award for his work with RotoWire.

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